Elise is a graduate of West Point who served on active duty until 2008.
We recruited her when she left active duty…and she immediately felt right at home. As she said: “Walmart’s three basic beliefs are so much like the Seven Army Values. It felt like ‘this is exactly what I’m supposed to do.’”
We value the qualities our veterans learned in the service: leadership, commitment, discipline, problem solving. And we offer in return the chance to move up. As Elise said: “Walmart is looking for someone who is always eager for that next level of responsibility. The military does the exact same thing.”
She joined us as a Developmental Shift Manager in the smallest store in her market. She worked her way up to Shift Manager…and then to Store Manager of a Division 1 store. Today, she serves as both the Store Manager at the biggest supercenter in her market… and as the Company Commander of her Army reserve unit.
Elise is just one example of how much the current generation of veterans has to offer. We want their talent and their leadership. And we’re moving aggressively to bring them to Walmart.
I’m proud to share that our hiring commitment is off to a great start. In fact, since our commitment launched on Memorial Day, we’ve already hired more than 20,000 more veterans. Isn’t that fantastic?
I’m also proud to share that – this morning – we announced donations to two important organizations supporting military families: Operation Homefront and Fisher House. With these gifts, we’ll help provide meals, toys, and lodging for military families with a service member in the hospital…and we’ll help hundreds of soldiers come home for the holidays.
This is part of our commitment to give $20 million over five years to causes important to veterans and military families. And these are just a few of the ways that your company is committed to honoring those who serve.
So, we have a great program for you this morning. We’re pleased to be joined by Gary Sinise and so many distinguished guests and partners in serving our communities. We’re also honored to have a Gold Star family here with us today.
This morning, you’re going to hear two themes:
First, we’ll highlight our veteran associates, military families, and associates serving today. You’ll hear from some of them directly.
Second, we’ll hear about the importance of giving back. We will rededicate ourselves today to honoring their service with our own.
Again, thank you for joining us today to thank and honor our nation’s veterans.