It’s Veterans Week in New York City. The annual event was established by mayoral proclamation in November 2012 and this year it was Mayor Bill DeBlasio’s turn to endorse it.
Earlier today, he presided over a ceremony at City Hall that kick started a weeklong of events honoring the 22. 7 Million American veterans in the US. Did you know that 1.6 Million of them live in the NYC/Tri-State area.
Among the symposiums, seminars, facility tours, benefit galas, stand-up comedy shows, job fairs, concerts, and parades leading up to Veterans Day, there is the Got Your 6 Storytellers evening, a “Got Your 6″ event hosted by HBO Theater.
“Got Your 6” is military slang for “I’ve got your back,” a saying that, according to the Urban Dictionary, refers to the old pilot system in which directions correspond to hours on the clock, where 12 o’clock is forward and 6 o’clock is behind. Thus anyone behind you is “at your six.”
The term was borrowed to name the “Got Your 6” awareness campaign that brings together nonprofit organizations, Hollywood icons and government partners to foster dialogue between veterans and civilians.
The coalition is fighting to reverse a trend that has been predominant in the post-9/11 American popular culture: “Veteran reintegration” should cease to be seen as a major societal problem or struggle and start being seen as an opportunity.
This year nine Got Your 6 Storytellers will tell you why. Among them Justine Cabulong, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran and “The Daily Show” Veteran Advocate and J.W. Cortes, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran and Actor.
But the “Got Your 6” story doesn’t start or end here. It’s an ongoing effort that many celebrities, including Anne Hathaway, Glenn Close, Bette Midler, Bradley Cooper, and Harrison Ford, have joined.
First Lady Michelle Obama who, in 2011, helped launch Joining Forces, “a nationwide initiative calling all Americans to rally around service members, veterans, and their families,” also joined forces with the advocacy group.
Watch Operation Got Your 6 to find out what the First Lady ‘s Top Secret Mission for the Penguins of Madagascar is all about. Get inspired and take action.