MGM Resorts International seeks to honor veterans and their spouses nationwide through a new program.
The Military Veterans Program, or MVP, was started by an employee network group at MGM Resorts. More than 10,000 active military members, veterans and their spouses are already part of the program since its soft launch in July.
"They wanted to come up with a program that really, really showed our veterans, our military spouses and our active duty military -- anybody who's ever served -- how much we appreciate what they've done for us," said John Flynn, executive director of program and initiative strategy with MGM Resorts and a veteran himself.
One of the major benefits of the rewards program is Pearl status, which gives recipients free parking at the Las Vegas resorts.
"We have a lot of discounts for our rooms, for every food and beverage outlet, spa, pool, many of our shows, our Cirque shows, and most importantly, you get Pearl status, which gives you free parking here in Vegas," Flynn said.
While Flynn said MGM Resorts has been doing a lot of things for the military already, the Military Veterans Program helps organize it all and make it easy to find on MGM's website.
MGM also has a program called Boots to Business, an initiative to hire more veterans, along with veterans career fairs.
Through the new program, MGM employees have also been trained to recognize veterans when they present the MVP card.
"When that card is handed over to one of our employees, the employee knows that this person served, they're a spouse, and they thank them for their service," Flynn said.
Flynn noted that spouses are "as much part of this benefit as anybody else."
"We want to equip our servicemembers when they go overseas, and we want to take care of them when they come home," he said. "But when they're overseas, who's taking care of the communities? Who's taking the kids to school? Who's celebrating the birthdays? Who's taking care of the anniversaries? Somebody is filling the gap and that's the spouse."
30 percent of the 24 million eligible veterans and their spouses in the U.S. are within a 6-hour drive of an MGM Resorts property, which, besides the Las Vegas resorts, also includes locations in Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi and New Jersey.
Flynn said the program aims to benefit locals as well with military bases surrounding the Las Vegas area.
"So we have Nellis Air Force Base that's close by, we have Creech Air Force Base," he said. "We have about 180,000 retired or National Guardsmen or reservist servicemembers in the area. So it is a definitely an outreach to them."
Local veterans were recognized at the launch of the program in July during a performance of Terry Fator at The Mirage hotel-casino.
"We wanted to select one from each branch of service, reservist, guardsmen, active duty. We also wanted to have a spouse involved," Flynn said. "And also, one of the members that joined us at the Terry Fator event on July 19 served in World War II."
Three of the seven recipients are on active duty, with one recently returning from deployment.
"I think now it's as important as ever to honor that service because we have to remember that we have troops deployed in Afghanistan, in Iraq, supporting operations in Syria, on the Korean Peninsula, everywhere around the world," Flynn said.
The MGM Resorts Military Veterans Program is available to all U.S. active duty, guard, reserve, retired military, veterans and spouses of eligible military personnel. Current M life Rewards members can sign up for the MVP card at any M life Rewards Desk. For more information on the program, check out the military page on the MGM Resorts website.
MGM Resorts International provided the photos used in the video.