Since 2017, November has been designated Military Family Month, so now is an opportune time for all of us to honor military servicemembers, veterans, and their families.
As a U.S. Army veteran who served 22 years on active duty, and the father of an active duty Army Soldier, I am passionate about this cause. The servicemembers who defend our great nation, and the families who support them, make tremendous sacrifices. Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines from all walks of life volunteered to serve our country, knowing the danger that service brings. But, what about the sacrifices made by their families?
Military families often don’t get the appreciation that they deserve. Sure, people will remember to say, “Thank you for your service,” to a veteran, but what about the missed birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays that the spouses, parents, and children have to endure? What about the family members who move repeatedly across the world, unable to plant roots in a community while raising children? I know from personal experience that these people have made huge sacrifices, too.
What can we do, beyond just saying thank you? How can we show that we genuinely care about our military community?
Here are a handful of ways that AT&T is showing that it cares about military servicemembers and their families:
AT&T loves hiring veterans
AT&T made a commitment to hire 20,000 veterans by 2020. I was fortunate to connect with members of the AT&T community and to land with AT&T following my retirement from the Army in 2013. As a product of this effort, the good news is that we were able to meet this goal ahead of schedule. Veterans and their families have already demonstrated their toughness, character, and resolve in some of the most trying circumstances. Those same proven attributes can only help make AT&T more successful. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to refer to so many of these people as my colleagues.
Building an online community for military families
Deployment or family separation is hard enough without having to worry about the small stuff like your cell phone plan. The AT&T military forum is a dedicated space for online discussion for military customers. It’s meant to provide helpful information on things like changing your plan, special options for active duty military, and getting service during deployment.
Discounts for veterans, servicemembers, and their families.
To show its appreciation, AT&T provides active military personnel, veterans, first responders and their families with promotions and discounts in store or online.
Helping military veterans transition after service
The skills and character that people learn from service carry over into the civilian life. Veterans bring a huge skill set and life experiences to the workplace, but transitioning into a civilian career can also sometimes require some adjustments and additional training. AT&T has provided 100 Udacity Nanodegree scholarships to servicemembers who are interested in technology fields.
AT&T also recently announced a new training initiative in Los Angeles called AT&T Veterans Media Fellowship in collaboration with Veterans in Media & Entertainment (VME). The Veterans Media Fellowship will include 15-20 U.S. military veterans in the Los Angeles area interested in the media and entertainment industry.
Saying thank you in daily life
These are only a few of the ways that AT&T is trying to honor military servicemembers, veterans, and families. Like many throughout the country, we also try to do our part as individuals to recognize the sacrifices these families go through to keep us safe. If you or your family served, I truly appreciate you.
For those that haven’t served, there are a myriad of opportunities out there to show your appreciation. You can volunteer your time at the VA, the USO, or with any of the several other great organizations that support our veterans and their families. It doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking. Try to find small ways to thank military servicepeople and their families in your daily life. Whether it’s grabbing a coffee, buying your friend a beer, or just listening to the stories we tell, the important part is showing our gratitude.
This article was written by an AT&T employee. The postings on this site are his own and don’t necessarily represent the positions, strategies, or opinions of AT&T.