Summer time turns our thoughts to vacation, picnics, baseball and hours of leisure time. Yet at the start of summer there is that Memorial Day and then of course the Fourth of July,
that reminds us that our freedoms are due in part to those who serve in the military.
As many people are gearing up for summer, one of the first things they do is go shopping and this is one of the reasons why Macy's is working in partnership with a national military campaign called "Got Your Six." It is a part of Macy’s “American Icons” Campaign. This partnership raised over $3.4 million for the Got Your 6 nonprofit partners. "The aim is to change the conversation around America’s millions of military veterans," said Megan Pardo, media relations manager for Macy's at Union Square in San Francisco.
She explained, "in the military, 'got your six' is a term that means "I've got your back." Uniting the resources of the entertainment industry with a coalition of more than 30 veteran- focused, nonprofit partners, the collaboration is dedicated to improving veteran reintegration, celebrating veterans as leaders and civic assets, and putting their skills to work at home. 'Got Your 6' focuses on six pillars of reintegration—jobs, education, health, housing, family and leadership.
In 2011, ServiceNation, a non-profit hosted a convening of every major studio, network, talent agency, and guild in the entertainment industry to discuss veterans’ issues.
The result was a year long discussion between many partners in Hollywood, at the Clinton Global Initiative domestic convening, and with the White House and other government entities including First Lady Michelle Obama’s Joining Forces Initiative. In a little more than a year, these conversations evolved into an unprecedented awareness and activation campaign led by the entire industry and aimed at changing the conversation in our country regarding veterans and military families.
"Got Your 6" intends to take significant steps toward bridging the growing civilian-military divide in this country. More than one million military service members will reenter civilian life over the next five years. And, ServiceNation, Be The Change, Inc. and others are working to help these individuals to succeed.
This is encouraging news, especially in these uncertain times when families are struggling economically and the armed conflicts in the Middle East continue.
Incidentally, summer time is also when the annual The Brain at War conference is held in San Francisco. Now in its sixth year, the conference takes place at the historic Marines’ Memorial Club and Hotel just off Union Square. As the conflict in Afghanistan has continued to escalate, military officials and medical professionals gather to discuss the advances science and technology has made so far and how best to implement these advances to help returning war veterans.
The impact the war on terrorism has made upon military service personnel and their families has been overwhelming. Many who have served or continue to serve on repeated tours of duty, suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress, a brain-injury caused by experiencing a traumatic event. Anyone who has gone through a life-threatening event can develop PTS. These events can include combat or military exposure, sexual or physical abuse, terrorist attacks and natural disasters.
Often people can forget that as the conflict continues, the injuries returning military personal suffer from continue to grow. Next to loss of limbs, Post-Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury are the most pervasive injury military soldiers suffer from.
The conference and its affiliations to the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has been working tirelessly to raise public awareness about the physical and psychological injuries returning military personnel struggle with daily.
To be remembered and supported by the American people is profound, especially when so many in the military risk their lives to preserve and protect basic freedoms we all can take 'as granted.'
"Yes, it is true, we get so busy with our everyday lives, we as Americans can often forget the precious price of freedom," said local author Joseph Sutton. He has just published his second book about everyone's favorite pastime of summer, baseball. "I think it means a great deal," said Sutton. "The men and women who serve in the armed forces deserve recognition. When the public takes the time to acknowledge them and consider the sacrifice those in military service make in service to the nation's freedom, it means a lot," he said.
"American Icons" and summer time is the theme as shoppers stroll through Macy's stores like the one at Union Square in downtown San Francisco. During the summer months, Macy's is raising funds for military veterans, through its "Got your back" initiative that was established in 2012.
To support Got Your 6 and their non-profit partners, Macy’s is introducing a special savings pass with the goal of raising $3 million to benefit the effort. "This began on May 12, said Prado, where customers can give $3 at any register and get a 20 to15 percent savings pass for a day they choose or wear their support by purchasing a 'Got Your 6' pin for $6.00 and also receive the discount."
One hundred percent of the purchase price will be donated to 'Got Your 6' and its non-profit partners to empower returning veterans and military families, up to $3 million. Happily, the response to Macy's help in the effort has been positive. The campaign continues as the needs of veterans and their families is growing. For more info, visit the Macy's web site.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com