A representative from USAA, The American Legion’s preferred provider of financial services, took time during the Legion’s national convention in Milwaukee to praise members of the organization for their commitment to the nation’s veterans and their communities.
And during his Aug. 30 address, retired U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Mitchel H. Butikofer, USAA’s Vice President of Infrastructure Services, also shared parallels between the two entities.
“Thank you for your service to our country, and for all that you do for our nation’s veterans and their families,” Butikofer told convention delegates. “The impact of your continued leadership and civic contributions is seen and felt all across the nation. Your motto ‘Veterans Strengthening America’ is evident in many ways, including the 4.4 million hours of community service which you include each year. These hours represent countless hours of selfless service.
“Just like The American Legion, USAA is grounded in and committed to serving the military and their families. Both organizations share a common history not only in our tenure, but in our mission and our legacy. For the past 12 years USAA and The American Legion have cemented a strong relationship to jointly execute on the shared values of serving our nation’s veterans. And like you, we’re also looking forward to the next 100 years, with focus to sustain the vision of those 25 Army officers who founded USAA in 1922. Our employees give their all to deliver on that vision every day.”
Butikofer shared a few of USAA’s programs that assist veterans, including those involving employment opportunities. “Both The American Legion and USAA have worked with the (U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s) Hiring Our Heroes program, offering job fairs and numerous other programs and initiatives aimed at reducing veteran unemployment and helping veterans transition to civilian life.”
Butikofer said USAA employs more than 7,000 veterans, military spouses, Guardsmen and reservists, with a commitment to hire more.
“In 1945, President Harry S. Truman stated, ‘Our debt to the heroic men and valued women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude,’” Butikofer said. “President Truman is but one out of many leaders throughout history who proclaimed our nation’s obligation to take care of our veterans and chip away at the debt owed for their sacrifices.
“As a nation, as The American Legion and as USAA, we must keep veteran care and support at the top of our priorities. You, as members of The American Legion, have consistently done that for than 100 years. And I am moved and inspired to know that you will maintain this momentum for now and many years to come.”