In May 2013, Walmart introduced the Veterans Welcome Home Commitment which guaranteed a job offer to any eligible, honorably discharged U.S. veteran who was within 12 months of active duty. Walmart’s initial goal was to hire 100,000 veterans by the end of 2018. In May 2015, Walmart revised its goal to hire 250,000 veterans, including veterans hired within the Welcome Home Commitment as well as other veterans hired by Walmart, by the end of 2020. Walmart also changed the eligibility under the Welcome Home Commitment from within 12 months of active duty, to any veteran who has been honorably discharged since the announcement of the commitment in May 2013.
“At Walmart, we recognize our veteran associates and leaders as tremendous resources across the company,” said Retired Brigadier General Gary Profit, senior director of military programs for Walmart. “Our veterans bring dedication and value to our workforce, and we feel a great sense of duty to ensuring our men and women in uniform can find not just a job, but a fulfilling career, here at Walmart and beyond.”
In addition to its commitment to hire veterans, Walmart wants military family members to have the opportunity to build long-lasting careers. Walmart’s Military Family Promise guarantees a job at a nearby Walmart or Sam’s Club for all military personnel and military spouses employed by the company who move to a different part of the country because they or their spouse have been transferred by the U.S. military. Walmart also participates in the U.S Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes Program, recruiting veterans and military spouses through career fairs.
Building on an existing $469,000 grant to Boston University’s, Women Veterans Network (WoVeN), the Walmart Foundation brings its total commitment to nearly $720,000 with an additional $250,000 grant to the program to continue strengthening the initiative. WoVeN is a nationwide system of peer support groups that connects women veterans from all conflict eras and Service branches and provides them with information, education and resources to improve their quality of life. Over the past 40 years, the number of women serving in active duty military has grown rapidly, with women currently representing about 15 percent of the armed forces. As the number of female service members continues to expand, there is also a growing need to address the unique needs of women veterans.
“Before joining WoVeN, I had no idea how to connect with other women veterans. I had been out of the military for more than 20 years and was trying to cope with major life issues all alone,” said Tina Brice, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran and WoVeN participant. “My journey with WoVeN began just over a year ago, and I had no idea something so simple could be so life changing. Thanks to WoVeN, I have connected with other women veterans nationally and locally, developed new healthy hobbies like mountain biking and completing my first 5K, decreased the stress in my life and reconnected with family and friends. I am so grateful to WoVeN and the Walmart Foundation for empowering me with an opportunity to take my life back.”
“WoVeN is designed to be a community for women veterans regardless of when they return from active military service and to help them form lasting connections with other women veterans both within their individual communities and around the country,” said Tara Galovski, PhD, Director of the Women’s Health Sciences Division of the National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System, WoVeN director and Boston University School of Medicine Associate Professor of Psychiatry. “We are incredibly grateful to the Walmart Foundation for the support they’ve given to this project from day one and are proud to continue our partnership to provide ongoing support for the women who have sacrificed so much to serve us.”
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have a long history of supporting veterans, service members and their families. In 2011, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation committed $20 million by 2015 to support veterans and their families with assistance for programs that provide job training, transition help and education. With the early completion of the commitment in May 2014, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation renewed the commitment, announcing an additional $20 million through 2019 to support job training, education and innovative public/private community-based initiatives that address challenges many veterans face when returning to civilian life.