FORT WORTH, Texas, March 23, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- American Airlines employees this week will reaffirm their commitment to our nation’s military with annual events paying tribute to Medal of Honor recipients. The events culminate with a charter flight carrying 28 recipients and their families to Washington D.C. for National Medal of Honor Day events and activities. The airline also announced today that as part of its employee-led Fuel Smart program, which safely reduces fuel consumption throughout the airline, a donation of $115,000 will be made to Air Compassion for Veterans (ACV).
“American Airlines’ 100,000 employees are privileged to recognize the outstanding service of the recipients of our nation’s highest military honor for valor in combat,” said Scott Kirby, president, American Airlines and a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. “Our long-standing commitment to veterans is demonstrated by the thousands of hours our employees donate every year to great causes. Over the course of the next two days, hundreds of American volunteers will once again be out in full force to show their support for this most distinguished group of heroes.”
“The American Airlines pilots who will transport Medal of Honor recipients to this week’s events are volunteering their time,” said Capt. Keith Wilson, president of the Allied Pilots Association. “Many of our pilots are veterans themselves and know firsthand the sacrifices involved in military service. It’s our privilege to help recognize those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to earn the nation’s highest military honor.”
The celebrations begin this evening when 33 of the 77 living Medal of Honor recipients and their guests will attend 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 Thursday morning with a ceremonial brunch at John F. Kennedy International Airport during which three American employees will be recognized for recording the most volunteer hours in the company – each with more than 1400 hours.
Thomas Duncan – Customer Service Agent, TPA
Jennifer Knisely – Senior Analyst, DFW
Kim Peysha – Supervisor, Flight Service, DFW
Following the ceremony, recipients will board a Boeing 757 with a full hero’s sendoff en route to the nation’s capital where they will be greeted upon arrival with a water cannon salute and large employee welcome. American is honored to be the official airline of the Medal of Honor Foundation’s Medal of Honor Day for the seventh consecutive year.
“We truly appreciate the support that American Airlines provides to those who have received our nation’s highest military honor,” said Ron Rand, president and CEO of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. “We’re excited about the strong partnership that we’ve forged with American and we really appreciate the support from all the dedicated employees who share our commitment to maintaining the medal’s historic legacy.”
During the JFK event, twenty employees will be recognized for their dedicated commitment to saving fuel, which directly benefits military-related causes that American supports. Additionally, American will make a donation of $115,000 to Air Compassion for Veterans (ACV). American Airlines employees support service members every day through participation in Fuel Smart, an employee-led program that safely reduces fuel consumption throughout the airline. A portion of the money saved by reducing fuel is donated to Air Compassion for Veterans (ACV), a non-profit organization which helps veterans, active service members and their families travel for medical, counseling and rehabilitation needs.
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 October, American will once again serve as the official airline of the National Medal of Honor Convention, which will take place in Minneapolis.
American Airlines has long-standing ties to the nation's armed forces. With more than 6,000 employees who are active military or veterans, 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.
Can’t make it to D.C. to welcome and personally thank some of America’s bravest? Follow @AmericanAir on Snapchat, Twitter to get an inside look at the brunch, charter flight, and learn more about our veterans.
For more information about the ways American Airlines supports military, veterans and their families, please visit AA.com/joinus.
About the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation
The Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation was founded in 1999 by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society to perpetuate the legacy of the Medal. Through character development, scholarship and citizen recognition programs based on the values embodied in the Medal — courage, sacrifice, selfless service and patriotism — the Foundation teaches all citizens that they can make a difference in the lives of others. The Foundation also supports the important work of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with Tax ID #25-1828488, the Foundation carries a rating of 4/4 stars for fiscal management, accountability and transparency from Charity Navigator, America’s premiere nonprofit evaluator.
About American Airlines Group
American Airlines and American Eagle offer an average of nearly 6,700 flights per day to nearly 350 destinations in more than 50 countries. American has hubs in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C. American is a founding member of the oneworld alliance, whose members and members-elect serve nearly 1,000 destinations with 14,250 daily flights to 150 countries. Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. trade on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol AAL. In 2015, its stock joined the S&P 500 index. Connect with American on Twitter @AmericanAir and at Facebook.com/AmericanAirlines.
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Source:American Airlines Group, Inc.