Entertainment executives, Hollywood stars and veterans kicked off Veterans' Day weekend by teaming together for a day of service with the Got Your 6 campaign and the national veterans non-profit The Mission Continues for a day of charity.
The service project was hosted by Bad Robot Productions, NBC Universal and Creative Artists Agency (CAA) at the Globe Theater at Universal Studios Hollywood. Producer J.J. Abrams, Universal president and COO (and former marine) Ron Meyer, Brandon Routh and Gabrielle Carteris were among Hollywood names who spent Friday morning volunteering with vets to fill more than 5,000 backpacks with food for local kids. They proceeded to distribute the packs to food-insecure children at Title 1 schools of the Los Angeles Unified School District.
"I've always been a supporter of veterans," said actor Routh. "My father was in Vietnam and my grandfather served in World War II. I understand the need to be supportive especially of the trauma they can have, and we can only imagine what that's like being in that scenario."
Got Your 6, a military phrase for "I've got your back and you've got mine," is a Hollywood-backed campaign that aims to help veterans and military families secure jobs and become leaders in their communities. The campaign works with 32 non-profits and top entertainment studios, networks, guilds and agencies in the industry to provide working opportunities and bridge the gap between veterans and civilians.
"Military veterans have been trained by the federal government to be leaders, team builders, and problem solvers. Got Your 6 is working to change the conversation in the country to ensure that we all perceive veterans as leaders and civic assets. Specifically in the workplace, veterans are poised to take on leadership roles and to make the work community a stronger place," said Chris Marvin, managing director of Got Your 6.
Added actor Austin Stowell: "I don't think that there's enough attention that gets back to our service men and women, so anything to raise awareness for the wonderful sacrifice that they make for us to lead the lives that we live here is my pleasure."
Got Your 6 aims to work with entertainment studios and agents to bring attention to the situations faced by veterans through television integration and film projects. The voice of the entertainment industry in this national publicity effort can help provide the opportunity to create a place for charities in the business of Hollywood.
"I think people genuinely want to do this, so there is always room for this in Hollywood," said actor Lamorne Morris. "If there isn't, we'll make room."
Added Abrams: "The good and bad of Hollywood is that anyone can make it. There's no one way to do so. Tomorrow can be the day it happens. Whether you want to be an actor, cinematographer, writer or composer, it comes down to what is your passion and what are you able to do. What is Hollywood but a place where stories are told and grab you by the heart? These are people who have been through true life and death experiences. Whether they want to tell a story or have specific craft in filmmaking, it is as tough or easy as for anyone."
Additional reporting by Sophie A. Schillaci.