TARRYTOWN, N.Y., June 27, 2011 -- Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced the launch of a program to support a U.S. Army Civil Affairs Unit - called R-Unit - that deployed to Iraq on June 7, 2011. The official kick-off event for the program took place at Regeneron's Corporate Headquarters in Tarrytown, New York on Friday, May 20, 2011, where employees met three R-unit representatives who explained the value in supporting soldiers being deployed. Two weeks later, Regeneron employees attended a pre-deployment barbeque held at Ft. Dix, New Jersey, where they met the R Unit soldiers and members of their families before they deployed for Iraq.
The R-Unit program was initiated to promote the understanding, recognition, and support of U.S. military troops. It is part of Regeneron in the Community, an employee-driven program that encourages volunteerism and service in the areas where the Company's employees work and live, all with the aim of making a difference in the lives of others.
R-Unit is comprised of 29 soldiers of the 403rd Civil Affairs Battalion of the U.S. Army Reserves, based in Mattydale, New York. They trained for mobilization at Fort Dix, New Jersey before they were deployed for Operation New Dawn (Iraq) on June 7.
As a Civil Affairs Unit in the "Winning Hearts and Minds" campaign, R-Unit helps communities rebuild their infrastructures, such as rebuilding schools or hospitals. R-Unit troops help restore civilian normalcy in affected communities.
Through the R-Unit program, Regeneron employees may have the opportunity to write letters and other communications to R-Unit soldiers, run seasonal/holiday collection drives to gather gifts for them to boost morale, and assist with providing needed supplies that support R-Unit's humanitarian mission. For example, if the mission includes rebuilding a school, Regeneron employees may gather and donate backpacks and school supplies for that part of the mission. Support will continue for the duration of R-Unit's 400-day mission, from the day of deployment until their return home.
Captain Juan Salas is Regeneron's liaison to R-Unit. Captain Salas had served in Iraq, was injured, and returned to America to graduate from Manhattanville College. Knowing how much it helped soldiers to receive support from home, he founded a program called "My Soldier" to support U.S. troops. He worked with the R-Unit to prepare them for their assignment.
"This program is about educating, sensitizing, and energizing our staff. It is very appropriate to launch between May -- Military Appreciation Month -- and the July 4th Holiday," said Alixis Hull, Senior Human Resources Specialist, who spearheaded the program at Regeneron with another employee, Rosa Inoa. "My hope is that our employees are inspired by this program to go back to their own communities and find other ways to support our troops."
About the R-Unit Program
Regeneron's R-Unit program grew from the experience of Ms. Hull, who has been actively involved in the Cell Phones for Soldiers program, which applies proceeds from the recycling of old cell phones to purchase telephone calling cards for troops. Ms. Hull recalled how important calls home were for her nephew, Cpl. Justin R. Garcia, when he was deployed abroad. Cpl. Garcia -- whom Ms. Hull and her husband helped raise after his parents passed away when he was 13 -- died of injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle during combat operations in Baghdad in 2006. He was 26. Regeneron became a participant in the Cell Phones for Soldiers program, but Ms. Hull always wanted to find a way to inspire employees to do something larger, as a group, to support our troops. Ms. Inoa introduced her to Captain Salas, and together they established the R-Unit program.
About Regeneron in the Community (RIC)
Regeneron in the Community (RIC) is an employee-driven program encouraging volunteerism and service in the areas where Regeneron employees work and live - all with the aim of making a difference in the lives of others. The same pride and passion that fuel our science provide the energy behind our community efforts. RIC is a local expression of our global commitment to help improve the lives of patients suffering from unmet medical needs. We focus on gifts of time, talent and service because our employees want to give back to the local community. We teach, we nurture, we learn and we grow.
About Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Regeneron is a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops, and commercializes medicines for the treatment of serious medical conditions. In addition to ARCALYST® (rilonacept) Injection for Subcutaneous Use, its first commercialized product, Regeneron has therapeutic candidates in Phase 3 clinical trials for the potential treatment of gout, diseases of the eye (wet age-related macular degeneration, central retinal vein occlusion, and diabetic macular edema), and certain cancers. Additional therapeutic candidates developed from proprietary Regeneron technologies for creating fully human monoclonal antibodies are in earlier stage development programs in rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions, pain, cholesterol reduction, allergic and immune conditions, and cancer. Additional information about Regeneron and recent news releases are available on Regeneron's web site at www.regeneron.com.
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