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Banana Republic’s promise to the military

CompanyTanya Hart, Gap Inc. bloggerComment

Sunday was Veteran’s Day, our annual opportunity to thank those who serve our country, something we should do as a nation all the time.

Our way of saying thank you, from now until the end of the year, comes in the form of Banana Republic’s “Our Duty To You” program, which helps veterans transition back into civilian life — in the form of finding a job in this tough economy — after leaving the military.

BR will offer veterans and their families a 50 percent discount on three items in-store through Thursday, Nov. 15. They’ll also get 15 percent off full-priced items through the end of 2012.

Beyond that, this program offers resume writing and interviewing tips, on top of job interview styling on Nov. 13. The idea is to support military personnel and their interview and clothing needs as they job search, or as they buy wardrobes for a new position.


When Mark Etelamaki returned from Asia, back in the 1980s, he had to make that move from being a sergeant in the Marines to a civilian in a nine-to-five world.

He found restaurant work, then a government position, and eventually, he landed a job at Banana Republic as a store associate. Luckily, the hiring manager clicked with him right away, and felt like he was a good fit. He told me that other military personnel should take the time required to understand themselves and their future in terms of their core values.

 “What inspires you to succeed? Seek out that environment in your new career,” he said.

The discount is being promoted through — and Penfed (one of the largest financial institutions serving the military family) — in a unique partnership, to reach millions of service members and their families.

Basically, we’re taking a pause to honor those who keep this country safe, those like Mark, and trying to help by bringing together store employees and customers to create change through skills-based volunteering.

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