Disney has done something that hits me at home and makes me not just happy, but proud to be dropping thousands of dollars their way this summer. Today, Disney announced the Heroes Work Here initiative. Here's a short piece of the blog post from Disney explaining what the initiative entails,
- Provide at least 1,000 jobs, career opportunities for returning U.S. veterans over the next three years.
- Support military families, veterans transitioning into civilian life.
- Launch a national public awareness campaign to encourage job opportunities for veterans.
My father is a Vietnam Vet. He came home to a country that acted ashamed of him. There were no parades. The movies made about him portrayed him as a psycho at best and a monster at worst. His fellow vets were spit on and called baby-killer. My mom told me my dad was a hero, but it took decades for the country and the culture to even grudgingly admit that he deserved some thanks. The toll that takes on a man, even one as strong as my dad, is hard for us who've not had to experience it to understand.
I remember when the first Gulf War started, my dad was glued to the TV until all hours of the night. I thought he was upset about the country getting involved in another war, and he was, but not for the reason I assumed. My dad said he was worried that if we got into another war, the men and women would be treated by the country on their return the way he was treated. He didn't want to see that happen to anyone else.
That never happened, the Gulf War vets were welcomed home as heroes and we have treated all our vets in the conflicts that followed the same way. Sure there are the throw-back anti-war folks, but even they haven't in large part attacked the vets. Good. We learned. But to see a company as huge as Disney, as much an integral part of our American cultural identity as Disney is, embrace veterans as valuable contributors to civilian society really made me proud.
Are you seeing this, Dad? I know it'll make you happy. And thanks to ALL the heroes, but especially mine.