American Airlines and its employees work year round to honor and support our heroes, both active military members and veterans. From the Miles in Support of All Who Serve program to our participation with Honor Flight, we do our best to thank them for their service. But as Veterans Day approaches, it’s time to go beyond everyday efforts and salute veterans and remember and honor the sacrifices they made.
This year, as American and its employees show support and gratitude, we put a special spotlight on Vietnam veterans for the 50th anniversary of the start of the Vietnam War. As a Commemorative Partner of the Department of Defense, American is sponsoring events systemwide that pay tribute to employees, employees’ immediate family members and retirees who are Vietnam War-era veterans (1955-1975), including personnel who were held as prisoners of war (POW) or listed as missing in action (MIA).
At hubs and bases throughout the country, special ceremonies are scheduled where Vietnam-era veteran employees and family members will be recognized and receive a special commemorative pin. “It’s good to be recognized,” said Michael Fidler, Vietnam veteran and supervisor – Line Maintenance, CLT. “If there is one thing I want people to know about my service it would be that I served.”
In addition to the Veterans Day program, American hosts several annual events that support active military members, veterans and their families:Skyball
Nov. 4: 50th Anniversary of the start of the Vietnam War: American will honor employee veterans at all hubs and at TUL.
Nov. 13-17: Salute to the Troops: American and partner(s) send a group of wounded service members on Las Vegas weekend, complete with dinner and a show.
Dec. 12: Seats for Soldiers: American and the Dallas Mavericks fly in injured veterans recovering at the San Antonio VA for a fine dinner and some choice seats at an awesome game.
Dec. 12-16: Snowball Express: American brings children of military fallen heroes who have died while on active duty since 9/11 together for a four-day experience to the children
Dec. 29: Armed Forces Bowl: For the sixth year, American is a sponsor of the ESPN Events, Lockheed Martin American Forces Bowl. American will host military members, veterans and their families.
CLT Customer Service Agent Bernadette Bean speaks with a North Carolina Patriot Guard member at the ceremony. Bernadette is also an Army veteran. On Nov. 4th, American hosted events systemwide honoring veterans who served during the Vietnam War.
Wilfredo Diaz Jr. hugs his father and Vietnam veteran Wilfredo Diaz Sr. after pinning a commemorative pin onto his father’s lapel at a ceremony at DFW. American employees honored the courage and sacrifice of 1,300 American employees, retirees and family members who served during the Vietnam War at systemwide events.
On Oct. 24, several of the country’s living recipients of the Medal of Honor along with many distinguished guests and dignitaries attend Sky Ball XIII. For 13 years, American has teamed with the Airpower Foundation to stage the event, raising more than $4.5 million in the past four years alone. The Airpower Foundation raises funds for programs that directly benefit veterans, military members and their families.
Sky Ball XIII attendees enjoy dinner and live entertainment at DFW Hanger No. 5, which was turned into a banquet hall for the black-tie gala. The annual event works to honor military service members, wounded warriors and their families.
Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price attends Sky Ball XIII, an annual event that raises funds for organizations that support military members, veterans and their families.
International superstar Pitbull performs during the Here’s to the Heroes concert, a tribute to the nation’s military members and veterans. More than 1,500 American employee volunteers offered their time and talents to put on Sky Ball XIII. American is the title sponsor and employees work tirelessly to make the event possible.
Comedian and ventriloquist Terry Fator performs at the Here’s to the Heroes concert, a special evening of performances for military service members, wounded warriors and their families. Those in attendance included Vietnam veterans, Medal of Honor recipients and members of all five branches of the U.S. military.
Entertainers Connie Stevens, Tony Orlando and Ann-Margret perform for the attendees at Sky Ball XIII.
American joined with the Philadelphia Eagles in honoring military service members at the Nov. 15 game. Employees from JFK who had served in the military were invited to attend. American is the official airline for the Philadelphia Eagles.