Uber Demonstrates Good Corporate Citizenship through $1 Million Donation


By Debbie Gregory.

Uber has reached its goal of signing up 50,000 U.S. veterans as drivers. And to celebrate, the company is making a very generous donation to a number of veterans groups.

Uber is giving $1 million to a select few military organizations, including our friends at Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) and Homes for our Troops. Also receiving funds will be the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes, and the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. The funding comes directly from Uber, based on recommendations from the company’s UberMilitary Advisory Board, which includes former Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

September, 2014 saw the launch of UberMilitary, giving former service members an opportunity to earn a flexible income. One of the goals of the campaign was to work with veterans and “empower them as entrepreneurs and small business owners.” Nearly half of the veterans who have signed up have started driving with the company, and Uber said it’s now focused on “getting more folks on the road.”

Emil Michael, senior vice president, spent stints in public service as a White House fellow and as an aide to Gates. After seeing how difficult it was for some veterans to find jobs upon leaving the armed forces, Michael said, he saw how Uber could fill a need.

“The thing that was missing was an income-earning opportunity that was extremely flexible,” Michael said. “When you come back, maybe you’re studying for your next degree, maybe you have medical issues.”

In addition to getting more veterans driving, the company is building a special savings program that will offer expanded and unique rewards to members of the UberMilitary community.

Uber also hopes to broaden its service to military passengers, and is possibly going to launch a program that will pay more to drivers will when they start or end a trip at a military base.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

“Paralyzed” Vet Walks After Getting Free Home: Military Connection


By Debbie Gregory.

In December, 2013, Army Specialist Justin Perez-Gorda was given a home, free of charge, by Homes for Our Troops. The Veteran had experienced a traumatic brain injury while serving a tour in Afghanistan in January, 2011. The injury reportedly left him paralyzed from the waist down, the repercussions of the IED explosion.

However, Perez-Gorda is now under investigation, after footage was released showing him unloading lumber in his garage. His wife, Jose, stated that the non-profit knew for years that he could walk, despite them building a wheelchair accessible home for the couple.

Despite interviews given by the couple in 2012 in which they express Perez-Gorda was permanently paralyzed, Mrs. Perez-Gorda claimed that just months after her husband was injured, he regained his ability to walk.

When Jose Perez-Gorda was reportedly asked why they didn’t reveal his miraculous recovery before or at the time of the home’s gifting, the mother of two clammed up.

Shortly after the couple moved into the home, neighbors claimed they saw the Veteran walking around his property, and soon there was photo and video evidence. The couple reportedly became withdrawn and angry when approached with the subject.

Shocked by the reports, Homes for Our Troops Executive Director Bill Ivey said the non-profit are continuing to assess the situation and is weighing their options, adding repossessing the home would be a “last resort.”

Ivey said that after suspicions arose about his handicaps his organization repeatedly tried to contact them last year but without success.

Homes for Our Troops has built over 180 homes for injured Veterans, and currently have 49 home-build projects underway throughout the United States.

The organization’s mission statement reflects its desire to provide quality assistance to qualified Veterans by offering free homes.

“Most of these Veterans have sustained injuries including multiple limb amputations, partial or full paralysis, and/or severe traumatic brain injury. These homes restore some of the freedom and independence our Veterans sacrificed while defending our country, and enable them to focus on their family, recovery, and rebuilding their lives.”

So, what do you think?

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“Paralyzed” Vet Walks After Getting Free Home: Military Connection: by Debbie Gregory