Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced Wednesday that he’s donating $30 million to war veterans returning to the United States.
The gift has been earmarked mostly for research into brain trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder, he told CBS News.
“I think one thing that is necessary is a comprehensive mechanism for job training,” he said. “But another is the fact that, depending on who you’re talking to, 20, 30, 40 percent of the two million people who have served are coming back with some kind of brain trauma or [PTSD]. So we’re going to fund the opportunity for significant research and for medical practitioners and science to understand the disease and, ultimately, hopefully, come up with some — a level of remedy.”
The gift comes after Mr. Shultz announced last year his plans to hire at least 10,000 veterans and military spouses over the next five years.
“The truth of the matter is, and I say this with respect, more often than not, the government does a very — a much better job of sending people to war than they do bringing them home,” Mr. Schultz said. “These young men and women who are coming home from multiple deployments are not coming home to a parade. They’re not coming home to a celebration. They’re coming home to an American public that really doesn’t understand, and never embraced, what these people have done.”
The CEO talked about his recent experience at Walter Reed Army Hospital and how he was “not mentally prepared, or emotionally prepared” for what he saw.
“I have seen things, and I’ve heard things and I’ve met these people and their families, and you just can’t be a bystander,” he said. “You have to do everything you can to tell their story and help them.”