Airgas Inc, the largest US distributor of industrial, medical, and specialty gases, and welding, safety, and related products, announced it has pledged $300,000 to Operation Homefront, a charity that supports America’s soldiers by providing emergency assistance and moral support to the families troops leave behind.

The donation of $300,000 will be paid in increments of $100,000 per year over the next three years, with 70% going toward Operation Homefront’s projects to assist wounded soldiers. Airgas has set a goal to hire 100 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan service over the next 12 months.

The Company will also offer the Airgas ‘Welding 101’ course to any veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan service who is interested in exploring a career in welding.

“As our nation enters the sixth year of military involvement in Iraq and the seventh year in Afghanistan, it is difficult to grasp the immense sacrifices our military community has made over the course of this fight,” said Airgas Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Peter McCausland.

“Operation Homefront was founded to meet the needs of the military community during these difficult times, and Airgas is proud to join others in supporting this work to give vital aid to those who have given so much to this country.”

Airgas associates nationwide will have the opportunity to become involved in local activities and fundraisers to support Operation Homefront. Each Airgas regional company and business unit has designated an Operation Homefront point person to manage the relationship between its operations and Operation Homefront chapters in its area.