In honor of Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11, multiple beverage brands are finding ways to salute our nation’s troops and their sacrifices in the days before and after this federal holiday.
Starting on Nov. 10, Seattle-based Starbucks Coffee Co. opened the celebration with a special event it co-hosted with The Washington Post. The event discussed the post-war careers and contributions of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans and included a presentation by Secretary of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald about the department’s “Road to Veterans Day” initiative as well as partnerships with other agencies and the private sector to serve veterans, their families and survivors better. Lt. Col. Kellie McCoy and retired Lt. Col. David Oclander also discussed their post-war careers. McCoy is the commander of a combat engineer battalion, and Oclander is on track to become a principal of an inner-city charter school in Chicago. In addition, Starbucks President and Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz and The Washington Post Senior Correspondent and Associate Editor Rajiv Chandrasekaran discussed their latest book “For Love of Country: What Our Veterans Can Teach Us About Citizenship, Heroism and Sacrifice,” which shares stories about the sacrifices veterans make during and after battle.
On Veteran’s Day, Starbucks also will partner with HBO and Chase to present “The Concert for Valor,” a concert honoring the courage and sacrifice of America’s veterans and their families. Entertainers Eminem, Jamie Foxx, Dave Grohl, Metallica, John Oliver, Rihanna, Bruce Springsteen, Carrie Underwood and Zac Brown Band will perform, and celebrities Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg will make special appearances at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 11. The event also will be broadcast live on HBO at 7 p.m. Eastern Time.
Also on Veteran’s Day, craft brewery restaurant operator CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries Inc., Chattanooga, Tenn., which operates Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants, Rock Bottom Restaurants & Breweries, Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom, and ChopHouse & Brewery restaurants nationwide, will offer active and retired military personnel a complimentary craft beer in appreciation of their service to our country. Locations that are prohibited from providing a free craft beer will offer a free appetizer.
In the spirit of bringing people together, The Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, is helping to reunite four of the six living members of the Alcatraz 11, a group of Navy and Air Force pilots captured in North Vietnam during the Vietnam War and held as prisoners of war for six years. The company will reunite and honor George Coker, George McKnight, James Mulligan and Robert Shumaker at a special ceremony Nov. 12 and also recognize the thousands of veterans employed by The Coca-Cola Co.
As part of the company’s week-long celebration of Veteran’s Day, The Coca-Cola Co. will host its annual USO care package stuffing party Nov. 11. The care packages will be distributed to soldiers wounded on the battlefield and evacuated directly to field hospitals with little to no access to basic hygiene items or other supplies. In addition, the company is offering members of the Armed Forces the opportunity to purchase up to four half-price admission tickets to the World of Coca-Cola for their family and friends through Nov. 16. The attraction always offers complimentary admission to members of the Armed Forces.
Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo Inc. will be recognized this month as the first 3-star partner of Syracuse, N.Y.-based Institute for Veterans and Military Families for its longstanding support of the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) program. Since 2010, PepsiCo has donated $1.5 million to EBV and will allocate an additional $500,000 during the next three years.