PHILADELPHIA (November 2, 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.
In honor of Veterans Day this month, four Philadelphia sports teams are teaming up again with their 25 local Toyota Dealers to thank, honor, and “salute” the 22 million brave men and women who have served in the Nation’s military. The month-long, market-wide military appreciation campaign centered around Veterans Day Week includes joint public-service messaging from Philadelphia’s Eagles (NFL), Phillies (MLB), 76ers (NBA), and Flyers (NHL) expressing appreciation and support for the men and women of America’s Armed Forces.
This collaborative effort for “Military Appreciation Month” in November 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 Tri-State Toyota Dealers are pleased and honored to join forces again with each of 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 Tri-State Toyota Dealers Association. “And, to be able to do that alongside all of our sports partners is a privilege, and quite frankly, a collaboration that I don’t believe happens anywhere else in the country. It’s purely ‘Philadelphian’, and we are so proud to take part,” Muller added.
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.
“We are so grateful to our men and women in uniform who continuously step up to the plate to protect our freedom,” said Jackie Cuddeback, the Philadelphia Phillies’ Vice President, Partnership Sales & Corporate Marketing. “On behalf of the Phillies, we are proud to once again team up with Toyota and our fellow sports teams to salute our brave service members who selflessly serve and sacrifice for the common good,” Cuddeback added.
A large part of the collaboration’s efforts in November will include honoring veterans and active members of the military during “military appreciation” games taking place at the Philadelphia Sports Complex. The Philadelphia sports community’s kick-off to the 2021 military appreciation tributes occurs on Sunday, November 7, at Lincoln Financial Field during the Eagles’ annual “Salute to Service” game presented by Toyota.
“It is always a privilege to join the Tri-State Toyota Dealers and the Philadelphia sports community to honor our nation’s active and retired service members,” said Don Smolenski, Philadelphia Eagles President. “We are incredibly grateful for their commitment and sacrifice, and are proud to salute these brave men and women not just on Veteran’s Day, but throughout the year. As we turn to our annual ‘Salute to Service’ game this weekend at Lincoln Financial Field, we look forward to recognizing and celebrating their courageous efforts alongside Eagles fans everywhere,” Smolenski added.
The “military appreciation” initiatives will continue with Toyota-sponsored events at The Wells Fargo Center for the Flyers on Wednesday, November 10 and 76ers on Veterans Day, Thursday, November 11.
“For nearly a decade, 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 military, and this event is one way we can say ‘thank you’ for all their sacrifices,” Camillo added.
“Military appreciation is a season-long initiative that’s highlighted through the ‘Stars & Stripes’ campaign and this month’s Military Appreciation Night, at which the 76ers and Toyota will celebrate several incredible men and women who’ve served in the United States Armed Services,” said Chris Heck, Philadelphia 76ers’ President of Business Operations.
During all three military appreciation games in November, the Philadelphia Eagles, Flyers, and 76ers will recognize three honored veterans who are also HOH Ambassadors: U.S. Marine Sergeant, Dakota Meyer (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 honored 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.
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 Brand 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. “By educating service members and their families early on, they will be empowered to make decisions that set them up for economic success after service while strengthening and diversifying our nation’s workforce,” Sgt. Meyer added.
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 Sgt.Maj. Green. “Veterans and military spouses are extremely adaptable in ever- changing environments as they are experts in overcoming adversity.”
Similar to Sgt. Meyer and Sgt.Maj. Green, The Honorable Patrick Murphy is a retired combat veteran who is also now a Personal Branding Ambassador for the 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. Patrick Murphy.
A former member of the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, United States Congressman, and the 32nd Undersecretary of the U.S. Army, Hon. Murphy will be in his hometown of Philadelphia throughout Veterans Day Week working with Sgt. Meyer, Sgt.Maj. Green, Toyota, the Philadelphia sports teams, and local media outlets to highlight the importance of helping veterans successfully transition back into civilian life.
For the past nine years, Toyota has partnered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on its Hiring Our Heroes initiative to help veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses find meaningful jobs.
“At Toyota, we believe that hiring veterans is a smart move and a great investment. We encourage every business to support returning service members who are starting new chapters of their lives,” said Ben Pyle, General Manager of Toyota Motor North America’s Central Atlantic Region.
“As part of the overall ‘Toyota Family’, the support we place behind the Hiring Our Heroes program and the invaluable work Dakota, Ron, Patrick, and so many others are doing to help our vets assimilate back into civilian life is one of the most-important things we do year-long as the local Toyota Dealers here in the Delaware and Lehigh Valleys,” said the Tri-State Toyota Dealers’ President, Paul Muller.
The Hiring Our Heroes program, championed in partnership with Toyota by Sgt. Dakota Meyer, Sgt.Maj. 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 the local military community and giving back to those who have sacrificed to protect us. Toyota’s support behind the Hiring Our Heroes program is a perfect fit in that effort, and we are proud to highlight this program to 76ers fans during our annual ‘Military Appreciation Night’ taking place this year on November 10,” said the 76ers’ Chris Heck.
“The Hiring Our Heroes program is a tremendous initiative that helps veterans enter the workforce after their military service,” said the Phillies’ Jackie Cuddeback. “Toyota and the Tri-State Toyota Dealers are committed to giving back to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. We are honored to support their efforts and this very important cause,” Cuddeback added.
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, to support the military appreciation efforts from each of the Philadelphia sports teams, purchase tickets to the games 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 Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer (Ret.) | MOH RECIPIENT
Sergeant Dakota Meyer (Ret.) in is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and the War in Afghanistan. He was presented with the Medal of Honor (MOH) for his actions during the Battle of Ganjgal on September 8, 2009, in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. Meyer was the third living recipient since the Vietnam War and first living United States Marine in 41 years to be so honored. Sgt. Dakota Meyer completed his active duty in 2010 and now serves in the Individual Ready Reserve of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. He also serves as Toyota’s Brand Ambassador
for “Hiring our Heroes,” working with Toyota to develop the Personal Branding Resume Engine at www.ResumeEngine.org – a free, online tool that helps veterans and transitioning service members develop a resume that captures the entirety of their military service and puts it in a language that resonates with civilian employers.
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.