On November 11, 2021, the Veterans Day Parade will start at Montebello and Central in Phoenix. It starts at 11 a.m. and will last until around 1 p.m. The date and time of the parade is an homage to Armistice Day, which is when the Peace Treaty was signed after the First World War.
University of Phoenix has long held a strong connection with veterans and their families, which made it a natural sponsor for the parade. Director of Strategic Engagement, Military and Veteran Affairs & Government Partnerships Amy Byrne shared how the parade is very much aligned with the University’s core values.
Honoring America’s Veterans
Honoring America’s Veterans (HAV) is the organization hosting the annual parade, and its members have been at the heart of this tradition since 1997. The nonprofit strengthens the nation’s veterans by drawing on community support and celebrating those who have defended the nation and the freedom we all enjoy.
University of Phoenix has established an Office of Military and Veteran Affairs and a Veterans Employee Resource Group, both of which work together to find new ways to work with HAV and the Veterans Day Parade. In 2018, 21 volunteers from the University devoted 120 hours to build a parade float. In 2019, employees carried a Phoenix balloon while University President Peter Cohen and many other employees rode in a truck behind them.
All of the employees who worked on the float, prepared the balloon and cheered in the truck were proud to be a part of this patriotic event. It encourages not only a love of this country but also civic pride in the city of Phoenix. Arizona is known for its deep respect for the military and what its members have gone through to bring freedom to the country at every stage of history.
Veteran Employees at University of Phoenix
Being a part of the parade is a meaningful way to show that veterans are very much appreciated by University of Phoenix. More than 480 University staff members are veterans, and there are 334 members in the Veterans Employee Resource Group. They understand the kind of courage and bravery it takes to step up to the plate and why it’s not always easy to transition back into a civilian lifestyle.
This event and the larger mission of HAV are near and dear to them. HAV wants to celebrate with veterans, but they also want to help them through any difficult times they may be facing. Taking the time and effort to sponsor the parade is a concrete reinforcement of the University’s values. Those who have served have given so much of themselves for the public’s benefit. This parade can be a way to bring attention to worthy causes that support them as much as they’ve supported the country.
Stories of Creativity, Recovery and Healing
The Veterans Day Parade may last for just two hours, but its effects can span for many years. When veteran employees at University of Phoenix step up to help, they not only share a sense of kinship with one another, but they also look for ways to expand their efforts as well.
The University encourages employees to show off their individual skills and creativity. When they work with HAV, University staff use their own experiences as inspiration for their ideas. The University’s leadership team is all too happy to recognize them for their efforts, too. This is reciprocity at its best.
There’s no shortage of volunteers when it comes to veteran-related events. This is a sincere tribute in every sense of the word, and one that most employees would consider a mere token of their gratitude. Yet there’s far more to their efforts than token value. The healing that can come from being a part of the veteran community, particularly when the actions are so purposeful and powerful, has been a priceless experience for everyone.
The University’s commitment, both in terms of time and financial contributions, has allowed its staff and affiliates to engage with a special community that gives far more than it takes. In fact, in terms of payoff, Byrne has said that this is the single greatest return on investment. Employees get to meet incredible people, hear their stories and share their talents to make Phoenix a better place to live.
Commitment to Worthwhile Causes
University of Phoenix did not want to simply speak up about its support for veterans. To really showcase their dedication, employees were ready to go above and beyond the call of duty. Everyone at the University applauds HAV for its work with veterans, and employees will continue to support the organization however and whenever they can.
About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix began in 1976 to help adult learners balance real-world responsibilities while they earned their degrees. Today, the University is primarily accessed online and blends real-world training with a traditional academic approach. The larger goal is to give every student the desire to learn for the rest of their lives, regardless of what career path they choose to pursue. This culture has led students from every background to achieve their degrees, opening them up to journeys they would have never considered before.
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