ORD Veterans Employee Resource Group Honors Marines
Strains of patriotic songs played throughout the main concourse in Chicago as the 29 Palms Marine band entertained customers in May. The band was just one part of a ceremony cooridinated by AA to honor U.S. Marines. The concert was followed by a military color guard marching down the hallway and ending up at Gate K3.
AA's Veterans Military Employee Resource Group (VMERG), led by Officer Linda Kozma, dedicated the gate to the Marine Corps during their first ever "Marine Week." Marine Week celebrates the heritage and service of Marines past and present. During the week, 2,000 Marines participated in community volunteer projects, Marine Band concerts, exhibitions of marine equipment and more on Navy Pier and other city locations.
Tim Raynor, AA pilot and Lieutenant Colonel organized the entire fleet week. Raynor took six weeks off from AA to coordinate the event, working closely with the ORD VMERG to create the gate ceremony.
"I'm very proud to be an employee of American today, just seeing the courtesy that's been extended to the Marine Corps, an organization that I love," said Raynor. "That is where I started." AA employee veterans enjoyed the combination of military and AA traditions. "This is a good example of actions and deeds," said Arizo Ghaewski, Chairman, Local 512 Veteran's Committee. "Everybody says 'support the troops', well how do you support the troops? By just words? Well, this ceremony showed action."
Boston Military Group Honors AA for Its Long-Standing Support of U.S. Armed Forces The Ancient & Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts (AHAC), the oldest chartered military organization in North America, recognized American Airlines and its Boston-based employees for their service to the U.S. armed forces. American received the special award during AHAC's Ancients USO Night, its annual fund-raiser benefitting the USO New England.
"We remain humbled and in awe of the sacrifices our veterans and active military make in service to our country," said Jim Moses, American's General Manager at Boston. "These men and women are true heroes, and all of our efforts to support the military and their families is our way of saying thank you for their courage and dedication."
American's 1,900 Boston-based employees, along with their colleagues across the airline's system, support members of the military, veterans and their families, in their communities and when they travel. Special travel benefits include waived baggage fees, discounts on leisure travel, early boarding, preferred seating upgrades when available, Admirals Club admission for qualifying active members of the military, and travel sponsorship for Medal of Honor Recipients to their annual awards program.
In 2008, an American Boeing 757 and 737 were unveiled, with the tails of the two aircraft proudly sporting yellow-ribbon decals and the slogan, "In support of all who serve," on their fuselages. These two aircraft, along with a dedicated American Eagle ATR aircraft, are currently in service and are a daily reminder of AA's commitment to all of the troops currently serving the United States, as well as the thousands of American Airlines and American Eagle employees who are veterans or active service members.