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Making Lives Easier for Veterans

By Rusty Thomas, Deputy Director, Sales Business Systems and Technology, Bayer U.S. and National President BRAVE

This Veteran’s Day, November 11, marked the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day because major hostilities of World War I formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect. In 1954, Armistice Day officially became Veterans Day. This day is set aside to celebrate all who have served in the United States Armed Forces.

You may be wondering what Bayer does to support veterans and their families? A lot! I’d like to share a few highlights with you.

To start, we’ll commemorate the service of our veteran employees with activities and ceremonies in partnership with BRAVE (Bayer Resource for Armed forces Veterans/family and friends of Employees), a resource group for Armed Forces, Veterans/Family & Friends and Employees. BRAVE was established to promote an environment and provide a network for all Bayer employees to enhance their awareness and understanding of and support for military veterans’ issues, military culture and military working values. BRAVE offers resources to new and existing veteran and National Guard/Reserve employees, their family members, supporters and allies.

Resource groups like BRAVE help Bayer attract diverse talent and give employees a voice in the company culture, employee programs and benefits. BRAVE recently advocated for and achieved policy changes to help Bayer employees deployed while serving in the National Guard or Reserve. Beginning in 2019, deployed employees will be eligible to be paid the difference between their military pay and their Bayer salary for up to 24 months, a significant increase from the previous policy. Also, employees will be allowed to continue their life insurance coverages while deployed, provided they continue to pay the associated premiums. These may sound like simple changes, but to the family of those deployed they offer a great deal of comfort.

Beyond changes in policy, BRAVE and Bayer support veterans in our communities. You may have recently noticed the Top Dog video series illustrating Bayer’s partnership with K9s For Warriors, an organization dedicated to providing service canines to our Warriors suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disability, traumatic brain injury, and/or military sexual trauma as a result of military service post-9/11. Bayer created Top Dog to honor veterans and to highlight the mission of K9s For Warriors and the people and dogs who make it possible. The series focuses on the path of shelter dogs from rescue to graduation from the program. The first video was released on October 9 with one video per week released until the finale is posted on November 12 in honor of Veterans Day. Check out the videos on our Bayer U.S. YouTube video channel here.

Here’s how Bayer supports K9s For Warriors:

· Since 2014, Bayer has contributed more than $800,000.

· Bayer provides Seresto flea and tick prevention for dogs in training at Camp K9, as well as for service dogs who’ve graduated from the program to help warriors offset the cost of care.

· Bayer provides K9 Advantix II flea, tick and mosquito prevention for dogs entering the K9s For Warriors program.

Additionally, we’re excited about some of our newer initiatives. Heroes in Ag is a program dedicated to recruiting veteran/military talent into the company and placing them in roles that suit their skill set. This program also works to set new recruits up with a mentor. Since its inception in 2017 with two recruits, the program and has grown to 12 recruits in 2018.

These are just a few examples that illustrate how Bayer engages with and supports the veteran community, both inside and outside the company. As a veteran employee of Bayer and the National President of our veteran’s resource group, I celebrate this Veterans Day and the inclusive environment we continue to build. I encourage you to check us out and see what Bayer has to offer.

Learn more about how BRAVE helps military veterans transition to the private sector here.

Learn more about how BRAVE supports military veterans here.

Learn more about Diversity and Inclusion at Bayer in the U.S.

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