USO and Partners Invite Americans to Grant a Wish for Our Heroes Veterans Day 2012

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Americans can support the men and women of our nation’s armed forces who have exemplified service, sacrifice and strength for our country at uso.org/grant-a-wish

Veterans Day 2012 Poster

USO offers concrete ways, big and small, to show our troops that Americans appreciate their service and sacrifice.

The USO and partners will recognize Veterans Day with Grant a Wish for Our Heroes, an initiative that will give Americans opportunities to thank those who serve in the Armed Forces by granting wishes for our troops and their families by supporting them in a variety of ways. Through Grant a Wish for Our Heroes, Americans can take part in supporting the unique programs and services most requested by our troops and families by supporting the USO and its many partners at uso.org/grant-a-wish.

“Grant a Wish for Our Heroes is a call to action for anyone who wants to take a moment and give back to our troops and military families in the ways they’ve told us helps the most. USO offers concrete ways, big and small, to show our troops that Americans appreciate their service and sacrifice,” said Sloan Gibson, president and CEO of the USO. ‘We value our partners’ commitment to help USO grant these wishes, delivering what’s needed to our men and women in uniform at home and abroad on Veterans Day and every day.”

For years, troops and families have been telling the USO what programs and services they need the most through a comprehensive annual survey, “Tell USO,” and the USO has responded. Our programs help ease the stress of deployment for both troops and their loved ones. Others provide the comprehensive support our servicemen and women need when they return home. And many help our wounded, ill and injured troops as they recover and re-enter their new lives as veterans.

This Veterans Day, the USO asks Americans to help support these USO programs and initiatives that our troops have requested most:

  •     Holiday Boxes for Deployed Troops- Many deployed troops spend holidays away from their families. The USO helps bring a touch of home to troops with boxes containing decorations games, snacks, movies and themed items. All designed to bring holiday cheer those serving in the most remote corners of the world.
  •     Connecting Troops to Families Back Home- Missing the birth of your child may seem hard to imagine, but it’s a reality for many of our troops overseas. The USO has made it possible for some of our military dads to witness the birth of their child, via Skype. This November, we'll also be helping those dads send some special items home to their newborn and mom- so they can be a part of those first precious weeks of their child's life.
  •     Support Child Heroes- Help the USO provide the book “Little CHAMPS” (Child Heroes Attached to Military Personnel) to military families in order to ease their challenges and fears of deployment, relocation and injury of a loved one. Author Debbie Fink provides a book that tells the story of five child heroes and their military lifestyles and raises awareness of military connected challenges.
  •     Education, Employment and Community Reintegration for our Wounded Warriors- USO Warrior and Family Care provides Hire Heroes USA/USO Workshops and Careers Opportunity Days for wounded, ill and injured service men and women, their spouses and caregivers. The workshops focus on resume writing, mock interviews, professional work practices and translating prior military experience into a civilian career. Career Opportunity Days are in collaboration with Hire Heroes USA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and offer our healing heroes, spouses and caregivers a non-traditional career fair where employers connect on a personal level based on interest and background. Employers conduct mock interviews and provide feedback, providing an additional level of support for transitioning troops to meet with employers offering jobs.
  •     USO Warrior & Family Center at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center at Bethesda- On November 7th, the USO will break ground on its second 20,000 square-foot building that will support our healing heroes and their families battling invisible wounds like traumatic brain injury and post traumatic stress. The first center at Fort Belvoir is scheduled to open in 2013 and will support our healing heroes recovering from physical wounds. The two centers will include movie theaters, classrooms, sports lounges, business centers, healing gardens and more.

Corporations, media partners and a variety of community organizations have signed on to the USO’s “Grant a Wish for Our Heroes” this Veterans Day include:

  •     American Airlines: American Airlines is proud to be the official airline of the USO, Honoring those who serve, Veterans Day 2012. aa.com/military
  •     American Crew: American Crew has teamed up with the USO to honor our troops with the 2012 Military Limited Edition product line. americancrew.com/militaryedition/
  •     AOL: The USO will be featured as the Cause of the Day this Veterans Day on aol.com and will take over AOL’s mail sign-in page for one day in November.
  •     Bass Pro Shops: Stop by a Bass Pro Shop and check out how Reelin’ It In For the Troops is supporting Operation USO Care Package. basspro.com/
  •     Cheerios: For every code entered from specially marked Cheerios®, Honey Nut Cheerios® or MultiGrain Cheerios® at Walmart, General Mill’s will donate $1.00 to the USO (up to $50,000). Additionally, consumers can send messages of support to troops and their families through the digital USO Thanks from Everywhere platform. cheerios.com/uso
  •     CVS: CVS/pharmacy will once again hold a USO donation campaign as part of its flu shot program during the week of Veterans Day. cvs.com
  •     ESPN: This Veterans Day, ESPN partners with the USO to help lift the spirits of America’s troops and their families. Using its broad portfolio of multimedia assets, ESPN is driving awareness and action from November 4-11 by inviting its viewers and consumers to give a gift to our heroes through USO Wishbook – an alternative giving catalog benefiting troops and their families. You can visit uso.org/espn beginning Nov 4th to select a gift and learn more.
  •     Lockheed Martin: Lockheed Martin will donate $1 to the USO for every new “Like” of their facebook page, up to $25,000.facebook.com/lockheedmartin
  •     My Coke Rewards: Let our troops know they are not forgotten. Donate your My Coke Rewards points to the USO and help support America’s troops and their families. mycokerewards.com
  •     NFL: The NFL will support the USO with its annual Salute to Service campaign during the month of November through a fundraiser during games in Weeks 9 - 11 of the season. Fans can also help support this campaign through an online auction at nfl.com/salute starting November 1, 2012.
  •     Old Navy: Old Navy salutes military families this Veterans Day and is proud to partner with the USO on “Operation Donation”. To support our troops and their families, Old Navy is collecting donations in all U.S. stores between November 8th and November 12th. oldnavy.com
  •     Wells Fargo: From November 1st through December 13th, Wells Fargo customers will have the opportunity to make a donation of up to $249.99 when using their Wells Fargo card at their local ATM’s. US states except Arkansas, Missouri, and the District of Columbia. wellsfargo.com

To learn more about Grant a Wish for Our Heroes, visit uso.org/grant-a-wish which highlights our USO corporate partners, USO best-in-class program partners and our USO locations and events that are granting wishes this Veterans Day.

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About the USO
The USO (United Service Organizations) lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families millions of times each year at hundreds of places worldwide. We provide a touch of home through centers at airports and military bases in the U.S. and abroad, top quality entertainment and innovative programs and services. We also provide critical support to those who need us most, including forward-deployed troops, military families, wounded warriors and their families and the families of the fallen.

The USO is a private, nonprofit organization, not a government agency. All of our programs and services are made possible by the American people, support of our corporate partners and the dedication of our volunteers and staff. In addition to individual donors and corporate sponsors, the USO is supported by President’s Circle Partners: American Airlines, AT&T, Clear Channel, The Coca-Cola Company, jcpenney, Kangaroo Express, Kroger, Lowe’s, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Procter & Gamble, and TriWest Healthcare Alliance and Worldwide Strategic Partners: BAE Systems, The Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft Corporation and TKS Telepost Kabel-Service Kaiserslautern GmbH & Co. KG. We are also supported through the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381). To join us in this patriotic mission, and to learn more about the USO, please visit uso.org.

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Gayle Fishel
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