Support for the Military at the 2012 Bank of America Chicago Marathon
Dec 26, 2012
Bank of America has long supported our service members in the military, assisting returning veterans with jobs, housing and education. This commitment was in evidence this year at the 35th Bank of America Chicago Marathon, where the bank supported events and nonprofits that make a positive impact on the lives of veterans and their families.
Every year since 2008, Bank of America has hosted the Achilles Freedom Team (AFT) of Wounded Veterans at the race. The AFT is a rehabilitation program that trains and sponsors wounded servicemen and women to compete in mainstream races as part of their recovery, helping them rebuild their strength and confidence. The Achilles program is adapted to the specific needs of wounded members of the U.S. military; participants get training and use of specialized adaptive devices such as hand-cycle wheelchairs so they can participate in races.
At the event, and in banking centers across Chicago, many joined the bank in their effort to support service members and veterans. Thousands of people expressed their thanks to the troops by signing water bottles; these were combined in a visual mosaic which was displayed at McCormack Place and in Chicago-area banking centers. For each signed bottle, and for other expressions of thanks captured across the country, the bank donated a dollar to Wounded Warrior Project®. This raised over $320,000 in support of the organization’s programs that help veterans re-enter the workforce.
To allow spectators and runners to show their support for the military, the bank set up a “military mile” at the end of the race on the 26th mile to cheer for the runners. The last mile was lined with an enthusiastic crowd waving flags as the runners came down home stretch.
In addition to sponsoring events surrounding the race, Bank of America is a longtime supporter of the U.S. military through its hiring, specialized products and services, dedicated customer service team, and support of military-focused nonprofits. Says Jeff Cathey, Senior Military Affairs Executive at Bank of America, “Our strategy is to support active-duty servicemen and women, and their families, in the successful reintegration of veterans on all fronts—jobs, housing, and critical needs. They need to know that we’re here for them. This is not a one-time event at the Marathon. Bank of America is in it for the long haul.”
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