Memorial Day allows us to recognize the tremendous sacrifice of the men and women of our armed forces, while also honoring their ongoing service to their communities. This year, the leadership of the philanthropic sector will inspire a renewed significance to this special day.
After nearly 13 years, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will have come to an end and nearly 2 million service men and women will have returned home. This stateside surge presents new opportunities to offer support to military families as they transition home. Faced with challenges in employment and access to physical and mental health treatment, but also offering unique leadership and skills, we must ensure our veterans have a successful return to civilian life.
As a reflection of our commitment to help meet these needs, Agility Defense & Government Services is taking the Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge with more than 30 philanthropic organizations to make sure veterans and military families receive the long-term support they deserve. We are proud to be working in close partnership with the Joining Forces initiative led by First Lady Michelle Obama and Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden, and supported by groups from the nonprofit, philanthropic, and corporate sectors.
This effort includes a combined commitment of more than $170 million over the next five years to help create affordable housing, provide health and wellness services, support education and job training, prevent domestic violence, expand economic opportunities, and more.
Agility DGS is proud to host the annual Paralyzed Veterans Golf Open (PVGO) on June 9, 2014. As the Founding Sponsor of the event, we underwrite all costs of the tournament, so 100% of contributions go directly to Operation PAVE (Paving Access for Veterans Employment). PAVE is Paralyzed Veterans of America’s program that provides free, one-on-one career assistance, benefits counseling and support to any veteran and assistance to employers committed to hiring veterans.
To date, the PVGO has raised $1.8 million for Operation PAVE and helped open new program centers in San Antonio, Augusta, Tampa and Chicago. This year’s proceeds will help fund the continuing expansion of the PAVE program. The PAVE program expansion is strategically aligned and in collaboration with Department of Labor and the Veterans Administration to service veterans in multiple locations across the country.
For their commitment and selflessness, our veterans and military families deserve the best support. As Americans come together to recognize their great sacrifice this Memorial Day, I am honored to be a part of group of philanthropic leaders that are dedicated to ensuring our service men and women receive the long-term support they deserve.