Way to go Ford-
Ford is being honored with the 2011 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The Freedom Award is the highest honor bestowed upon America’s employers who provide exceptional support to their employees serving in the National Guard and Reserve.
The Freedom Award recognizes employers for initiatives they put in place for Guard and Reserve employees and their families. For example, Ford currently offers differential pay for its employees on active duty. In the U.S. there are approximately 700 Reservists and Guardsmen employed by the company along with more than 7,000 veterans. Ford currently has nearly 30 employees actively serving in the military.
Ford has a longstanding commitment to its veterans and military personnel. Ford’s relationship with Disabled American Veterans (DAV) began in 1922 when Henry Ford organized a cross-country caravan of 50 Model T’s to take disabled veterans to their convention in San Francisco. Since 1974, Ford and the Ford Fund have provided over $6 million to veterans organizations.
Since 1996, Ford has donated 156 vehicles to DAV for their Transportation Network, totaling approximately $4 million. Each year Ford sponsors the DAV’s winter sports clinic, and has supported the DAV’s youth scholarship volunteer program since 2000. In 2006 the Ford Fund made a $500,000 contribution toward the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial. Ford also helps all veterans through vehicle donations, scholarships and special vehicle purchase programs.
The Ford Veterans Network Group (VETNG), one of Ford’s corporately supported Employee Resource Groups, sponsors activities throughout the year in support of its veterans, military personnel and their families.
“The VETNG is committed to serving and supporting all members of the U.S. Armed Forces,” said Dan Duderstadt, lead security supervisor, and president of the Veterans Network Group. “And we could not do it without the ongoing support of our senior leadership here at Ford.”
The Ford VETNG recently sponsored a Memorial Day Parade in Dearborn, Michigan. Other activities throughout the year include the annual Veterans Day Ceremony at Ford World Headquarters and sending care packages overseas to activated employees, as well as company employees with sons and daughters serving abroad.
The 2011 recipients will be honored in Washington, D.C. at the 16th annual Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award Ceremony in September.
Locally, you can help Ford and Sanderson Ford support active military members and their families serving in the war zones by supporting and donating to Operation Homefront AZ.