Wal-Mart & VFW Honor those who serve
Our troops overseas face staggering perils with courage and determination every day. Their job is unquestionably one of the most difficult in the world. This is why we at Wal-Mart and SAM’S CLUB are doing everything we can to remind them that they are remembered, appreciated and supported at home.
Wal-Mart has partnered with organizations such as the VFW to make certain that our fellow Americans serving our country know that America supports them. Read on to see the ways in which we have taken up the challenge of keeping families connected with the gift of communication and meeting many of the needs of our brave men and women in the armed services.
Million Dollar Match to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Foundation
On August 3, 2004, the Wal-Mart & SAM’S CLUB Foundation presented a $1 Million matching gift to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Foundation (VFW). The gift is being used to support the VFW’s efforts to assist members of America’s military, veterans and their families. This grant is helping the VFW to meet the monumental demand for services as the nation continues its global war on terrorism.
As a part of its $1 million matching gift to the VFW Foundation made last year, Wal-Mart with the VFW, announced on Monday, August 22, 2005, the disbursement of two new grants to help military families. Two checks for approximately $70,000 each were presented at the VFW National Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. The disbursements are to the Unmet Needs Program, providing financial assistance to distressed military families, and to the Fisher House in San Antonio, Texas, which provides a home for families of the military’s wounded.
Paralyzed Veterans of America
Wal-Mart showed its support for the veterans of Arkansas and the United States by contributing a record $150,000 donation to an outdoors recreation endowment established by the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) in December of 2004. The PVA’s Outdoor Recreation Heritage Fund is designed to facilitate accessible traditional outdoor recreation for paralyzed veterans, their families, and others with disabilities.
Support for the Wounded
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has worked with the VFW and contacts at military hospitals around the world that are treating the wounded to determine how we can best meet their immediate needs. We, along with some of our great vendors, provided sweat suits, underwear, t-shirts, carry-on bags and other items for the troops being transported to hospitals for care.
M.A.C.K. Packs-Communication Assistance
We partnered with the VFW in 2004 and sent Military Assistance Communications Kits which included a phone card, writing paper, note cards, envelopes and folder with 2005 calendar to each of our 900,000 service members serving overseas. The Wal-Mart-VFW partnership provided more than 2.3 million free phone cards to active service members since 2003. Additionally, Wal-Mart has provided phone cards for the wounded.
When the need for bottled water is expressed by the military, Wal-Mart is responding by donating truckloads of water to troops that are being deployed to Iraq. In 2004, three truckloads of water were sent to March Air Force Base for the consumption of thousands of service men and women. Wal-Mart also donated 600,000 bottles of water for the dedication ceremony of the World War II Memorial Ceremony in May 2004. In January 2005, forty-four truckloads of donated water were sent to 10 military installations around the U.S. for military personnel deploying to Iraq and other international locations. Produced by Cott Beverages, the Wal-Mart "Donated Water" label and program is one of the latest efforts to support our military through the Wal-Mart & Sam’s Club Foundation.
Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award
The National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, in conjunction with the Secretary of Defense, honored Wal-Mart as a 2004 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award recipient on September 21, 2004, in Washington, DC. The Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award was introduced to publicly recognize the significant contributions and sacrifices made by America’s employers of Guardsmen and Reservists.
$1 Million to Support Families of the Troops
In 2003 Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. gave more than $1 million to organizations providing support to the families of our troops. These organizations included:
Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society
Army Emergency Relief
Air Force Aid Society, Inc.
Coast Guard Mutual Assistance
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. special-ordered 31 pallets of unscented baby wipes in June of 2003 for the troops based on requests being received by the Foundation.
The pallets were dropped directly in Kuwait. These were a welcome gift for those not having the luxury of bathing on a regular basis.
Wal-Mart Receives "Corporate Patriotism Award" sponsored by the Employer Support for Guard & Reserve (ESGR)
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. received the prestigious "Corporate Patriotism Award" sponsored by the Employer Support for Guard & Reserve (ESGR) at the 9th annual American Veteran Awards: Tribute to Freedom on November 21, 2003. This award is presented each year to a company that exhibits exceptional support and dedication to the ideals of AVA in raising awareness and support of U.S. service members and their families. The award is open to any American corporation who donates substantial resources, without corporate financial gain, in assisting veterans, active duty military and reservists.
Continuation of Many Benefits
We proudly offer continuation of many benefits, including health benefits, for the duration of an Associate’s military leave. We also offer supplemental pay, for the duration of military leave, to Associates called to active duty in an area that is subject to “hostile fire” or “imminent danger,” as defined by Presidential Executive Order.
Email Messages of Support
Customers nationwide can now use Wal-Mart’s gift registry kiosks to send messages of support to men and women in the military. To date, hundreds of thousands of messages have been sent. We are proud that this idea came from one of our own associates in Pocomoke City, Maryland.
At the local level, our stores, clubs and distribution centers are spearheading a number of community projects depending on the needs in their areas. These projects range from adopting families whose loved ones are deployed, supporting organizations and schools where members of the community are looking for support.
In addition, Wal-Mart is proud to also provide a way to honor service men and women from their own communities on Veterans Day by providing a Wall of Honor and a message book in each store.
To find out more about supporting our troops, visit the VFW’s website at www.vfw.org or call the Foundation hotline at (800) 530-9925.