It has been said that society has no responsibility more important than taking care of its veterans and Coca-Cola takes this responsibility seriously. For example, Coca-Cola has had a partnership with the United Service Organization (USO) for more than 70 years. Coke provides approximately 2.4 million beverage servings per day to military active-duty members, reservists, retirees and their families. Furthermore, Coca-Cola has implemented robust veterans-hiring and mentoring initiatives over the past several years.

The company is proud that so many of its customers share this dedication to the nation’s servicemen and women, and each year Coca-Cola recognizes one such customer with the President’s Veterans Recognition Award. This award represents the commitment a particular customer has shown through its actions to support the military and our veterans.

“I can’t think of a more deserving honoree,” said MaryEllen Cedrone, global account director and leader of Coca-Cola's Dunkin’ Brands Customer Team. She added the company’s work on behalf of the military hits particularly close to home since her husband has been proudly serving in the U.S. Navy for more than 23 years.

This year, Dunkin’ Brands, which has helped our nation’s military personnel through a range of initiatives that includes raising critical funds for the USO to helping veterans build business careers will receive the award during a Veterans Day ceremony.    

“They’ve just done tremendous work, and I have been so moved by the various ways in which they’ve supported the military and have extended a helping hand to veterans,” Cedrone said.

Since launching a national partnership with the USO in 2010, The Dunkin’ Donuts & Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation has donated $107,500 to the USO to support its mission of lifting the spirits of America’s troops and their families.

Dunkin’ Brands’ work on behalf of the military includes a number of other initiatives. More than a decade ago, Dunkin’ Donuts began its annual Coffee for our Troops program. Each year for two weeks, Dunkin’ Donuts franchisees donate a one-pound bag of coffee for every two bags sold. As a result, up to 100,000 pounds of coffee are delivered each year to USO centers that serve millions of troops and their families.

Additionally, the company has made it a priority to hire veterans. Last year, for example, Baskin-Robbins launched an effort to help military servicemen and women build business careers by offering them special incentives for franchise ownership. For honorably discharged military veterans, the program offers waived or reduced franchisee fees and also eliminates royalty rates for the first two years of franchise ownership.

"We appreciate The Coca-Cola Company recognizing Dunkin' Brands with this award, and respectfully dedicate it to our current service men and women and to our veterans, who truly deserve the honor as they keep America running each and every day,” said John Costello, president, global marketing and innovation, Dunkin’ Brands, Inc. “We are proud to do our small part to support and honor their commitment."