Ralph Poznecki lives in Las Vegas and is Public Areas Manager for The Mirage Hotel Casino & Resort. He heads up the enterprise’s Cell Phones For Soldiers cell phone collection for many reasons, not least of which is because he remembers the days he served in the U.S. Air Force.
“I am proud and privileged to have been a pilot and held the rank of captain,” he says. “And I remember long lines in front of payphone booths on various air bases, airmen and officers waiting their turn, in all kinds of weather, hands filled with change to call home. With today’s technology, and the convenience of the cell phone, there’s no need for those long lines. However, it still costs to place those calls. This [Cell Phones For Soldiers’ Minutes That Matter] program can supply prepaid phone cards to help with those expenses. ”
Imagine the potential if every teen in today’s society felt so compelled to help others.
Mr. Poznecki became aware of Cell Phones For Soldiers five years ago when he was accepted for a seat on The Mirage’s Diversity Counsel.
“While serving,” he says, “each member committed to support or steward a program that ‘gave back’ in some form or way to those in need. Once involved, I learned how the [Cell Phones For Soldiers’ Minutes That Matter] program got started by a couple of teens just wanting to say thanks and help out our members of the armed forces. Imagine the potential if every teen in today’s society felt so compelled to help others. How could I every say no.”
“The MGM Resorts International Organization honors and awards many of our wounded warriors for their courage, sacrifice and bravery.”
Mr. Poznecki is pleased to represent his workplace in initiatives like Cell Phones For Soldiers because it means he and his organization can be of service:
“The MGM Resorts International Organization has been supporting the men and women serving in our armed force in many programs and events. Most recent is our Salute to the Troops, where we honor and award many of our wounded warriors for their courage, sacrifice and bravery both in combat, and now, [while they’re] recovering from their injuries.”
“The wounded soldier shook my hand, thanking me for doing so much for them, but it was I who had to thank him, hug him. I think we both got teary eyed.”
He’s pleased to represent his workplace in initiatives like Cell Phones For Soldiers because it means getting personally involved, connecting with others, feeling gratitude:
“During last year’s Salute to the Troops,” he says, “I was introduced to a wounded soldier who had lost his leg. Our events coordinator had told him about the nonprofit (Cell Phones For Soldiers) and my involvement in it. He [the wounded soldier] shook my hand, thanking me for doing so much for them, but it was I who had to thank him for his sacrifice for us, couldn’t help it, but had to hug him. I think we both got teary eyed.”
“Visit your local VA Hospital, speak with some of our veterans, and honestly say the experience wouldn’t influence you to pursue this program with your whole heart.”
“If anyone is interested in starting their own collection point for the program,” says Mr. Poznecki, “they can contact cellphonesforsoldiers.com for information, forms and other resources. My advice to anyone wanting to get started in supporting this cause…visit your local VA Hospital, speak with some of our veterans, and honestly say the experience wouldn’t influence you to pursue this program with your whole heart. Hear for yourself what these men and women would have given a chance to spend a few minute talking with a loved one, or hearing a familiar voice from home. A few minutes of someone’s time and a little effort can make a difference on the day of the life of one of our members of the armed forces.”