American Airlines (AA) has recognized Veterans Day with its annual Salute to the Troops event. In partnership with MGM Resorts, the airline’s 13th annual event welcomed 190 past and present service members onboard the airline’s Airbus A321 aircraft, Flagship Valor, registration N167AN. Making the event even more unique was that it was operated by an all-veteran crew.

Bound for Las Vegas

AA9714, Flagship Valor, was scheduled to depart from Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) on November 10th at 11:15, eventually pushing back from the gate at 11:41, arriving in Las Vegas Harry Reid International Airport at 13:35.

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AA VALOR flight path

The American Airlines fuselage is decorated to celebrate the Medal of Honor recipients, the highest award for military valor in action. American Airlines flight attendant, Josh Williams, commented on being part of the event:

“My time in the Navy was my proudest moment, so I wanted to work this flight to give back to other veterans.

“Having the military camaraderie is rewarding, and it brings me back to when I was on active duty. It feels good to give back and be part of a company that acknowledges my sacrifice and the sacrifices of others who gave their lives to the military.”

A salute to past and present servicemen boarding American Airlines Valor

Photo: American Airlines

Salute to the Troops, in partnership with MGM Resorts for United Service Organizations (USO), offered service members an all-expenses-paid, five-day trip to Las Vegas, including flights, accommodation at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, a visit to the Hoover Dam and Red Rock Canyon, shows, meals, and other activities. The goal of the weekend away is to encourage fun, relaxation, and healing, with the airline and its partners being grateful for their service. Participant and army veteran Jeremy Haynes commented on the opportunity:

“This Veterans Day weekend serves as a unique opportunity for me and my fellow service members to build on our experiences and the camaraderie that we’ve built during our service to this great nation”

On arrival in Las Vegas, as in previous years, hundreds of MGM staff and locals gather to meet the group, creating a ‘wall of gratitude.’ MGM Resorts CEO & President Bill Hornbuckle commented on the particular event:

“It is with awe and appreciation of their courage and sacrifice that we celebrate these heroes by providing them a world-class guest experience.”

Last year’s video of the event show’s what participants experienced:

American Airlines Flagship Valor

Unveiled on March 25th, National Medal of Honor Day, American Airlines dedicated an Airbus A321, registration N167AN, with a unique wrap, a flying tribute to those who have served and received the highest award for military valor in action.

The aircraft wrap depicts major military conflicts, and six characteristics embody the Medal of Honor. Onboard, QR codes allow passengers to scan for more information on the medal and those who have received it—enabling it as a teaching tool for generations to come.

The all-veteran crew for this year's Salute to the Troops

Photo: American Airlines

America’s military incentive programs are part of their ‘Let good take flight’ initiative through crew volunteering, charitable giving, and community outreach, with Salute to the Troop’s being a major event with its partners.

MGM Resorts is committed to its support of military members and their families. They actively recruit military men and women. The company is a member of the Veteran Jobs Mission, a coalition of organizations hoping to place one million retired US military members and veterans into ‘meaningful and rewarding careers.’


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