PHILADELPHIA (May 7, 2021) — Members of the United States Military are on call 365 days a year defending the interests and security of our nation. The mission of the U.S. Military did not pause despite the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, many of our Nation’s servicemen and women were called upon to deliver medical supplies, personal protective equipment (PPE) and administer vaccines in response to the global pandemic.
During “Military Appreciation Month” this May, we celebrate our service members and express gratitude for all that they and their families sacrifice. This year, as thousands of service members provide support for the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to honor and “salute” these brave men and women.
This May, three Philadelphia sports teams are teaming up with their 25 local Toyota Dealers to thank and honor the six branches who serve in the Nation’s military. This month-long, market-wide campaign centered around Military Appreciation Month includes public-service messaging from the Flyers (NHL), Phillies (MLB) and 76ers (NBA) expressing appreciation and support for the men and women of America’s Armed Forces.
This collaborative effort for Military Appreciation Month is part of the larger ongoing partnership the Tri-State Toyota Dealers have with Philadelphia’s major professional sports teams with efforts to recognize, honor and support those who are serving – and, have served – in the U.S. Military. The overall collaboration together with Toyota is part of each team’s individual efforts to “salute” active military members and honor veterans throughout the year.
“The Tri-State Toyota Dealers are pleased and honored to join forces again with our Philadelphia sports teams to support our active military and veterans here in the Delaware Valley. This is our home and these are our local service men and women to recognize and support,” said Paul Muller, President of the local Tri-State Toyota Dealers Association. “To be able to do that alongside our sports partners is always a privilege – and, a collaboration that is purely ‘Philadelphian’. As the local Toyota Dealers, we are so proud to take part throughout the year and every year,” Muller added.
A large part of these Military Appreciation-centered efforts this May will include honoring veterans and active members of the military during “military appreciation” games taking place at the Sports Complex – including Toyota-sponsored events at The Wells Fargo Center for the Flyers (Monday, May 10) and 76ers (Friday, May 14), as well as at Citizens Bank Park for the Phillies (Friday, May 21).
These activities will begin at Wells Fargo Center on May 10 with Toyota in its eighth year as the presenting sponsor of the Philadelphia Flyers’ annual “Military Appreciation Night,” whereby Toyota will provide 50 tickets to local veterans and active military for that night’s game. The Flyers and Toyota have teamed up to provide over 4,000 commemorative rally towels in honor of our Nation’s military to fans in attendance at the game.
“For the past 8 years, the Flyers have been proud to partner with Toyota to support the brave men and women of our armed forces, and we’re looking forward to building on that tradition with this year’s Military Appreciation Game,” said Valerie Camillo, President of Business Operations for the Philadelphia Flyers and Wells Fargo Center. “We owe so much to our veterans and active members of the Armed Forces, and this event is one way we can say ‘thank you’ for all their sacrifices,” Camillo added.
The Philadelphia 76ers’ will host its annual “Stars & Stripes” Military Appreciation Game at The Wells Fargo Center later in the week on Friday, May 14. In honor of this year’s “Stars & Stripes” event, the 76ers collaborated with Toyota to donate 50 tickets to members of the military and their families to attend this special game on May 14. In the eighth year as the presenting sponsor of the 76ers’ Military Appreciation Night, Toyota partnered with the 76ers to provide 5,000 fans in attendance with a commemorative “Stars & Stripes” rally towel.
“Together with Toyota, the 76ers are committed to celebrating our Nation’s armed forces all year round through the ‘Stars & Stripes’ platform. We are looking forward to hosting our ‘Military Appreciation’ game on Friday, May 14, to honor those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom,” said Chris Heck, President of the Philadelphia 76ers. “The night is a small token of our appreciation as we continue to support and engage military members and their families in our communities,” Heck added.
The Philadelphia professional sports community’s Military Appreciation Month activities in May will culminate on Friday, May 21, when the Philadelphia Phillies will host its annual “Salute to Service” game presented by Toyota at Citizens Bank Park. As part of the tribute, the Phillies and Toyota will salute veterans and active members of the military, including an honorary military member leading fans in the reciting of the “Pledge of Allegiance” and throwing out that night’s ceremonial first pitch. Several military members from the region will be honored as “Frontline Heroes” and Toyota will also host nearly two dozen military members at the game.
