Honoring the Military on Veterans Day

November 7, 2007

Honoring the Military on Veterans Day On November 11 we celebrate Veterans Day.  I've always had a soft spot in my heart for the military.  I grew up in Washington, D.C. and I was nine years old when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.  I remember listening to the radio with my parents and hearing the broadcast coming from Hawaii.

I remember talking to my dad about it - he was very concerned about his friend Captain Mervin Bennion who was in Pearl Harbor and was serving as captain of the U.S.S. West Virginia.  The West Virginia was badly damaged and Captain Bennion was killed, later receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor for fighting for his ship as he was dying on the bridge.

During the war, a lot of famous people came in and out of Washington.  Across the street from our home lived the sister of General George S. Patton, one of the most colorful and exciting generals of the Second World War.

Later, when I got a chance to serve in the military, I served as a supply officer on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Randolph.  It was not exactly hazardous duty as we spent most of our time on the French Riviera and the Mediterranean, but it was a great learning experience for me and helped me launch my career in the hospitality business.

Today, I am honored to salute all those who have served and continue to serve in our armed forces.  Every one of you is a hero to me.

This is Bill Marriott and thank you for helping me keep Marriott on the move.

Honoring the Military on Veterans Day


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As a military retiree and veteran of the Vietnam Era, I express my heartfelt thanks to Marriott hotels for the years of hotel discounts that meant so mush to me over the past 25 years. I would always stay in a Marriott because of the wonderful friendly environment, the dedicated staff, and the gift you gave us who fought and served the country long enough to retire of being able to participate in the Marriott military discount program. My thanks to you for the many years I received this privilege. As all things must come to an end, I will miss staying at Marriott hotels whenever I travel. Thank you again for the many years of allowing me to be part of your family.

I too am surprised by your comments honoring Veterans and at the same time no longer honoring Military rates for those of us that served our country rather than looking for a bigger pay check. I proudly served in the US Navy for 23 years, and have been a Marriott Silver member for the last 3 years. Do you really honor the Veterans or is it just a feels good type of blog. If you truly honor America's Veterans then treat the same as the Active Duty and Foreign Military Personnel. Please remember that I do have a choice of where to stay when I travel and I will stay where I am treated with respect.

On Dec. 7, I traveled from Ohio driving my parents to their winter home in Florida. My father was on a ship off the coast of Japan perparing for the invasion when the Japanese surrendered. As we traveled to Florida, he spoke of the attack on Pearl Harbor and how it effected him.
That evening, we stayed at a Residence Inn in Charlotte. In his 82 years, he had never experience a stay at a Residence Inn. When we arrived in Florida, all he could talk about with his fellow smowbirds was how great his room was in Charlotte. Thank you for making his 2007 Pearl Harbor Rememberance Day one that he will remember.

This reinforces comments made below by Paddy Kelleher, and agree as most veterans would, we appreciate their service. However I am also frustrated with Marroitt's policy change to use of government rate. As a retired military, directly supporting the government as a contractor, I am not authorized by Marroitt the government rate, even though my travel is paid by the government, therefore, you are only making the taxpayer pay more! Additionally, I travel around the world to perform my duty to Warfighters, and in the past have stayed in many Marroitt's. Your policy has only enabled other hotel chains to include Holiday Inn (Crowne Plaza), Sheraton, etc to benefit.

I imagine we are close to the same age, Pearl Harbour happened the day before my 11th birthday. Now that my road warrior days are a thing of the past I wonder if there is any way I can donate my Marriott Awards points to the families of veterans in order to ease the cost of their stay in Washington while visiting their loved ones at Walter Reed Memorial?

Mr. Marriott, I appreciate reading your comments, and I believe that you do value veterans. However, I am frustrated by your decision over a year ago to no longer offer retired military personnel the government rate (as you used to in the past). This is quite inconsistent with your comments, and I am hoping that reconsider this issue and return this option to retired US military personnel.

Mr. Marriott,
Your support for active-duty military members and acknowledgement of the sacrifices they make to protect our freedom is very much appreciated. I feel the same way and am very proud of what they do. However, I am extremely disappointed that you do not extend the government rates to those of us who made the very same sacrifices for more than 20 years and have retired from active duty. I understand business decisions and have to make similar hard choices myself every day but I also understand loyalty and the value of repeat business. Your policy makes it very difficult to continue to maintain loyalty to the Marriott brand and I urge you to reconsider extending the government rates to veterans. Thank you for your consideration.

