FORT WORTH: American Airlines team members will reaffirm their commitment to our nation’s military with annual events paying tribute to Medal of Honor recipients this week. The events culminate with a charter flight carrying 25 recipients and their families to Washington D.C. for National Medal of Honor Day events and activities.
“American Airlines and our more than 100,000 team members are proud to partner with the National Medal of Honor Society to pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of the recipients of our nation’s highest military award for valor in combat,” said David Seymour, senior vice president, Integrated Operations at American and graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point.
“Our long-standing commitment to veterans and their families is unwavering. Many of our team members, including the pilots flying today, are veterans and know firsthand the dedication and sacrifice required of those who serve. Today we demonstrate along with the hundreds of our team members who volunteer thousands of hours every year to causes like this and so many more that are so close to our hearts.”
The celebrations began yesterday when 25 of the 75 living Medal of Honor recipients and their guests attended the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation’s annual Circle of Honor dinner at the New York Stock Exchange. The event celebrates their courage, selfless service and patriotism.
The events continue Friday morning with a hero’s sendoff at John F. Kennedy International Airport before boarding an Airbus 321T bound for the nation’s capital. Upon arrival at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, they will be greeted with a water cannon salute and a large employee and community welcome. Recipients and their families will then be escorted to a special luncheon hosted by American in their honor at the Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City, during which American will recognize team members for their efforts and recording the most volunteer hours with military and veterans’ organizations.
“American Airlines is a phenomenal partner who provides a better-than first-class flying experience for America’s truest heroes, the recipients of the Medal of Honor,” said Ron Rand, president and CEO of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. “We deeply appreciate American’s support and service — from the NYC-to-DC charter flight to the smallest details — during National Medal of Honor day events and activities. What makes it so special is the enthusiasm and passion the American Airlines volunteers demonstrate. They make sure every flight for our recipients is an unforgettable experience.”
Since 2009, American has been involved with the foundation by supporting the Medal of Honor recipients and the organization’s activities. In 2011, the company became the first airline to offer all current and future Medal of Honor recipients top-tier Executive Platinum® status in its AAdvantage® loyalty program. Given to only its most elite customers, this status ensures these heroic individuals will have access to all elite amenities during their travel experience. In September, American will once again serve as the official airline of the National Medal of Honor Convention, which will take place in Pueblo, Colorado.
American Airlines has long-standing ties to the nation’s armed forces. With more than 6,000 team members who are veterans or still serving in the reserve component, the airline places a strong emphasis on these initiatives via in-kind contributions to nonprofit organizations. These organizations include Snowball Express, Honor Flights, and the Gary Sinise Foundation.