Last Updated: 11/11/2013*
Flag ceremonies from California to Massachusetts, assemblies of college students and family celebrations in the heart of Walt Disney World take center stage as Raytheon employees honor the service and sacrifice of the men and women of the armed services.
In Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Cinderella, Belle and other Disney character favorites headlined a breakfast celebration for military families at the Shades of Green® Resort at Walt Disney World® Resort.
The Hogan Family from Baltimore, Md. meets Mickey and Minnie Mouse at this year’s breakfast.
Resort General Manager Arnie Cole says the annual breakfast is a true V.I.P experience for the more than 1,300 guests of the hotel, which is operated as an Armed Forces Recreation Center by the U.S. Army in support of all branches of the U.S. military, their families and guests.
“This is our fifth year hosting this event in partnership with Raytheon, and each year our guests look forward to it,” he said. “We measure its success by watching the faces of the children as they meet their favorite Disney character -- they are priceless.”
The resort caters to the needs of military families, especially those injured in the line of duty. The Wounded Warrior Suite, sponsored by Raytheon, provides wounded service members and their families with a 1,200-square-foot ADA-compliant suite that can accommodate up to 10 adults and four children.
“Nowhere else can wounded service members and their families enjoy an exclusive 3-bedroom suite with a furnished kitchen, living and entertainment rooms as their home away from home,” said Cole.
Empowering Veterans Through Education
A speaker at today’s breakfast was Dan Nevins, who lost a leg during the battle of Fallujah in Iraq nine years ago. Three years later, he lost his second leg due to injuries sustained in battle. Through the Wounded Warrior project, supported by Raytheon, he has regained his purpose in the civilian world.
Wounded Warrior Project speaker Dan Nevins takes Belle for a spin. Families and children attending the breakfast got a chance to meet their favorite Disney characters.
“They changed my life and gave me an opportunity to continue to serve. They were there the day I lost my leg and have continued to support me and other wounded vets with 19 programs that heal the body and the mind, and provide economic empowerment.”
Raytheon is committed to empowering veterans through education to help with their transition to post-military life. Programs include the Wounded Warrior Project’s® Transition Training Academy, which helps wounded veterans re-integrate and re-educate themselves, and Student Veterans of America, which supports veterans enrolled in college to help them reach their higher education goals and attain a degree.
Employees will also honor veterans through ceremonies at Raytheon offices across the United States.
“We embrace our responsibility to give back to the brave men and women who have served our country,” said Pam Erickson, Raytheon’s vice president of Corporate Affairs.
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Raytheon is encouraging citizens to express their gratitude and appreciation for veterans by using the hashtag #HT4H (Hashtags4Heroes).