Dear Mr. Marriott, I doubt this comment will actually reach your eyes, but, I recommend that you offer your lowest rates to the men and women who have paid the highest price preserving this nation's freedom - permanently, to both disabled and retired veterans. (I currently get excellent contracted rates through the various FBOs as a jet pilot and I remain one of your loyal Gold members.)

i really appreciate you feeling the way you do about the military, however I do wonder if this is true how come this year the benefit of a military discount was taken away from retired military. After serving for over twenty years to protect our country and our rights the retired veterans are losing more and more benefits every year and this was one that we lost.

Mr. Marriott,
Thank you for your very kind words about the military. My wife is currently in Iraq and will be returning home in the coming weeks. Both her and I try to only stay at Marriott Hotels because we know the level of service that they provide. We will soon be driving from Wahington D.C. to Olympia Washington due to a change in post for my wife. I did some research and am very happy that we will be able to stay in Marriott Hotels the entire way. Thank you again for the kind words.
Loyal Customer,
Richard Sartori
P.S.: You and I met at a Mitt Romney Fund Raiser this past year at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. You were very kind and approachable, thank you.

Your continued support for our active forces is fantastic and I congratulate you for your efforts. HOWEVER, I'm curious why you would choose to honor the military of a foreign country with government rates and not offer the same to our retired veterans...after all, the veteran of our armed forces have played a significant role in your ability to have a thriving business and live with the freedoms we enjoy...you used to offer those rates to us'...what happened??

Mr. Marriott, your hotels are a big part of my life, both military and civilian. During the Vietnam War I was working late (as a lowly 2nd Lieutenant) at the Pentagon and had to make a hard choice between sleeping on the cold terrazo floor, heading out in a blinding snowstorm, or staying at the Twin Bridges Marriott nearby.
That decision to stay at your first hotel launched me on a nearly thirty year loyalty to Marriott htoels. In every case while I was in the military I found Marriott associates to be exceptionally kind and understanding to me as a military guest. During my Army days getting to a Marriott made me feel at home.
I was recently back at Fort Benning GA, where I attended Infantry school, but this time I stayed at the Marriott there. So since 1969 I've come full circle and watched the Marriott Spirit to Serve grow and grow.
I know that current service men and women feel the same way. Thanks for remembering us all this Veteran's Day.

As Platinum Elite members, minor Marriott stockholders, and owners of three Marriott Vacation Club weeks, we feel very much part of the Marriott family. However, I also join with Mr. Linton and Mr. White in their sentiments that retired military and federal government contractors have slipped to the back of the line when making reservations for staying in Marriott properties. Please reconsider recognizing these groups for special treatment in the reservation process. And thanks for your acknowledgment of our families' dedicated contributions to our great nation.

Sometimes you just have to shell out a bit more for a better result, it's that simple. I paid top dollar to stay at a Marriott for multiple nights during a 50th anniversary event that was held in an unfamiliar city in NJ and I have no regrets. I knew I'd be safe, my rental car which turned out to be a taxi yellow Mustang, would be protected, and there would be food and a helping hand should I need it upon my 11pm arrival. That's a civilian's perspective. Now, for the military, Mr. Marriott, please match the U.S. gov't's. per diem for travel. It's the least we can do to honor the men who put everything at risk for us. I thank the U.S. Army for raising and focusing my nephew to be the man he is today. He was serving overseas when his father(a police chief)passed away at age 48. Currently this mid 20's man raises the flag at one of the biggest Army bases in the U.S. and he's on light duty due to medical, but he would be proud to serve on base should he be needed on Veteran's Day he said. I hope his military related and vacation stays are filled with Marriott moments as I find Marriott is a name I count on.
Respectfully Submitted to You and Vets, Carolyn in California

Thank you so much for offering a Military Discount. Especially on Veteran's Day weekend. Me and a couple of friends will be staying in your hotel in Portsmouth VA this weekend. We are celebrating the 232nd Birthday of the United States Marine Corps. We are all serving our country and are excited to enjoy a weekend off. Thank you for making this possible for us!
PFC Lipinska
USMC

I appreciate the Marriott family support of the military but would ask that you consider extending your military rates to those of us who spent 20+ years on active duty and now carry a retired military ID card.

I too served in the Navy while we were not in wartime. I was and am continually thankful for that. I am also extremely greatful for the men and women that continue to uphold the values of this awesome country and what it stands for. I am actually so thankful that when I see someone in uniform, I stop whatever I am doing and go over to them and personally thank them for maintaining my freedom through their service. I believe more of us should do this regardless of our political views. Think about it, it is because of these men and women that we enjoy the freedoms of political views and much much more.

