Every November, Lyft is proud to celebrate Veteran’s Day in the US, Remembrance Day in Canada and the United Kingdom, and the contributions and sacrifices of veterans around the world. To those of you who have served in any country, and to those still serving, we thank you for your selflessness today and everyday. This year we've chosen a theme to commemorate our unique journeys as veterans, family members, communities, as a team at Lyft, and as individuals: Honor the past, support the present, build the future.
These three principles underscore the importance of a continuous commitment to those who have served their country and our ongoing responsibility to care for them and their families. This commitment is not exclusive to veterans, but extends to each of us, as it embodies our shared duty to honor, support, and upLyft our communities.
Below, UpLyft Veterans Executive Sponsor and Director of Growth Planning and Operations, John Parks, describes what Veterans Week means to him and shares a bit about his experience.
I am John Parks and the Director of Growth Planning and Operations for Flexdrive based in San Francisco. I have the privilege of leading an amazing team that handles everything from fleet forecasting to business analytics to infleeting and defleeting to electrifying the Express Drive fleet.
Before joining Lyft, I served in the Army for 10 years, and the majority of that time as a Green Beret in 3rd Special Forces Group. During this time I had the opportunity to train and operate with soldiers from militaries all over the world. And the one thing that stuck with me was how similar we all were. We may have spoken different languages and looked different, but at the end of a long day, we all wanted the same thing – to bond over shared experiences, talk about our families, and to know that the people on your left and right care about you as a person.
This year, the global veteran community has a lot to reflect on.
For some this means still dealing with the fallout of the withdrawal from Afghanistan, for others it is the continued war in Ukraine, or the growing escalations in the Middle East - specifically in the Levant. These types of conflicts not only affect those who participate, but also families, friends, and nations as a whole.
This year's theme is very near and dear to my heart, and echoes the motto of my old unit (3rd Special Forces Group) - Care for the Wounded, Honor the Fallen, Continue Mission. The embodiment of this motto allowed us to navigate through and/or deal with some very heavy moments in our lives, and ensured that we always looked out for and took care of each other.
This is still applicable today as we continue to support veterans, their families, and our allies. It is essential at times like this that we show up for one another with no expectations, no prejudices, and with open hearts. We all have followed different roads to get to where we are, but we are all here together. Ultimately, we have to support each other today, and set the conditions for continued support and growth of our diverse community.
Lyft supporting the Veteran community
I want to take a moment to share the ways Lyft has and continues to support the Veteran community at large:
Since 2017, we’ve featured the United Service Organization (USO) on our Round Up & Donate platform. To date, riders have donated over $2.3M to USO.
We also work with the nonprofit No One Left Behind to make earning on the Lyft platform an option for U.S. interpreters/employees in Iraq and Afghanistan who came to the U.S. through the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program. In DCA & DFW, we waive the required deposit to rent Flexdrive vehicles for any NOLB community member.
UpLyft Veterans aims to share the strong sense of community among military members (Active, Reserve, Guard, Veterans) and military families by creating an inclusive space to recruit, retain, understand, and celebrate those who are connected through military service. UpLyft Veterans is a diverse community that has overlap with all other Lyft ERGs, as such, we aim to Up-Lyft adjacent ERGs through concerted collaboration and partnership to highlight intersectionalities and grow stronger together.