“It is an honor for the Phillies to once again team up with Toyota to pay tribute to our Nation’s heroes,” said Dave Buck, Executive Vice President of the Philadelphia Phillies. “These brave men and women have sacrificed so much for our freedom – and this past year, they have stepped up to the plate even more, playing a key role in our Nation’s response to the pandemic. We look forward to joining our fans as we tip our caps to all our service members during our ‘Salute to Service’ presented by Toyota, as well as throughout Military Appreciation Month,” Buck added.
Each of these three Philadelphia sports teams are deeply involved in their communities, supporting veterans and active military members. As a part of those activities, each team supports Toyota’s efforts to highlight the Hiring Our Heroes (HOH) program from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Hiring Our Heroes is an important program helping to enable those brave men and women who have served with tools and opportunities to translate their valuable skills and experience back into civilian life, including the Personal Branding Initiative championed by Medal of Honor Recipient and HOH Ambassador, Marine Sergeant Dakota Meyer (Ret.).
“I had a hard time figuring out my next steps when I left the Marine Corps, so I know firsthand how frustrating that transition period can be for a young service member,” said Sgt. Meyer. “My goal serving the HOH program is to share my personal experience with as many transitioning servicemen and women as possible, so they can not only have a smooth transition into the civilian workforce, but use their leadership skills to take our economy to the next level.”
During all three military appreciation games in May, the Philadelphia Flyers, 76ers, and Phillies will recognize three honored veterans who are also HOH Ambassadors: U.S. Navy Lieutenant, Brad Snyder (ret); Sergeant Major Ron Green (ret), the 18th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps; and The Honorable Patrick Murphy, U.S. Army veteran and former Pennsylvania Congressman, U.S. Congressman, and the 32nd Undersecretary of the U.S. Army.
Collectively representing our Nation’s armed services, all three of these veterans will be recognized for their work as Hiring Our Heroes Ambassadors helping veterans, service personnel and military spouses to find meaningful jobs and careers once they return to civilian life. Due to current attendance restrictions, Hon. Murphy will be the sole in-person representative at any of the games.
Sergeant Major Ron Green (ret) was the 18th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, the highest ranking enlisted position in the United States Marine Corps. He joined the Hiring Our Heroes Ambassador team in 2019 to ensure service members, veterans and family members are prepared to drive their future and plan for their next career move.
“We have a responsibility to return our Marines and families back to their civilian communities better than they came to us,” said SgtMa. Green. “We train and prepare them to enter the military successfully, so we must train and prepare them for civilian employment.”
Lieutenant Brad Snyder, U.S. Navy (ret) is a combat veteran who lost his sight in Afghanistan. He is now a Team Toyota Paralympian with multiple medals in swimming and paratriathlon. Lt. Snyder joined the Hiring Our Heroes ambassador team to encourage service members and spouses to drive their futures and pursue what’s possible.
“Transition is a lifelong process, not a one-time occurrence.” said Lt. Snyder, “Veterans and military spouses are extremely adaptable in ever-changing environments as they are experts in overcoming adversity.”
A former member of the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, United States Congressman, and the 32nd Undersecretary of the U.S. Army, The Honorable Patrick Murphy is a retired combat veteran and now an Ambassador for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes program, committed to helping our Nation’s veterans and their spouses find meaningful employment:
“As the city where the Army and Marine Corps were founded, it is imperative we ensure our veterans and their spouses have economic opportunity and thrive in our communities. The global pandemic has skyrocketed military spouse unemployment rates to staggering levels which is a threat to the wellness of our military families,” said Hon. Murphy.
The Honorable Patrick Murphy will be in his hometown of Philadelphia working with SgtMa. Green, Lt. Snyder, Toyota, the sports teams and local media throughout the month of May to highlight the importance of helping veterans and military spouses successfully transition back into civilian life.