Thank you for your support. I have been in the military for 18 years and love to see military discounts offered. I recently tried to get a military discount at a hotel in Arkansas and was surprized to learn that none was available. I spoke to the GM, was given the cold shoulder, and felt as if I were wrong for asking for a military discount on Veterans Day week-end. Supporting the military with actions is equally as important as words. Again, I appreciate your kind words towards the military but, that doesn't help me support you by staying at one of your establishments. Respectfully, B. McCarty

I appreciate your support of the military over the years. Marriott was one of the first companies to offer military rates at their hotels and on many occasions it was the only way I could stay in high cost areas and not loose money on per diem.
I would agree with Mr Linton's comment concerning offering military/government rates to military retirees. Many of us joined Marriott's family long ago and recognizing our loyalty with the military/government rate would be consistent with Marriott's military friendly culture.
Thanks.

My military service was as short as possible, as a Vietnam Veteran who read James Michener's book The Bridges at Toko- Ri tempting fate was not in my genes. I still feel an affinity for the men and women I served with and those that are serving now.
There is a certain quality attached to the commitment they show in duty.
I have stuck with that idea in my choice of Marriott. As a Marriott Vacation Club International owner, I have come to rely upon and am never disappointed in the high quality found in the name Marriott.
Thanks for saluting our military personnel , too few take the time to recognize these fine people as they deserve.

As a 20 Army year veteran, I appreciate the appreciation like the others below, but I concur somewhat with Chris G that a true showing would be a Veteran's/Retiree Rate at Marriott Hotels. Serving as a military contractor now, I am persona non grata. My Active Duty card sent me to the front of the Marriott line ~ my Retiree card sends me to the back of the line (or to another hotel down the road). I am a Platinum member with more than a MILLION rewards points, so my Marriott Loyalty should not be in question, but it is getting harder and harder to stay Marriott. I did write corporate HQ on this a while back, but to no satisfaction.
Although military folk don't do what they do for the perks, it still is nice to enjoy some from time to time. Hilton allows retirees to enjoy military rates; Marriott used to in many cases, but I reckon somebody decided to change this On the Move. No telling how many millions the Marriott empire could garner if they were to truly cater more to the military retiree community -- a demographic with both the time & (some) money to spend at hotels as they travel this great country.
Regardless of how selfish this posting may sound, I truly do appreciate a heartfelt message from Mr. Bill Marriott on Veteran's Day and I think it shows a lot of class for him to do so. God Bless America and it's military families.
DOug Linton, Evans, GA

Thank you Mr. Bill for highlighting how much danger is involved in the military as well. Most of the young men when envisioning the army think of the Hollywood version of things, where the hero surfaces untarnished by a drop of blood or suffering from minor wounds. Those TV heroes miraculously survive a shower of bullets so the film ends happily ever after. Well it's not that way in the army. On the battlefront it's either you alive or your enemy. There is live fire, blood and no easy victories. During the sixties our Jordanian army fought one of the shortest but bloodiest battles in our Jordanian history. Through the valiant fighting will of the soldiers they stopped the advance of an enemy that wanted to annex Jordanian land into its territory. Not having the same complex weaponry as the enemy the Jordanian soldiers wrapped their bodies with explosives and blew up with their bodies the advancing tanks. The enemy withdrew very shortly unable to compete in fighting spirit. Thanks to our army Jordan stands today with its full authority on all its territories. The names of the soldiers are carved in finest marble on a memorial sight in Amman Jordan. They gave in their life to protect their lands just like the US army fought bravely to protect its lands in Pearl Harbor.

And I salute you for honoring our soldiers who fought for us and for all those heroes that are still fighting for us out there. GOD Bless America and God Bless You!

While I respect your comments about the military, I must say, that as an 18 year Navy man, and long time platinum member of the rewards program, a real salute of the military would be a better look at your gov't/military hotel rates. It is very rare that I can find a gov't rate available anymore on my official Navy travels, and when I do, its rarely matched to the official gov't per diem rates I am offered. While I remain a marriott customer, my stays in marriotts have declined steeply due to the lack of the rates I am forced to pay by the gov't rules.

Nice and encouraging words for all soldiers' regardless region or country. You are not only a successful business man, also a good human being. In today's world everybody busy in earning more and more but you are exception.
Thanks for sharing and keep it up.