CHARLESTON, SC - Steve Simon, CEO of American Auto Auction Group (AAAG), announced a company-wide initiative to make employment opportunities available to veterans returning from the war in Iraq.  Simon says that AAAG will reach out to vets in each of its auctions' markets by setting a goal to hire a minimum of two vets at each auction facility.  In announcing the initiative, Simon challenged all members of the National Auto Auction Association to do the same.

"Service men and women are returning in record numbers from the war in Iraq only to face the challenge of finding employment in a very difficult job market," said Simon. "At AAAG, we want to do what we can to help, and will step up to make a difference in the lives of those who have made such tremendous sacrifices for us here at home.  We invite NAAA auctions across the country to join us in reaching out to those returning from the war."

Simon has had the opportunity to visit with many members of the Armed Forces serving in Iraq.  Over the years he has frequently traded his business wardrobe for khakis and fatigues in order to take blues artists overseas to entertain U.S. troops and embassy staffs.

"After visiting our troops during the war in Iraq, I can say from first-hand experience that AAAG's initiative is not about politics or whether or not we were in favor of the war," Simon insists. "It is about young men and women, fellow Americans, who spent years away from their families and friends in service to their country.  They put themselves in harm's way and witnessed the horrors of war only to come back home to a country in economic turmoil and facing diminished prospects of getting a job."

Laura Taylor, general manager of AAAG's Charleston Auto Auction, was enthusiastic in her praise of the initiative.

"Charleston Auto Auction currently employs 32 veterans who served in wars from Viet Nam to Desert Storm, and they certainly understand the need for our participation as a business, as a community, and as a country, to welcome our troops home with jobs and support," said Taylor. "They are proud to learn of this initiative, and we are honored to participate.  The flag flies high at Charleston Auto Auction every day, and we can all stand a little taller knowing we're doing even more to help."

"I am proud to be a part of an amazing and growing family of auctions," said Simon.  "I have witnessed time and time again what a difference our people make in the quality of life of all who come in come with them.  We have much to be grateful for and are proud to show the rest of the world how much we care about those who have sacrificed so much on our behalf."

Simon launched AAAG in January 2010 with fellow industry veteran, Keith Lelux.  Building on a network of independent auctions throughout the country, AAAG provides a viable alternative for vehicle sellers who require national sales coverage. AAAG is headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina, and presently includes five auction properties:  Charleston Auto Auction (Moncks Corner, SC); Mid-South Auto Auction (Pearl, MS); Texas Lone Star Auto Auction (Carrollton, TX); Your Auction of Tampa Bay (St. Petersburg, FL) and Your Auction of Fort Myers (Ft. Myers, FL).  For additional information about American Auto Auction Group call 843-579-AUTO or visit