The Hiring Our Heroes program, championed in partnership with Toyota by Navy Lt. Brad Snyder, Marine SgtMa. Ron Green and The Honorable Patrick Murphy, is an initiative that resonates with Philadelphia’s professional sports teams.
“The 76ers and Toyota are committed to serving our local military. Toyota’s support behind the Hiring Our Heroes program is a perfect example of that effort. We are proud to celebrate this program with 76ers fans during our annual ‘Military Appreciation Night’ on May 14,” said the 76ers’ Chris Heck.
“The Hiring Our Heroes initiative is an invaluable program to assist veterans with their return to civilian life. We applaud Toyota and the Tri-State Toyota Dealers for their continuous efforts to give back to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and are very proud to support this very important cause,” said the Phillies’ Dave Buck.
To support their mission, visit ResumeEngine.org, MyCareerSpark.org and HiringOurHeroes.org to learn more about the Hiring Our Heroes program and how you may help and get involved. And, be sure to support the military appreciation efforts from each of the Philadelphia sports teams honoring the brave men and women of the American Armed Forces.
About Hiring Our Heroes
Hiring Our Heroes is a nationwide initiative to help veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses find meaningful employment. Working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s vast network of state and local chambers and other strategic partners from the public, private and nonprofit sectors, “Hiring Our Heroes” has helped hundreds of thousands of veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment through more than 860 job fairs in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and Germany; a suite of free online career‐based resources; and the Hiring 500,000 Heroes campaign.
Since 2012, Toyota has partnered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on the Hiring Our Heroes initiative to help veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses find meaningful jobs. Toyota worked with Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. Dakota Meyer and Hiring Our Heroes to develop free, online career resources that help vets and spouses translate all their military experiences and volunteer work into language that civilian employers understand. These tools, ResumeEngine.org and MyCareerSpark.org, help translate these skills and produce a tangible resume to be sent to hiring managers and employers. Over 10,525 vetted employers are currently in ResumeEngine.org and MyCareerSpark.org, searching these vet and spouse candidates to fill their open positions, including over 650 Toyota dealers.
About Navy Lieutenant Brad Snyder (Ret.)
Lieutenant Brad Snyder, U.S. Navy (ret) is a combat veteran who lost his sight from an improvised explosive device while serving in the U.S. Navy in Kandahar, Afghanistan. He is a two‐time Team USA Paralympian, and one year to the day following his injuries in Afghanistan, Snyder took gold in the men’s S11 400m free at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Brad is now a seven‐time Paralympic medalist (5 gold, 2 silver) earning medals in swimming and triathlon, and is currently a Team USA paratriathlete training for his third Paralympic Games in Tokyo. Snyder joined the Hiring Our Heroes ambassador team to encourage service members and spouses to drive their futures and pursue what’s possible.
About Sergeant Major Ron Green (ret)
Sergeant Major Ron Green joined Hiring Our Heroes and Toyota as a Personal Branding Ambassador in 2019. Sergeant Major Green joined the Marine Corps in 1983, serving for more than 36 years. He served as the 18th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps before retiring from the Marine Corps in 2019. Green has deployed to Somalia with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit during Operation Restore Hope in 1993; to South America in support of Operation United Americas in 2002; and with Marine
Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 169 in support of the Iraq War's Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2006. His personal awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with gold star, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with four gold stars, and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with two gold stars.
About The Honorable Patrick Murphy
The Honorable Patrick Murphy joined Hiring Our Heroes and Toyota as a Personal Branding Ambassador in the fall of 2017. He is America's first Iraq War veteran elected to the U.S. Congress and later served as the 32nd Undersecretary of the U.S. Army until January 2017. Hon. Murphy was America's first Iraq War Veteran elected to the U.S. Congress after serving two overseas deployments‐Tuzla, Bosnia in 2002 and Baghdad, Iraq in 2003‐04 and earned a Bronze Star for his service. Hon. Murphy provides keynote and opening remarks for Sports Expos, Community Engagement Events, and Transition Summits including Networking Receptions. He is heavily leveraged for engagements with U.S. Army installations.