By Nate Lee and Peter Vanderloo, Global co-leads of VALOR (Oath's employee resource group dedicated to supporting veterans in the workplace)
With nearly 400,000 veterans in the U.S. who are unemployed and the veteran unemployment rate nearly 10% higher than the non-veteran unemployment rate, we see a clear call to action. It's why we're investing in military veterans and their families and why we're committed to our workforce being representative of the general veteran population.
As part of our commitment, we're proud to be a sponsor of the World's Biggest USO (United Service Organizations) Tour being live-streamed from The Anthem in Washington, D.C. on September 12. Oath's industry-leading content distribution technology, Verizon Digital Media Services (VDMS), will be powering the concert's livestream at USO.org/tour, and our Emmy-nominated RYOT has toured two USO facilities to create a first-of-its-kind 360 degree virtual reality experience. The RYOT 360 Experience will be displayed in the expeditionary tent, an experiential element at The Anthem.
Many supporters of the USO have never been able to visit a USO center--either at an airport or on a military base. For the first time, the USO is virtually swinging open its doors to all visitors at the event. The RYOT 360 Experience provides supporters--civilian and military alike--the opportunity to take a virtual, 360 tour, complete with a guided voiceover that showcases two USO centers in San Antonio: the USO Center at the San Antonio Airport and on Fort Sam Houston. The experience allows veterans and their families to feel like they've been instantly transported to the facilities.
We know veterans bring immeasurable experience and unique skills to the workplace. Their teamwork and anything-is-achievable mindset are infectious and an effective combination that we see in action within the company and work to develop. VDMS, RYOT and all of the Oath brands are proud to be returning the favor.