By Debbie Gregory.
In this day and age, it’s easy for the heads of large corporations to close themselves off in their ivory towers, ignoring public and social concerns. After all, while money may not be able to buy happiness, it does carry the ability to afford comfortable seclusion from the pains of the world. But occasionally, American business leaders see issues and concerns facing their communities and their country, and they realize that they have the means and the responsibility to do something about it.
Recently, Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, announced that the Schultz Family Foundation would be donating $30 million to benefit U.S. military men and women who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The money Schultz pledged will go toward career training for transitioning Veterans, the 2.5 million Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen who deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. The $30 million will also go to research and treatment for disabilities, including Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and PTSD, which plague many service members and Veterans.
Schultz told CBS News that the reason that he is taking action is because of a deficiency that he sees with the government’s handling of transitioning and wounded Veterans.
“The truth of the matter is, and I say this with respect, more often than not, the government does a much better job of sending people to war than they do bringing them home,” Schultz said. “They’re coming home to an American public that really doesn’t understand, and never embraced, what these people have done.”
While few would dare slander the donation, Schultz’ criticism of the government has come under fire. But there is nothing unpatriotic about stating where and how the government should improve, especially when you are prepared to personally effect change, as Schultz is.
In 2013, Schultz and his global coffee giant, Starbucks, announced a plan to hire 10,000 Veterans and military spouses over the next five years. Starbucks has also pledged to open five community stores that would offer portions of every sale to non-profit organizations that benefit Veteran employment and military families.
There is a long used quote derived from the writings of Edmund Burke that says, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” With leaders and patriots like Schultz doing their part and not standing idly by, there is increased hope for Veterans that are battling TBI, PTSD and unemployment.