For the hundreds of thousands of our brave men and women deployed around the world, this will be another day of service to their country.
For more than 20-million veterans including two million from World War II, their military career is a memory.
But for all Americans this is the day that our nation pays tribute to their sacrifices and shows the gratitude, respect, and support that ought to be an on-going reality.
Veterans have answered their country’s call, and at AT&T we take our responsibility to answer their calls for support, assistance, and opportunities very seriously.
Since communications is our business, we’ve been able — and willing — to help keep military families connected during the holidays. Last year we provided more than a million dollars in phone cards. We’ve been doing this since the first Gulf War and have been privileged to put more than eight-million dollars in prepaid phone cards into the hands of our military personnel.
Our commitment to veterans doesn’t end with their separation from the service. And because returning home can be as challenging as being deployed, we’ve developed a program that helps veterans translate their military proficiencies into the corresponding skills needed by AT&T. We also work to connect veterans with one of the more than 3,000 AT&T veterans who are willing to provide “in person” insight and assistance about careers in our company.
We know that the cost of service to our country can be great. Almost three-and-a-half million veterans have a service-connected disability. We’re working with California Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises in a program called Operation Hand Salute to provide mentoring, workshops, classes, and webinars that enable veterans with disabilities to shine as they develop their civilian careers.
We’ve also worked with Alorica ( a contract management and call center company) to begin a revolutionary customer care program staffed entirely by veterans with disabilities. This team uses telecommuting to get the job done, as they support AT&T business customers.
We’re fortunate to be able to support active military personnel, their families, and veterans with a host of programs, hiring practices, policies (like support for reservists called to active duty), charitable contributions, and event sponsorships.
And, because we know that even though a person may leave active duty they remain a veteran forever, we will continue innovating in ways that are of service to our veterans, not just on their special day — but every day. We’ve been at this for more than 85 years, and we’ll keep at it for as long as there are veterans.