Schultz, CEO of global coffee chain Starbucks is donating the money to benefit the rehabilitation of U.S. war veterans suffering from the condition as the flow of troops returning from the Afghanistan and Iraq war zones gathers impetus.
Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks’s has committed to donate $30 million to help fund studies into brain trauma or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) a condition that affects, to varying degrees, returning soldiers from the war zones where the United States have been involved in the last twenty years.
Shultz’s commitment to help PTSD sufferers comes in addition to his initiative to hire no less than 10, 000 army veterans and/or husbands or wives of those who have served in the military over the next five years.
In a recent interview, Schultz stated that these young men and women who are coming home from multiple deployments are not coming home to a parade or a celebration- in truth many of them are coming home to an American public that really doesn’t understand, and never embraced, what these people have done.
Howard Schultz went on to add that rehabilitation is the key to utilizing traumatized veterans who have gained life experience that could be ‘incredibly valuable to American business ’ in a number of ways.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder caused by witnessing stressful, frightening or distressing events, not just in combat, but also victims of accidents of any nature and even natural disasters such as hurricanes or tornadoes. Whatever the cause, PTSD can manifest itself immediately after a traumatic event, although it can sometimes take months or even years, before symptoms emerge, which can come in extreme forms ranging from lethargy and insomnia to aggression.
The incidence of PTSD among army veterans are statistically much higher, with one in three army veterans estimated to have experienced some form of traumatic event during their service.
According to recent figures issued by the Congressional Research Service, one out of five of the soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan veterans returned to the United States with some form of PTSD and/or some form of depression as a result of their armed services, although around half of those suffering from PTSD have yet to seek any form of treatment. Statistics show however that just over 150, 000 cases of PTSD have been reported within the U.S. Army between the years 2000 and 2014.
Howard Schultz graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Northern Michigan University in 1975
After graduating, Schultz began his career in commerce with the sales team at the Xerox Corporation, achieving considerable success selling commercial printers and photocopiers. Howard’s romance with coffee began in 1979, when at the age of just 26 he was appointed general manager for the United States by Swedish drip coffee maker manufacturer, in charge of a staff of twenty. It was while he was with Hammarplast, that Schultz first met the owners of the Starbucks Coffee Company in Seattle, and within a year had joined them as their Director of Marketing.
Howard became a driving force in Starbucks, encouraging them to expand their operations throughout the United States, although the company’s owners, Jerry Baldwin and Gordon Bowker, did not share Schultz’s enthusiasm and, frustrated he decided to form his own coffee house chain, which he called ‘Il Giornale’, even receiving some backing from Baldwin and Bowker off the ground. Needless to say ‘IL Giornale’ became a great success, and within two years, Jerry Baldwin and Gordon Bowker decided to sell the Strabucks chain, then considerably smaller, to Schultz.
Schultz has famously recalled his efforts to build Starbucks into an international chain of coffee houses in his novel “Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time” which he co-wrote with Dori Jones Yang which was released 1997 following that up with “ Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing Its Soul” this time co-written with Joanne Gordon, which was published in 2011.