Starbucks CEO announces $30 million gift for U.S. troops

NEW YORK -- Eleven years ago after U.S. forces thundered into Iraq at the start of a war that would last nearly nine years, the chairman of Starbucks is announcing a $30 million gift to help war vets. Howard Schultz told CBS News he fears that with the wind-down of Afghanistan, some Americans may forget too quickly about the needs of the 2.5 million who have served.


SCOTT PELLEY: Tell me about one thing that the $30 million is going to go to, that you think is really important.

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Howard Schultz
CBS News
HOWARD SCHULTZ: I think one thing that is necessary is a comprehensive mechanism for job training. But another is the fact that, depending on who you're talking to, 20, 30, 40 percent of the two million people who have served are coming back with some kind of brain trauma or PTS. So we're going to fund the opportunity for significant research and for medical practitioners and science to understand the disease and, ultimately, hopefully, come up with some -- a level of remedy.

SCOTT PELLEY: More research for post-traumatic stress syndrome?

HOWARD SCHULTZ: Yes.

SCOTT PELLEY: And more research for traumatic brain injury?

HOWARD SCHULTZ: That's correct. The truth of the matter is, and I say this with respect, more often than not, the government does a very -- a much better job of sending people to war than they do bringing them home. These young men and women who are coming home from multiple deployments are not coming home to a parade. They're not coming home to a celebration. They're coming home to an American public that really doesn't understand, and never embraced, what these people have done.

Veterans: Celebrating Our Heroes

What they've done, Schultz says, is incredibly valuable to American business.

SCOTT PELLEY: These returning troops have management skills that you can't get any other way.

HOWARD SCHULTZ: No.

SCOTT PELLEY: No Harvard Business School is ever going to teach you how to lead people into combat.

HOWARD SCHULTZ: That is something very, very different. And these life skills can't be taught. And what I'm saying is that they're extraordinarily valuable to any business, any institution, any enterprise.

SCOTT PELLEY: You were recently at Walter Reed Army Hospital. What did you see there? What was that experience like? What did you learn?

HOWARD SCHULTZ: I was not mentally prepared, or emotionally prepared, for what we saw at Walter Reed. And a young, 21-year-old warrior who had lost both his legs was being wheeled around by his mother. And you ask yourself, "If that was my son or my daughter, how would we respond?" And I think my responsibility now is I have seen things, and I've heard things and I've met these people and their families, and you just can't be a bystander. You have to do everything you can to tell their story and help them.


In addition to the charitable gift, Schultz told CBS News Starbucks will hire 10,000 veterans or their spouses over the next five years. The Pentagon reminded us today that 6,801 Americans have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.


  • Scott Pelley

    Anchor and Managing Editor, "CBS Evening News;" Correspondent, "60 Minutes"

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