The Leadership Council and several Metro East chamber of commerce organizations launched the Scott Patriot Program on Sept. 11, 2013, and have spent the first year building the program’s membership, enhancing the website and working with their colleagues at Scott Air Force Base to help educate military members and their families about the program and why they should patronize Scott Patriots.
EDWARDSVILLE — The Scott Patriot Program turned one year old on Thursday.
To date, more than 650 businesses and organizations have signed up to be part of the initiative that recognizes local businesses, communities and organizations as being “military-friendly,” thanks to discounts offered and other means of support demonstrated for military families affiliated with Scott Air Force Base.
While a primary goal of the program is to make it easy for families to identify those who are military-friendly by listing them at www.scottpatriot.com, it also aims to encourage others to support those who forego comfort, confront danger and sometimes die in defense of the nation, and to the family members who remain behind while they serve.
“We’re thrilled to have such great participation just one year into the program, but we know that there are many more businesses and organizations across our region that are doing their part to support our military families, and we really want to get them signed up too,” said Gerry Schuetzenhofer, chairman of the Military Affairs Committee of the Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois.
The Leadership Council and several Metro East chamber of commerce organizations launched the program on Sept. 11, 2013, and have spent the first year building the program’s membership, enhancing the website and working with their colleagues at Scott Air Force Base to help educate military members and their families about the program and why they should patronize Scott Patriots.
Among the special offers are free soda fountain drinks and coffee for uniformed personnel at Coffee Cartel and Abner Gas Mart; 25 percent off storage units at A Storage Inn; 15 percent off purchases at Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate Company; 10 percent off at restaurants, including Burger King, Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken, Jersey Mike’s Subs and Bella Milano; 10 percent or more off at a range of retailers, from the Alpine Shop and Eckert’s to Frieze Harley Davidson; discounts for haircuts at Sport Clips, Great Clips and All Styles Barber and Beauty Salon, and countless other discounts and specials on products, services, activities, educational courses and more throughout the bi-state region. Dozens of the Patriots also hire veterans to fill open positions, and still others support one or more of the many organizations that are working to support, enhance or grow Scott Air Force Base.
Many of the Scott Patriots provide support in a variety of ways, collectively representing thousands of examples of local support, and, while only some Patriots estimate the value of their support, the combined value reported by those signing up exceeds $1.5 million.
“The support of the surrounding communities has been integral to the growth and success of Scott Air Force Base since its establishment in 1917,” said Col. Kyle Kremer, Scott AFB installation commander and commander, 375th Air Mobility Wing. “Scott, in fact, would not exist if it wasn’t for the efforts and advocacy to the War Department by community leaders to build a military aviation training site here.”
Businesses or organizations that offer discounts or support for the military and their families are encouraged to sign up. They can complete a brief online application at http://scottpatriot.com/scott-patriot-program/. Those interested in stepping up their support for the military will find a list of 10 easy ways to begin showing support and can pick one or more that works for them in order to sign up. The process is free and takes just two minutes, whether done online or by phone by calling the Leadership Council at (618) 692-9745.
New Patriots will be sent a welcome packet, including a Scott Patriot decal to post in the window of the business, office or community center, so it is easily recognized as being “military-friendly.” Many choose to also display the Scott Patriot logo or affiliation on their marquee or other outdoor signage. Each Patriot is listed on the website with a direct link back to their own website, where additional details about the specific support provided can be promoted. The website also features an events section with listings and fliers about events that would be of interest to members of the military and their families. A Communities page provides insight into all the Scott Patriot communities in the Metro East that have signed on, including Madison and St. Clair counties. On the social media side, a Twitter page, @ScottPatriot, was launched during the first year of the program and is further engaging the community in this effort.