Each year, American Airlines and our employees work to support veterans, those currently serving in the military, and their families with a myriad of initiatives. Our Patriotic Six campaign — held the six weeks between Memorial Day and Independence Day — offers a perfect opportunity to tap into our patriotic spirit and celebrate the dedication and sacrifice of our nation’s service members. Along with proudly raising our flags on Flag Day (June 14) and July 4th, American and our employees participate with a handful of activities.
This year, American’s Military and Veterans Initiatives team kicks off Patriotic Six early with a focus on educating students on the history of military service in this country.
As part of American’s sponsorship of this year’s G.I. Film Festival in Washington DC, we are proud to be part of a screening of the movie The Luft Gangster: Memoirs of a Second Class Hero. Director Mike Rott will then screen his documentary on Tuskegee Airman Lt. Col (Ret.) Alexander Jefferson, an African American fighter pilot who served in World War II in spite of racial prejudice and segregation, to students at an area high school in the Washington, DC school district. Following the film, Rott and members of the Washington D.C. chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen will participate in a panel discussion with the students.
G.I. Film Festival featuring Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band: American supports the Gary Sinise Foundation and his Lt. Dan Band, which performs around the world for members of the military and to raise awareness of the projects that the foundation is involved in. The annual G.I. Film Festival, honors U.S. service members through quality film portrayals.
Carry the Load: American Airlines sponsors this annual march to raise awareness and donations for military, law enforcement, firefighters and rescue personnel. Starting in both Boston and Seattle, and converging in Dallas, this relay event covers 6,600 miles over 32 days, and concludes with the Dallas Memorial March over Memorial Day Weekend.
National Memorial Day Parade: Washington, D.C.’s annual celebration draws nearly 300,000 spectators each year to honor our nation’s service members. Performer Tony Orlando will ride aboard an American-sponsored float in support of Snowball Express, which unites family members of those service members who have died in service to our country and brings new, happy memories to the children.
American is proud to have the support of its customers in these causes that are dear to our employees. With our customers’ generosity, we are honored to be working together to make a difference. During Patriotic Six, customers can donate their AAdvantage miles to our Miles for All Who Serve program, which works with organizations to support veterans, military members and their families.
On May 20, US Airways 400th Honor Flight received a cheering welcome at DCA. Employee volunteers greeted 70 WWII veterans who flew into Washington Reagan National Airport from Fort Wayne, Ind. Customer Care Agent and volunteer organizer Greg Locher made the milestone event — which carried its 1,000th veteran and included a 101-year-old female Army veteran — one to remember. Veterans arrived to a rolled out a red carpet and festivities featured swing dancers, a choir and band.
Thousands of participants and spectators came to Dallas’ Reverchon Park Memorial Day weekend for the 20-hour Carry the Load Memorial Day March. Participants walked to honor service members, including police officers and fire fighters, who have fallen. “This walk has great meaning to me as a retired Naval Aviator and current Pilot with American Airlines,” DFW-based Pilot Jimmy Cox (pictured) said. “Each year, my sons and I walk with Active and Retired Military Veterans and Americans from every walk of life to honor those that have paid the highest price for our freedom.”