LAS VEGAS -- Shoes for Soldiers is how Meritor is describing its new effort to help severely wounded, injured or ill veterans become leaders in business, government and their communities by contributing a percentage of its remanufactured brake shoe sales to the Wyakin Warrior Foundation.
Meritor announced Tuesday during Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week in Las Vegas that it will donate up to $50,000, which includes a $20,000 match from the Meritor Trust Fund, to the Boise, Idaho-based foundation. The foundation’s comprehensive program positions wounded veterans for personal and professional success. Current participants are pursuing degrees in many areas, including engineering, business, law, criminal justice, education and computer science.
The 60-month program includes educational and financial support, monthly professional development seminars, community service projects and networking opportunities for job placement.
According to George Nickel, director of student and veteran’s affairs for the organization and some one who has completed the program, “We are a career program, not just a jobs program.”
More than 51,000 members of the armed forces have been seriously wounded or injured in combat since the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, according to the Wyakin Warrior Foundation. Sixty percent of post-9/11 disabled veterans are unemployed or have dropped out of college.
“The need among wounded veterans is great, and we want to express our appreciation for the sacrifices they have made for all of us by joining with Wyakin to help them prepare for a successful future,” says Tim Bauer, director, remanufacturing for Meritor.
“A significant percentage of funds donated to the Wyakin program directly helps severely wounded or injured veterans -- and that’s important, because the program cost for one participant is $25,000,” says Todd Monroe, executive director, Wyakin Warrior Foundation. “Our young veterans participating as Wyakin Warriors will benefit greatly from Meritor’s generous contribution as they position themselves for success in a meaningful career and within their communities.”