U.S. airlines honor those who have served this Veteran’s Day
November 09, 2023
On Veteran’s Day and every day, U.S. airlines celebrate the heroes who have served and continue to serve our nation. Veteran’s Day is more than just a date on our calendar, it’s a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by men and women who have served in the United States military. Airlines for America’s (A4A) member carriers are proud to provide opportunities for service members in myriad ways.
Veterans are critical to our country and play an essential role in the aviation industry due to the transferable skills and training they learned during their time in the service. Their discipline, leadership, adaptability and experience with advanced technology are invaluable skills in the military and in the aviation sector. A4A’s member airlines honor veterans today and throughout the year.
Alaska Airlines takes great pride in their Fallen Hero Program which includes 15 patriotic “Fallen Hero” carts at airports nationwide with a goal of having a cart at every station they serve at. A group of Alaska maintenance and engineering team members founded the program in 2011 with the goal of providing a dignified transport for fallen service members as they make their final trip home. This program is accessible to any airline.
One way American honors veterans is by partnering twice a year with United Service Organizations (USOs) in their Salute to the Troops events which honor service members who have been injured in the line of duty and their families. In honor of Military Appreciation Month in May, the first trip took military cancer patients and their families to Disney World for a VIP experience while the second trip is sending patients from Walter Reed National Military Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, to Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas over Veterans Day Weekend.
Atlas Air provides world-class airlift support to military members who are defending the United States and its global interests.
Atlas Air also takes pride in training many members of the Air Force’s “most elite” aircrews including pilots and engineers of the U.S. President’s Air Force One (selected to train at the training center in Miami, FL) as well as the flight crew members assigned to the E-48 National Airborne Operations Center.
Additionally, Atlas provides transport to military members and provides freight capacities to handle special military equipment and other critical cargo.
Delta Air Lines:
For the past nine years, Delta’s SkyWish Program has partnered with Fisher House Foundation’s Hero Miles program and Luke’s Wings to donate air travel miles to wounded, injured or ill retired or active-duty service members in addition to their families in the event they need treatment.
Since 1990, Fisher House Foundation has saved military families more than $575 million by providing shelter for families of loved ones receiving medical care at major military and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers. Fisher House Foundation supports 96 houses across the U.S. and in Europe. Delta has supported the construction of four of those homes.
Since 2008, Luke’s Wings has provided active-duty military, retirees and their families complimentary airfare throughout their whole recovery process. Since the beginning, Delta has provided 16,000 flights and is continuing to do so.
For the 6th year in a row, FedEx partnered with United Service Organizations (USO) for their holiday packing event. Nearly 200 FedEx team members stocked over 13,300 care packages consisting of candy, snacks, holiday socks, a deck of playing cars and more at the FedEx Forum in Memphis. These volunteers “put a smile in every bag packed” while spreading cheer to our troops as FedEx delivered them to remote locations in the Pacific.
Hawaiian Airlines has partnered with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT) SkillBridge program. Since 2019, when SkillBridge began, they have guided more than 380 veterans by helping them re-enter civilian life. Whether a veteran is separating or retiring from the military, this program enables veterans to utilize their skills in the civilian aviation and aerospace sector.
JetBlue launched its eight-gateway development program known as Gateway Rotor Transition Program (RTP) this year. The program utilizes skills veterans learned during their time in the military and allows them to translate their military trained helicopter expertise toward becoming pilots for JetBlue. Veterans are taught a special skill set that not every pilot has such as crew resource management and threat and error management which enable these pilots in training to have a smoother transition into JetBlue University.
Since 2009, Southwest has partnered with the Honor Flight Network in efforts to send military heroes to see national memorials and monuments in Washington, D.C., ensuring they have the opportunity to visit, reflect and pay tribute to fallen soldiers. Since November 2022, Southwest Airlines has donated over 12,150 (and counting) tickets to veterans from all branches of the military.
United Airlines offers their United Military Pilot Program which provides numerous opportunities as veterans search for post-military careers. In order to ensure a smooth transition from the military to United, veterans coming in are “buddied” with a current pilot who will give guidance throughout the program.
For years, UPS has worked closely with veterans from all branches to provide unique job opportunities for veterans returning home. Their VetFran program allows veterans to use their “entrepreneurial spirit and drive” to own a business of their own. The program also offers qualifying veterans $15,000 off the franchise fee. The UPS store network now has 223 veteran franchises operating out of 432 store locations, who are participating in the VetFran Program.
For more information on the airline’s commitment to veterans, visit https://www.airlines.org/airlines-give-back/.