Children reenact the flag raising after the Battle of Iwo Jima at the annual Veterans Day parade Nov. 8 in Denver, Colo.
Brent Lewis—Denver Post via Getty Images
By Denver Nicks
November 10, 2015

As part of a larger effort to embrace and support the community of American veterans, Starbucks is extending its standing offer to pay for college to the family of veterans in addition to the vets themselves.

“We have a responsibility as a nation to honor our veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice, but it goes beyond saying thank you,” said Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, “we must put our thanks into action and collectively help those who are making the transition from military to civilian life.”

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Starbucks has hired more than 5,500 veterans and military spouses, with pledges to hire 10,000 by 2018, the company said in a statement. More than 4,000 current and former members of the military take advantage of the company’s offer to college the entire cost of tuition to earn a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University. The new policy gives each employee another credit to extend to a spouse or child and cover the cost of college for them as well.

The move may help to smooth things over between Starbucks and its conservative critics who have lambasted the chain for not being sufficiently Christmasy with its new solid red holiday cups.

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