Employee Honors, Serves Local Veterans

News & Information > Employee Honors, Serves Local Veterans

Marc Smith recently returned from a three-day trip in which he volunteered as a chaperon to veterans visiting Washington DC monuments erected in honor of their service.

“Being a veteran myself, I feel it is important to honor those who have made sacrifices for our country,” Marc said, adding that he has been involved with this annual excursion since the beginning.

Inspired by the opening of the WWII Memorial, Marc’s father coordinated the first trip in 2005. His father’s vision is now an annual excursion that involves planning travel arrangements one year in advance then coordinating fundraising efforts to meet travel expenses so central New York veterans can enjoy the trip free of charge.

“Our veterans are getting older. Most live on fixed incomes. They have health problems. They aren’t able to take a trip like this to see the monuments erected to honor them,” Marc said.

About the Trip
From May 10 to 12 of this year, Marc accompanied local veterans exploring the nation’s capital. The group’s itinerary included visiting the following monuments and locations:

WW II Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Lincoln Monument, Vietnam Wall, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Franklin Roosevelt Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery (veterans can also request a private escort to the grave site of someone they know resting in Arlington), Arlington House, the Pentagon, the Smithsonian museums and more.

“For many veterans on the trip, this is an emotional experience,” he said. “Most of these guys were just out of high school when they and their high school friends went to war. They lost friends they grew up with. They fought in some of the worst battles in history. Some have not spoken of their experiences of the war since. This trip gives veterans an opportunity to reflect, find peace, and to be recognized for their dedication to their country.”

Helping the Cause
This year, Marc took advantage of the volunteer benefit Cleantec offers to employees (see HR Corner below for details). The benefit allows an employee to take 6 hours of pay (at the employee’s current rate), which can then be distributed to the employee or to the nonprofit organization the employee supports. Marc chose to donate his benefit to this cause.

“It has become increasingly difficult to raise the money needed for this trip,” Marc said. “[Cleantec’s benefit] program is an excellent opportunity for those who volunteer their time to nonprofit organizations. Thank you, Cleantec for supporting this cause, which is so important to me.”

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