Yellow-Ribbon Flagship Independence Transports U.S. Troops on Inaugural Flight from New York City to The Venetian for Second Annual "Tribute to the Troops"
NEW YORK, Nov. 11, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- In celebration of Veterans Day, American Airlines, the USO and The Sands Foundation, the charitable arm of Las Vegas Sands Corp., will once again honor our nation's veterans and active members with a weekend of relaxation, entertainment, sightseeing, and educational seminars.
As part of the celebration, American Airlines unveiled this morning the Flagship Independence, the latest addition to its yellow-ribbon fleet, with a ceremony at JFK International Airport (JFK). The observance also was a send-off party for the Boeing 767 aircraft as it departed with approximately 150 wounded warriors and their guests for a weekend in Las Vegas. American Airlines, which is the official airline of the USO, is collaborating with the USO to serve these special service members.
American Airlines and The Sands Foundation are presenting sponsors of the "Tribute to the Troops 2010 Las Vegas," a weekend of events and activities for wounded warriors and their guests from around the country. The group includes service members from Fort Benning in Columbus, Ga.; Bethesda Navy Hospital; Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.; and veterans from the New York City area.
"All of us at American Airlines are proud to honor the men and women who put themselves in harm's way to protect our freedom," said Art Torno, American's Vice President New York. "It is a privilege to have them here with us for the rollout of our newest yellow-ribbon aircraft, and to provide flights for them from New York for this weekend in Las Vegas. These men and women deserve our utmost gratitude and respect."
"The Sands Foundation, along with Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson, are honored to host these heroes on Veterans Day at The Venetian," said Andy Abboud, Vice President of Government Relations and Community Development for Las Vegas Sands Corp. "They selflessly put everything on the line for the rest of us. We're grateful for the opportunity to personally thank them for their brave service."
Upon arriving in Las Vegas, the group will attend the grand opening of USO Las Vegas, a new center at McCarran International Airport, followed by a welcome ceremony at The Venetian, with a "walk of gratitude" and the national anthem sung by Steve Amerson, the voice of the Medal of Honor Foundation and "America's Tenor." Country music singer/songwriter Clint Black will perform a private concert that evening at The Venetian.
"One of the greatest honors our organization has is providing programs for wounded warriors and their families recovering at military hospitals and Warrior Transition Units," said Elaine Rogers, President USO of Metropolitan Washington. "For the second year, we are grateful to offer an amazing Las Vegas experience for these heroes and their caregivers, thanks to the generosity of American Airlines and The Sands Foundation."
The schedule includes a skydiving exhibition by Dana Bowman, double-amputee and former member of the U.S. Army's elite Golden Knights parachute team. Attendees will be special guests for a performance by Blue Man Group at The Venetian to benefit ThanksUSA, a nonprofit organization that provides college, technical and vocational school scholarships to children and spouses of service members.
There will be a concert by Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band, to be presented by American Airlines and the Huey 091 Foundation at the Orleans Hotel showroom. A portion of concert proceeds will benefit Air Compassion for Veterans, a nonprofit program that provides air transportation to active military, veterans and their immediate family to receive medical, counseling and diverse rehabilitation services. Terry Fator, ventriloquist and "America's Got Talent" winner, will conclude the weekend with a performance. Remaining tickets for Fator's performance will be offered to the public, with proceeds benefiting the United Service Organization (USO).
The rollout of Flagship Independence brings to six the number of American and American Eagle aircraft that proudly sport iconic yellow-ribbon decals and the slogan, "In support of all who serve," on their fuselages, a visual expression of the airlines' support for the nation's armed forces. The other yellow-ribbon aircraft include an American Airlines 757, Flagship Freedom; a 737, Flagship Liberty; and three American Eagle aircraft. These aircraft are often utilized for special charter flights for veterans, wounded military and first responders.
American Airlines has long-standing ties to the nation's armed forces. With more than 60 percent of American's pilots and 10 percent of all American and American Eagle Airlines employees serving as active military or veterans, the company places a strong emphasis on its military and veterans initiatives. American supports members of the military, veterans and their families in their communities via in-kind contributions to nonprofit organizations and employee engagement in a wide variety of events and activities. American also offers special airfares, priority boarding and Admirals Club® Lounge access for qualifying active military.
About American Airlines
American Airlines, American Eagle and AmericanConnection® serve 250 cities in 40 countries with, on average, more than 3,400 daily flights. The combined network fleet numbers more than 900 aircraft. American's award-winning website, AA.com®, provides users with easy access to check and book fares, plus personalized news, information and travel offers. American Airlines is a founding member of the oneworld® Alliance, which brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business, enabling them to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. Together, its members serve nearly 700 destinations in more than 130 countries and territories. American Airlines, Inc. and American Eagle Airlines, Inc. are subsidiaries of AMR Corporation. AmericanAirlines, American Eagle, AmericanConnection, AA.com, We know why you fly and AAdvantage are trademarks of American Airlines, Inc. (NYSE: AMR)
About The Sands Foundation
Las Vegas Sands Corp.'s primary philanthropic initiative is pursued through Sands Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Sands Foundation pursues a mission of supporting charitable organizations and endeavors that concentrate on assisting youth, promoting health, and expanding educational opportunities within our local communities. The Foundation also supports causes that empower minority communities and improve underprivileged areas, as well as other valuable charitable and philanthropic activities permitted.
About The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino
A property of the Las Vegas Sands Corp., The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino is the largest property in the country to receive AAA's Five Diamond Award and Mobil Four-Star. It is one of the world's most luxurious resort and convention destinations. Re-creating Venice's legendary landmarks, the resort offers unmatched service and quality for leisure and corporate guests. Located in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip, The Venetian features The Grand Canal Shoppes, an indoor streetscape complete with gondolas and singing gondoliers, the Canyon Ranch SpaClub, world-class gaming, exquisite restaurants, and a wide variety of entertainment such as Phantom-The Las Vegas Spectacular, Blue Man Group, David Spade and Wayne Brady on its premises, as well as extensive convention and corporate services. For additional information, visit www.venetian.com.
About The USO
The USO (United Service Organizations) lifts the spirits of America's troops and their families millions of times each year at thousands of places worldwide. We provide a touch of home through centers at airports and military bases, top quality entertainment and innovative programs and services. We also provide critical support to those who need us most, including forward-deployed troops and their families, wounded warriors and their families and the families of the fallen. The USO supports wounded warriors and their families through programs including celebrity handshake tours, emergency food and housing assistances, on-site concerts by well-known entertainers, excursions, as well as therapeutic and adaptive activities.
The USO is a private, non-profit organization, not a government agency. We rely on the generosity of our volunteers and donors. In addition to individual donors and other corporate sponsors, the USO is supported by Worldwide Strategic Partners American Airlines, AT&T Inc., BAE Systems, The Boeing Company, Clear Channel Communications, The Coca-Cola Company, Gallery Furniture, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Procter & Gamble and TriWest Healthcare Alliance. We are also supported through the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381). To join us in this patriotic mission and to learn more about the USO, please visit www.uso.org.
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SOURCE American Airlines