What does the month of May mean to you? For some, it could mean that we are that much closer to summer vacations. For others, it’s a sign of longer days ahead. But what many people don’t realize is the significance that this month carries for the men and women who have served and are currently serving in defense of our nation.
May is National Military Appreciation Month (NMAM) – a time when we are given the opportunity to demonstrate appreciation for the sacrifices made by our service members – both past and present.
For BAE Systems, this month hits close to home, as many of our employees are veterans or have family members who have served or are currently serving. Because of this, we choose to honor this month by proudly showing our support across the company through one powerful initiative – Remember. Honor. Support.
Remember. Honor. Support.
Remember. Honor. Support. allows our employees to rally together and participate in several company-sponsored events and volunteer opportunities that support the United States military.
Let’s take a closer look at what we did for Remember. Honor. Support. 2016 – a year marked by the highest level of employee participation since our initiative began.
Digital Honor Wall
Robert Negrotto had been in the Marine Corps just two years when he was killed in action during the Korean War. Fred Smith spent a lifetime in the Navy. His 43 years of service stretching from 1940, before America’s involvement in World War II, to 1983, years after the fall of Saigon ended the Vietnam War.
Who are Negrotto and Smith and why do we share their stories? They are just two of 250 past and present service members our employees honored in May as part of our Digital Military Honor Wall – a place where our employees submit the stories and photos of their loved ones who have served or are currently serving. Because this honor wall is online, employees across our company can view these photos and stories and show their appreciation and respect for the sacrifices and achievements made by our men and women in uniform.
The digital honor wall was one of many ways employees participated in Remember. Honor. Support.
Springing into Action
It wouldn’t be NMAM without our employees getting out from their offices, facilities, or customer sites and into their communities.
In San Diego, our employees had a barbecue for 227 veterans and reservists and teamed with Habitat for Humanity to remodel a veteran’s home. In Minneapolis, employees donated more than $10,000 to Helping Paws, an organization that provides service dogs to disabled veterans. And across the country, employees donned red shirts each Friday in May to honor military service members. (The color red helps us to Remember Everyone Deployed.)
In upstate New York, our Endicott employees helped raise more than $30,000 by supporting the ninth annual Tournament for the Troops golf outing for the Army’s Fort Drum. Employees from New England to Texas turned out in force to volunteer for “Together Day”, an annual day of service which supported many military-focused charities such as The Mission Continues, 66th Support Squadron at Hanscom AFB, and local veteran’s homes. Fundraising events such as flower sales, wellness challenges, and poker runs raised more than $10,000 to help one of our partner charities, Building Homes for Heroes, provide custom-built, mortgage-free homes for disabled service members.
In Washington, D.C., our employees sprang into action to volunteer with The Mission Continues for a day of service at Democracy Prep Congress Heights, where they worked hand in hand with veterans, community members, and students. Also in D.C., employees joined service members and their families for the BAE Systems’ sponsored Military Appreciation Night at Nationals Park. Using tickets donated by BAE Systems, they watched the Washington Nationals beat the Miami Marlins, 6-4. Similar events took place at minor league games in Colorado Springs, Pensacola, Southern Maryland, Salt Lake City, and Charleston, South Carolina.
Our Partner Organizations
During NMAM, we tripled employee donations made to any of our eight military-focused partner organizations, raising more than $130,000 - all through our online charitable giving tool: Benevity. In addition to our contributions, BAE Systems continued its work with long-standing partner organization, United Through Reading, by proudly sponsoring the organization’s annual Tribute to Military Families.
Along with supporting our many military-focused partner organizations, BAE Systems’ leaders took another pledge to hire an additional 5,000 veterans in the next five years as part of the White House’s Joining Forces initiative.
Remember. Honor. Support. Every Day
The beacon of freedom continues to shine from sea to shining sea thanks to the brave men and women who risk everything to protect our nation and way of life. Although National Military Appreciation Month has ended, our support to our uniformed heroes continues. And we encourage everyone to remember, honor, and support our service members both past and present every day of the year.