Intrepid Museum Gala honors Jon Bon Jovi, iHeartMedia Chief Bob Pittman for service to Veterans
Veterans often honor their service and remember on traditional holidays: Memorial Day, Pearl Harbor Day and Veterans Day. But throughout the year, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum honors veterans who remain invisible in war, living with the invisible wounds of their war.
This years Salute to Freedom Gala on Nov. 10 at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York will honor five service members and families, Jon Bon Jovi and iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman, who commit to supporting military members shine light on those who serve.
The 2021 Intrepid Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes Bon Jovi for his work with the Jon Bonjovi Soul Foundation and his efforts against food insecurity and veteran homelessness.
When Pittman continues to be committed to the military with the iHeartradio initiative Show Your Stripes, he will be front and center. Prince Harry will present the awards.
Since Bon Jovi decided to film the video for his song "Do What You Can" on the flight deck of the Intrepid, the museum president said the exposure to the exhibit, which brings in over a million visitors yearly, was invaluable.
It is fantastic when we have a partnership or if we're bringing in new people who might look at it and say, Oh, it's gonna be able to make sex with that and then say We'll get there one day. But when it gives us the chance to get accustomed to what we do, and that will not do with the people on site who deliver, that is pretty cool, she says. So we continue to work to do this in the future.
Marenoff-Zausner, a philanthropic organization, was able to speak with the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, about his commitment to community service, whether through his JBJ Soul Kitchens in Red Bank and Toms River, N.J., or by building upscale homes in Philadelphia and his quiet efforts honoring the military.
... and so for us, the more I learned about his service and what he was doing to give back, not only to a general community, but also to the veteran community was truly heartwarming. And so and as soon as we saw his video on our flight deck, we learned yay about the Intrepid, and sounded like it was on the day we got to ourselves.
The JBJ Soul Foundation is providing grants to nonprofit organizations that assist with new housing and support services to help homeless veterans. This grant will help 18 homeless vets, as well as provide services such as physical and mental health and employment opportunities. In 2019, the JJ Boa is donating a $100,000 grant to complete the Walter Reed Veteran Apartments in Washington, D.C.
Certainly he deserved this award. The shelters for veterans are just a huge addition to the need for the veterans, she says. We felt incredibly appropriate for this grant. Thats something else that if - besides the shelter shelter and the kitchen for those in need, which is really tremendous.
We learned that he does a lot of this in-person, and not everybody dedicates their time and energy as directly as we learned about Jon Bon Jovi.
Today in its ninth year, the show Your Stripes initiative is the largest public service initiative in the company's history. The program is instrumental in helping veterans secure employment and other services once their duty is finished.
We had almost 4,000 local and national businesses join the Show Your Stripes program. We were enormous participation and a lot of jobs came of it.
As the program grew, Pittman realized that it needed to expand the platform to accommodate the changing needs and challenges facing veterans. The program is consulting with various military and veteran advisers, including Col. David Sutherland, the co-founder and chairman of the Dixon Center for Military and Veteran Services, to address the most pressing issues facing today.
Beginning in November, the platform will focus on the totality of the returning vet, Pittman says.
We are changing it and pushing it forward. Weve done programs with the Air Force, and concerts and events for veterans. Our work continues.
Pittman notes that iHeartRadio's national presence is a key to the success of the program''d success.
To make the work work, we're the only radio company in the world, that's true national, he says. "We operate a lot of resources in countless markets, not including the affiliates that we add to the list. And we really take that seriously, especially in this day where people are talking about utmost trust and resentment.
The museum can offer a whole array of programs for veterans and their families because of generous donations, while the Salute to Freedom Gala is its biggest fundraising event.
In the Northeast, there arent many places where people can meet and share experiences and understand that they are not alone in this, says Marenoff-Zausner. And thats half the healing. If you dond understand youre not isolated on a island, you wouldnve thought where to turn.
The gala usually is held during Fleet Week in May, but was pushed to November due to COVID.
Having able to hold the event close to Nov. 11 will give the veteran and former crew members of the Intrepid a chance to be honored and recognized.
This will be highlighted when Prince Harry presented the Intrepid Valour Awards, who awarded the Operational Service Medal for Afghanistan after his service in the British Army.
Prince Harry and Bon Jovi have a connection with vets, with Bonjovi recording harrowing special versions of his song Unbroken for the dukes Invictus Games, in which veterans compete at the highest level in sports.
The song was included in the film "To be of service," which focused on veterans dealing with PTSD and the service dogs that help them cope.
[Prince Harry] is not receiving an award, but rather giving awards and it was very important to him to understand who the award recipients are those who have suffered with PTS, says Marenoff-Zausner.
What they said were the ultimate service: The people put their life on the line. And we can't do enough for them.