Call of Duty Endowment Created to Help Veterans Combat Unemployment

Recent trends
show that America’s veterans face a new adversary – unemployment.
According to statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more
than 500,000 unemployed veterans between the ages of 18 and 64
currently live in the United States.
And amid the greatest economic uncertainty since the 1930s, today’s
veterans by some accounts endure a jobless rate that is nearly twice
the national average.

To help combat these alarming trends, Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), a worldwide online, PC and console video game
publisher and publisher of the best-selling Call of Duty video game
franchise, has established the Call of Duty Endowment (CODE). This
nonprofit public benefit corporation will focus its resources on
assisting organizations that provide job placement and training to
veterans, as well as engaging the media and public forums to raise
awareness about the issue.

At today’s launch event in Washington, BG Gary H. Cheek, the
Assistant Surgeon General of Warrior Care and Transition and Commander
of the Warrior Transition Command, stressed the need to help those
veterans returning from service who have had difficulty finding
employment: “I could make the case that based upon the service and
sacrifice of our veterans that American employers have their own call
of duty to ensure they have the opportunity for gainful employment and
a viable career,” Cheek said. “Our soldiers have a lot to offer:
integrity, discipline, teamwork, and personal sacrifice for a greater
good. I can think of no stronger candidates for any positions employers
might be looking to fill. These brave men and women willingly put their
lives on the line to protect the blessings of liberty enjoyed by every
business in this great country of ours.”

Activision Blizzard created the organization with a commitment
to donate and raise millions of dollars to help raise awareness of
veterans’ unemployment. Recognizing that Infinity Ward’s Call of Duty:
Modern Warfare 2™ is expected to be one of the biggest entertainment
properties of the year, and that the Call Of Duty game is extremely
popular among troops, Activision chose to give back to veterans by
using the proceeds from Modern Warfare 2 to fund the Call of Duty
Endowment and raise awareness for this important issue. Infinity Ward’s
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was released to gamers worldwide, at midnight on November 10.

To help guide the endowment, Activision Blizzard’s CEO, Robert
Kotick, recruited an advisory board composed of respected veterans
representing the various branches of the military.

The advisory council assists in identifying potential
organizations that will receive grants from CODE and helps to raise
awareness of the issue across the country.

During the event, Kotick highlighted the need for other
corporate leaders to step forward and ensure that hiring veterans is a
priority. “We embark on this effort as a grateful nation. Business
leaders have an opportunity to renew their commitment to the American
spirit and to reverse an alarming trend of not recognizing the sacrifices made by the men and women of our military service,” Kotick said.

In addition to announcing Activision’s commitment to raise
millions of dollars, CODE also announced a grant of $125,000 made to
the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) organization. The grant will
provide resources to help underwrite the cost of a new PVA Vocational
Rehabilitation Services Center in Boston,MA. This PVA program offers
vocationally-oriented services to veterans with disabilities,
especially those veterans with spinal cord dysfunction.

Homer S. Townsend, Jr., executive director of PVA, expressed
how grave the employment issue is for disabled veterans. Speaking at
the event Mr. Thompson noted, “PVA estimates the national unemployment
rate for veterans with severe disabilities to be over 85 percent. With
this grant, and the work already being done by PVA, we aim to make this
grim statistic a thing of the past by helping to unleash the untapped
talent and potential of this often underutilized part of our

Moving forward, CODE will have an active online presence
through its website at This website will
house statistics about the issue, resources for veterans and employers,
recent news items, and videos about the challenges veterans face. CODE
also will award several more grants in the upcoming weeks and months
and sponsor several events to bring greater awareness of the issue to a
variety of audiences.

Members of the media can visit Activision’s Broadcast Media
Center to download broadcast quality video, web-ready video and
high-resolution images. Members of the media using Pathfire can take
advantage of a Pathfire enabled video download. Broadcast Media Center:


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