Once again, this year Lin and I are participating with our Veterans Advantage team in the annual New York City Veterans Day Parade. As we celebrate its 96th anniversary, we will be parading up New York’s historic Fifth Avenue, joined by our fellow Veterans Advantage members, and an expected 250 groups, totaling over 20,00 parade participants.
As in previous years, we are sponsoring our own float for the New York City 2015 parade to raise awareness of the service and sacrifice of our nation’s veterans and their families. Our members will be supporting us in this mission, as we will share what promises to be an unforgettable parade day. We will experience the power of our collective community with a tremendous sense of purpose and pride. Most importantly, we will have the opportunity to enjoy what Veterans Day is all about—our national day of respect and recognition!
Each year, as our team rides on our Veterans Advantage float, I’m reminded of the day I returned home as a young Army Lieutenant from Vietnam. That day was lonely; there were no parades or crowds delivering a special ‘welcome home’. It was a time that our servicemembers lacked the deep gratitude and overwhelming thanks our U.S. armed forces and their families now receive as I participate in this parade.
That’s why today our mission at Veterans Advantage is simple: to make sure we always remember to deliver greater recognition, respect and rewards for those who serve.
While November 11 is our Veterans Day, at Veterans Advantage we advocate for our members who have served and their families to be remembered every day of the year with new benefits. We work with our coalition partners to create exclusive benefits our members can redeem as a thank you for their service, every hour of the day, every day of the week, every week of the year, year after year.
Once again, looking back to the Vietnam War, I am reminded that this year’s parade also marks 50 years since the start of the Vietnam War. Veterans Advantage has agreed to participate as a designated United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration Commemorative Partner. As such, we are engaged in this national effort, authorized by the Secretary of Defense, for sponsoring programs and events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.
After the New York City parade, I’m proud to say that we will be hosting, along with IMAX and HBO, a free screening of HBO’s Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam, an Emmy-award winning movie, as a Vietnam War Commemoration Commemorative Partner event. The movie has its origins in a book published by the New York City Vietnam Veterans Memorial Commission, a group I co-chaired to build a memorial to all NYC vets who sacrificed their lives in Vietnam. Please support this event and join us at the IMAX Theater AMC Loews 34th Street IMAX Theater in New York City at 7 p.m., November 11, 2015.
To learn more about 2015 Veterans Week NYC events throughout November, check out the schedule at www.veteransweeknyc.org.