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On Veterans Day, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. reported that it has hired more than 20,000 military veterans since the rollout of its "Welcome Home Commitment" on Memorial Day. The Bentonville, Ark.-based mega-retailer additionally began its holiday giving initiatives with a $2 million donation to Kingston, N.Y.-based Operation Homefront and Fisher House, based in Rockville, Md., to provide toys, meals and lodging to needy military families. The donation will also enable hundreds of active-duty service members to come home for the holidays.
The holiday donation is on top of the Walmart Foundation’s commitment to give $20 million through 2015 to help veterans and their families adjust to civilian life via job training, transition support and education.
The company is “reinforcing our pledge to hire, learn from and support our military heroes in every way we can, whether it’s recruiting veterans or reuniting military families during the holidays,” said Walmart U.S. President and CEO Bill Simon, himself a U.S. Navy veteran. “Through their service, our troops give us a land of freedom. We will keep doing our part to give them a land of possibility.”
Earlier this year, the company pledged to give a job to any honorably discharged veteran within his or her first 12 months off active duty. Since the Welcome Home Commitment launched this past Memorial Day, more than 20,000 veterans have begun working for Walmart. “We are proud of the progress that has been made to this point, and we applaud other companies that have made their own hiring pledges, including most recently Starbucks, in what truly should be a national effort,” noted Simon.
Walmart places veterans in roles that best match their skills and professional goals. The company anticipates that its commitment will result in the hiring of more than 100,000 veterans over the next five years. One of the largest private employers of veterans in the country, Walmart currently has more than 100,000 veterans working for it, along with another 150,000 associates who are part of veteran and military families.
Consumers can also go online to donate to Fisher House’s “Sponsor a Family” program and Operation Homefront, as well as visit Walmart’s Wall of Honor, where anyone can pay tribute to and share about the veterans they know or join the conversation by following @WalmartVeterans on Twitter.
Walmart operates more than 11,000 stores under 69 banners in 27 countries and e-commerce websites in 10 countries. The company employs more than 2.2 million associates worldwide.