America Supports You: RE/MAX Receives Award for Supporting Troops, Families
By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May 4, 2007 America Supports You kicked off Military Appreciation Month today by honoring RE/MAX International, Inc., with the Defense Department’s Exceptional Public Service Award for the company’s commitment to turning military spouses into real estate agents.
David S.C. Chu, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, presents the Office of the Secretary of Defense Award for Exceptional Public Service to co-founder of RE/MAX International Gail liniger for their support of armed forces. Photo by R.D. Ward
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
The international real estate agency launched Operation RE/MAX in August to help military spouses develop real estate careers through training and licensing and by providing employment placement. Today, more than 500 military installations and nearly 1,000 RE/MAX offices participate in the program, and the agency already has placed hundreds of military spouses in real estate jobs.
“One of the biggest challenges for our families is the military transfer,” said Allison Barber, deputy assistant secretary of defense for internal communications and public liaison and the creator of America Supports You, a Defense Department program that connects citizens and corporations with members of the military and their families at home and abroad.
Barber thanked RE/MAX, America Supports You’s newest corporate partner, for providing careers for spouses “so that no matter where our military member goes, the spouse has a job and a fabulous opportunity to make a contribution to the community.”
“Now we have a program where spouses, who have never had to be the breadwinner, can be licensed and make a career move that helps support their families,” Barber told the packed Pentagon briefing room here today.
In addition to Operation RE/MAX, the company is in the early stages of the Sentinels of Freedom Scholarship, a program which offers severely wounded veterans assistance with housing, transportation, education, job training and employment.
Speaking on behalf of 121,000 RE/MAX associates at offices in more than 65 countries, Gail Liniger, vice chairman of the board and co-founder of RE/MAX International, Inc., thanked ASY for allowing the agency to be “part of the team.”
“America Supports You is such a wonderful organization and a tremendous resource to the military,” Liniger said. “RE/MAX is so pleased we can help you with your efforts, … and we are looking forward to working with you in the future and coming years.”
Barber then introduced David S. C. Chu, the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, who told the audience that a career is the “objective of Americans who want to realize their potential.”
“As many of you know, military personnel and their families move frequently, sometimes very frequently, and it’s very tough in that environment if you are a military spouse to have a career,” he said. “So we’re very grateful RE/MAX has stepped up and targeted military spouses ... with a great support action for our military families.”
Audience members were called to attention and rose to their feet to watch Chu present the Exceptional Public Service Award certificate to Liniger.
Guests on hand for the award ceremony were invited to participate in America Supports You’s Military Appreciation Month Kickoff events today, including a concert in the Pentagon courtyard to honor U.S. servicemembers.