Veterans write heartfelt message over Starbucks hiring 10,000 refugees

Starbucks' armed forces network shared a heartfelt message after push back to the coffee giant's announcement that it will hire 10,000 refugees in the wake of President Donald Trump's travel ban

Howard Schultz, the coffee retailer's chairman and CEO, said in a letter to employees Sunday that the hiring would apply to stores worldwide and the effort would start in the United States where the focus would be on hiring immigrants "who have served with U.S. troops as interpreters and support personnel."

The promise resulted in reaction from both sides, with some calling for a boycott in support.

Starbucks Armed Forces Network, an internal veteran group with more than 14 chapters across the country. They provide an additional layer of support for veterans, spouses and any Starbucks partner (employee) wanting to show support for those who have served the country.

In a message published to Starbucks website on Thursday, the group wrote it wanted to set the record straight amid support and criticism. Here are some parts of that message:

In November 2013, Howard and former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates announced Starbucks commitment to hire 10,000 veterans and military spouses over the next five years.

Less than four years into the commitment, Starbucks has hired over 8,800 veterans and spouses and counting.

Without question we will reach the 10,000 goal early, and we will keep going. None of this would have been possible without our boss's very personal commitment. Howard didn't just authorize our veteran initiative, he led it.

And so you can imagine our reaction when we read criticism of our company and of our CEO suggesting that instead of a commitment to refugees, we should instead hire 10,000 veterans.

We respect honest debate and the freedom of expression. Many of us served to protect that very right. Some of our brothers and sisters died protecting it. But to those who would suggest Starbucks is not committed to hiring veterans, we are here to say: check your facts, Starbucks is already there.