Call of Duty
publisher Activision Blizzard on Tuesday will donate $1 million to military veterans via the new Call of Duty Endowment (CODE), which intends to help stem the high unemployment rate among vets, The Washington Post reported Monday
The CODE aims to address an October unemployment rate of 11.6 percent among veterans. Nationwide, the unemployment rate stood at 10.2 percent in October, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said, "The joblessness rate that [veterans] should have should be far less than the national average, not more. How do you expect people to actually join the military if when they leave the military they can't integrate back into the free market they're supposed to be protecting?"
The CODE will help veterans find jobs and support careers. According to The Washington Post's report, the Department of Veterans Affairs found that public sector employers believe vets have a hard time adapting to a profit-driven business.
One way Activision's CODE will help vets adapt is through the help of a CODE board made up of "prominent retired military leaders." Army Gen. James "Spider" Marks is one board member. "The fact that industry can complement the efforts of the government to really provide assistance is wonderful," Marks said. "It doesn't replace it, it's a partnership in an effort to provide a full canvas of options."
The report said Activision will donate an initial amount of $125,000, which will go to Paralyzed Veterans of America. The funds will go towards the opening of a vocational rehabilitation center. "These are super-capable people," Kotick said. "To the extent that you can put them on track to develop more skills, the development potential that we've identified is extraordinary."
In November 2008, Activision Blizzard said it would send popular video games to U.S. troops around the globe in a partnership with the USO.