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  • Honoring Veteran Job Seekers for Memorial Day

    As we honor those who serve and have served in the military for Memorial Day, we are also confronted by some stark numbers when it comes to veterans who are transitioning to the civilian job market: the unemployment rate for veterans is twice that for unemployed civilians. Retired Army officer BG James "Spider" Marks, who represents the Call of Duty Endowment, which offers grants and scholarships to help veterans receive career training and assistance, notes: "After our miltiary veterans end their service on the battlefield they arrive home to an alarming rate of unemployment -- almost 20 percent. These veterans especially need our help and support to find more career opportunities and resources."

    To help raise awareness of this issue and offer a helping hand to unemployed veterans this Memorial Day weekend, the endowment is working with the non-profit organization Hire Heroes USA, which provides one-on-one counseling and wounded warrior transition workshops for veterans. "We need to continue to battle to help these veterans find civilian careers," says former Marine Corps captain Brian Stann from Hire Heroes USA. "Last year with the Call of Duty Endowment, we organized a Facebook campaign that provided Hire Heroes USA with a $50,000 grant to find career opportunities for veterans. It helped us grow the organization and in the end helped hundreds of veterans in the last year. "

    This year the two organizations are partnering again to use Facebook to help drive awareness for this critical issue, and are inviting the public to donate their own facebook status to honor veterans over the weekend (see details below). for every status that's donated, the Call of Duty Endowment will donate $1 to Hire Heroes USA, up to $50,000. The grant will allow Hire Heroes USA to provide returning veterans with the necessary transitional training programs and essential tools necessary to gain 21st century careers, through their career workshops and job fairs.

    "Our hope is not to only to encourage engagement on the issue but also that the community will again respond to help our nation's veterans," says Stann. "We're not asking anybody to make a donation -- we're leaving that all up to the generosity of the Call of Duty Endowment, so all people have to do is donate their Facebook status one time through the end of Memorial Day weekend. Their sign of support for our veterans will spread the message and increase the chance for veterans to be hired. "

    Message from Bobby Kotick, Call of Duty Endowment:

    As a nation we must ensure that our military heroes are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve, especially when they return home from service. Unemployment numbers for veterans have consistently hovered far above the national unemployment rate and young veterans continue to struggle to find work.

    Two years ago, Activision Blizzard established the Call of Duty Endowment after learning about the incredibly high number of young veterans unable to find work after completing their military service. Since then, the Endowment has delivered more than one million dollars in grants and scholarships to assist veterans with new careers in the civilian workforce, and we will continue with this mission in the months and years ahead.

    But we also have the mission to raise the public conscio usness about the issue. And that is where YOU come in: This Memorial Day weekend, the Call of Duty Endowment is embarking on a campaign to help honor our veterans and raise additional funds to Hire Heroes USA, a non-profit that is providing our recent veterans job training programs and career placement. Starting today, we are inviting the Facebook community to donate their status in honor of our service men and women and their families.

    We invite you share who you are honoring this Memorial Day weekend by finishing the phrase:

    "This Memorial Day I am donating my Facebook status to honor"

    For each status donated, the Call of Duty Endowment will donate $1 to Hire Heroes USA up to $50,000.

    Last Memorial Day we saw over 30,000 people participated in a campaign to raise awareness of veterans' unemployment issues. And this Memorial Day weekend we are asking you to help create a new record of participation from the community.

    I hope you will join us in this mission to honor our vets, and raise awareness for the challenges they face when returning home. And please, once you have donated please encourage others to join the effort!

    Thank You in advance for your help, and Happy Memorial Day from all of us at Activision's Call of Duty Endowment.

    Bobby Kotick is the CEO of Activision Blizzard, Inc. and founder of the Call of Duty Endowment.
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