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Tuesday
Jan152013

Walmart to Roll Out Program to Hire More than 100K Vets

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Walmart announced on Tuesday that it is rolling out a program this year to hire almost any veteran who wants a job, marking one of the biggest job commitments ever made by a company.

The effort is set to begin on Memorial Day.  The company is offering a job to any veteran who received an honorable discharge within a year of applying for a position.

“Hiring a veteran can be one of the best business decisions you make,” Walmart U.S. President and CEO Bill Simon said in a statement.  “Veterans have a record of performance under pressure.  They’re quick learners and team players.  They are leaders with discipline, training, and a passion for service.  There is a seriousness and sense of purpose that the military instills, and we need it today more than ever.”

Walmart expects it will hire more than 100,000 veterans in the next five years.

“We believe Walmart is already the largest private employer of veterans in the country, and we want to hire more,” Simon said.  “I can think of no better group to lead in revitalizing our economy than those who have served in uniform.  Through their service, veterans give us a land of freedom.  When they return, it must be to a land of possibility.”

Walmart reached out to first lady Michelle Obama, who was "very excited" about the company's commitment.

“This is exactly the kind of act we hoped would be possible when we started Joining Forces -- a concrete example of our nation's love and support that our troops, veterans, and their families can feel in their lives every day,” said Mrs. Obama.  “As our wars come to an end and our troops continue to come home, it's more important than ever that all of us -- not just government, but our businesses and nonprofits as well -- do our part to serve those who have served us so bravely."

Walmart said the White House is going to convene with the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense and major American employers in the next several weeks to encourage other businesses to make similar commitments.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio