(Photos by Seitu Oronde)
NEW YORK, NY, November 12- An American military veteran from every conflict dating back to World War II joined hundreds of their brother and sister veterans, members of the Armed Services and fellow New Yorkers on the flight deck of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum to officially announce the first-ever Veterans Week NYC, officially scheduled for November 7 - 14, 2012 and encompassing events and special offers for veterans that run the entire month.
With the New York City Veteran’s Day Parade as its centerpiece, Veterans Week NYC 2012 is the first time that both newly-developed and time-honored events, all devoted to celebrating, thanking and honoring our nation’s veterans and active duty military personnel, have been organized under one comprehensive banner, including seminars, forums, concerts, tours, screenings, symposiums and special benefit galas.
Veterans Week NYC Events that will be open to the public include:
• 93rd Annual Veterans Day Parade and “Patriots Row” Street Fair
• “Band of Pride” Concert in Times Square
• “Reflections” Festival of the Arts featuring the work of veteran and military artists
Wreath Laying Ceremony in Madison Square Park
Special tours of Intrepid and the Space Shuttle Enterprise
Events that will be sponsored specifically for Veterans and their families include:
• Veterans Advantage Jobs and Career Symposium at Citi
• Wounded Warrior Employment & Technology Day at Google
• Bob Woodruff Foundation’s “Stand Up For Heroes” Concert at the Beacon Theater, with a live stream on YouTube
• Savings at events and discounts at participating retailers with the free VetRewards Card
• Veterans Advantage "Heroes Meet Heroes" reception at the New York Athletic Club
• Patriots Tour of Monuments
• A special Veterans Week Screening of “Happy New Year” at Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, which tells the story of Sgt. Cole Lewis (Michael Cuomo), who is finds humanity, compassion and friendship while healing from wounds suffered in Iraq and Afghanistan. Directed by Award-winning writer/director K. Lorrel Manning. Film opens in NY on November 16, 2012.
• Special performance of the Big Apple Circus with live stream on Google+ Hangout
For the most updated calendar of Veterans Week NYC 2012 events, please visit http://www.veteransweeknyc.org.
Veterans Week NYC is a result of a collaborative effort of veterans-related organizations and entities led by Chairman Gerry Byrne, Vice Chairman of Penske Media, owners of Variety, Movieline, Deadline Hollywood and Hollywood Life.
“New York City sets the pace for so much of the rest of our nation, in business, entertainment, government and social programs, and so we are thrilled to again create a new model that we hope will be emulated nationwide,” said Byrne. “With Veterans Week NYC 2012, we demonstrate in a concrete way our appreciation for the veterans who have given so much of themselves to protect our freedom and way of life. We seek to see their service be recognized and honored throughout the year, not just every November.”
General Electric is serving as the presenting sponsor for the first-ever Veterans Week NYC.
“GE is honored to recognize veterans during this important week as part of our long-standing commitment to support them," said GE Chief Security Officer and Brigadier General (ret.) Frank Taylor. "We launched the Get Skills to Work program this week, a coalition of business, digital, academic and not-for-profit partners that aims to train military veterans for jobs in advanced manufacturing, bolster the talent pipeline and enhance American competitiveness. GE has over 10,000 U.S. military veterans in the company and set a goal of hiring 1,000 veterans each year for the next five years. Through our partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes program, GE has hired over 800 veterans in 2012 and has supported over thirty Hiring Our Heroes transition workshops, coaching over 2,000 veterans. GE is also an active member of and donor to several leading national military and veteran support organizations, such as Disabled American Veterans, Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund and the Medal of Honor Foundation, among others."
The 93rd Annual Veterans Day Parade, produced by the United War Veterans Council, is the our nation’s largest tribute to America’s veterans, military service members and their families, drawing more than 600,000 spectators and provides partners, sponsors and participants with an unparalleled opportunity to demonstrate support for our veterans and military while reaching an audience of millions. Visit vetsday.org for Parade information.
“General George Washington said ‘The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war , no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars are treated and appreciated by our Nation,’ said Vince McGowan, Chairman, NYC Veteran's Advisory Board and President of the United War Veterans Council. “NYC, the Capitol of the World, is celebrating our 93rd consecutive Veterans Day Parade and launching the Nation’s first "Veteran's Week" celebration displaying all the opportunity and attention that have been focused through public & private partnerships that end up honoring our citizens’ service in the US Military.”
Citi, Google, Veterans Advantage and the USO serve as Founding Sponsors of Veterans Week NYC 2012.
“Through our Citi Salutes initiative, Citi has a long record supporting our nation’s military veterans and their families with career opportunities, professional mentoring, financial skills assistance, and banking products and services that meet their unique needs,” said Suni Harford, Citi’s Regional Head of Markets for North America. “New York City has been Citi’s hometown for 200 years, and we’re deeply proud to open our doors and join the other organizations supporting Veterans Week NYC in expressing our solemn thanks to the men and women who’ve worn our nation’s uniform.”
“Google is a proud supporter of the U.S. military veteran community and thrilled to share in this historic week for the City of New York. We remain deeply committed to helping all service members and military spouses make a successful transition to civilian life,” said Carrie Laureno, Google’s Audience Evangelist and founder of the Google Veterans Network. “Our Google for Veterans and Families toolkit, Chrome for Wounded, Ill and Injured Warriors, resume and mentoring workshops, and hiring programs, are some of the many ways we are helping veterans and military families around the world pursue their goals.”
Veterans Week NYC also features an exclusive Veterans Advantage Rewards Card which grants veterans and their family members access to a variety of benefits, including discounts with major brands like Verizon Wireless, Apple, Amtrak, Greyhound, Foot Locker, Champs, Wendy’s, Ford and all major car rental companies. There is also access to online savings from partners such as Dell, United Airlines, and various NYC entertainment, dining and sports venues. This special thirty-day VetRewards Card, valid for the month of November, is provided by Veterans Advantage, the nation’s leading veterans benefits program, and is designated as the “Official Card of Veterans Week.”
“As an Army Veteran, and on behalf of Veterans Advantage, I am pleased our VetRewards Card has been chosen as ‘The Official Card of Veterans Week NYC 2012,” said Scott Higgins, CEO and Founder of Veterans Advantage. "The Free VetRewards Card makes it easy for Veterans and their family members to get local New York City discounts and reduced or free admission during the Week,” Higgins added. “Veterans can go to http://www.VeteransWeekNYC.org and enroll for the free card underwritten by our sponsors, including GE, Google, Citi, Foot Locker, Tudor Group, Penn Mutual, Avis/Budget, HBO, For, CUNY AND 1-800-Flowers, and get special savings on travel, shopping and entertainment for over 2,000 events and discounts in the New York City area.”
The Bob Woodruff Foundation and the New York Comedy Festival will present its annual “Stand Up For Heroes” benefit at the Beacon Theater, featuring Bruce Springsteen.
“The Bob Woodruff Foundation is honored to be a part of the inaugural Veterans Week. We are committed to ensuring injured service members and their families successfully reintegrate and thrive. Events like Stand Up for Heroes and Veterans Week generate critical support and awareness. We will spread the momentum into communities across the country by investing in innovative solutions to the needs of our returning veterans like to suicide prevention and barriers to employment,” said, Anne Marie Dougherty, executive director, Bob Woodruff Foundation.