USO Launches Honor, Salute and Celebrate Campaign

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USO provides Americans with easy and specific ways to support the troops from Memorial Day through the Fourth of July

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While celebrating the patriotic holidays that occur during the summer, Americans often ask, ‘What can I do to give back to the extraordinary men and women who are serving our country?' Answering this question is what this campaign is all about.

The USO is inviting Americans around the globe to join and Honor, Salute and Celebrate our troops and their families. The USO’s Honor, Salute and Celebrate Campaign runs from May 23-July 7 and focuses on the three major patriotic holidays that take place during the summer months: Memorial Day, Flag Day and the Fourth of July.

Throughout the six-plus week campaign, USO staff and volunteers at USO centers around the globe are hosting and promoting local events within their community, highlighting our best-in-class partner promotions and helping the American public give back to those who need us most: our forward-deployed troops, military families, wounded, ill and injured troops and the families of the fallen.

“While celebrating the patriotic holidays that occur during the summer, Americans often ask, ‘What can I do to give back to the extraordinary men and women who are serving our country?’” said Sloan Gibson, USO President and CEO. “Answering this question is what this campaign is all about. With our Honor, Salute and Celebrate campaign, the USO is providing easy and specific ways to support our troops and their families and caregivers. It’s a collaborative effort among all USO staff and volunteers across the globe.”

The USO invites everyone to visit the Honor, Salute and Celebrate page at http://www.uso.org/HonorSaluteCelebrate and find ways to participate in promotions with our partners, learn about ways to support the USO and gain tips for celebrating the upcoming holidays. Examples include:

  •     Say ‘Thank you’: Honor, salute and celebrate our troops and their families together – during your events, through your social media or Web posts and by personally thanking the troops and their families.
  •     Barbecue for the Troops: Encouraging Americans to celebrate the troops by hosting a barbecue fundraiser to support USO programs and services that troops and military families need most. To learn more or register to host a barbecue, visit bbqforthetroops.org.
  •     USO Fourth of July T-shirt: The USO is also offering a new, limited edition 2013 USO Fourth of July tee on the Honor, Salute and Celebrate homepage, which donors can get in time to celebrate on the Fourth of July holiday.
  •     USO Wishbook: Support our troops and their families with a gift from the USO Wishbook. You can recognize a special occasion while directly benefiting military families, deployed troops and wounded warriors with your purchase.

USO Locations, Programs and Entertainment:

  •     USO centers: Around the globe, USO locations will hold celebrations and events to honor those who serve and backing those military families who support them. Events include the Nightfall 5K Run at USO Camp Buehring. This run will commemorate fallen service members from both the Iraq and Afghan Wars. The event will conclude at a vigil site where a luminary field of more than 6,600 lights will pay tribute to those fallen troops.
  •     Ride2Recovery Memorial Day Challenge(May 26-June2): The USO has partnered with Ride 2 Recovery (R2R) since 2007 to help improve the health and wellness of healing heroes by providing a life-changing experience through cycling. The USO and R2R collaborate to provide weeklong Challenge events, as well as bikes for wounded, ill and injured troops, including regular upright bicycles and gear for those who can use a traditional bike. R2R also designs and builds specially adapted bikes to suit injured troops’ needs. The USO Mobile will also be on hand during the challenge to support the riders and their families.
  •     Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families: To celebrate the five-year anniversary of our partnership, the USO and Sesame Street formally announced that their tour will re-deploy to Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska on May 29. The tour will travel to 42 installations in eight countries over the next five months. Touring the globe since July 2008, the Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families has taken its message to more than 368,000 troops and military families, and performed 631 shows on 145 military installations in 33 states and 11 countries, and is an extension of Sesame Street’s military families initiative.
  •     USO Holiday Box Program: So many deployed troops spend holidays away from their families. The USO helps brings a touch of home to these troops with the USO Holiday Box program. USO Holiday Boxes are distributed four times a year to remote forward operating bases and contain specialty items designed to bring our troops a touch of home including decorations, games and snacks.
  •     USO Entertainment Tours: Designed to boost morale and deliver life-changing experiences to troops and their families, USO summer entertainment events include a “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” USO tour to the Middle East featuring actors Kamar de los Reyes and James Burns, R&B artist Keyshia Cole’s USO concert at U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern in Germany on June 8 as well as Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band’s USO Concert to Japan and Okinawa from June 30-July 7.

Partner Promotions:

  •     American Airlines: Through Independence Day, American Airlines is partnering with the USO to give customers an opportunity to pay tribute to our nation’s heroes. AAdvantage members will earn 15 AAdvantage bonus miles, instead of 10, for each dollar donated through American’s Miles In Support of All Who Serve program, with a minimum $25 donation. Customers may also purchase an American Airlines co-branded gift card. When purchasers select the USO gift card option, American will donate $5 to the USO for every $50 of travel purchased.
  •     Papa John’s: Papa John's is offering the USO Meal Deal, which includes two large two-topping pizzas for $22, with $1 going back to the USO to support troops and military families! Go to http://www.papajohns.com and use promo code USOMEALDEAL. Offer valid through May 30.
  •     Tune into the Coca-Cola 600: On Sunday, May 26, state leaders, race fans and Coca Cola will recognize America’s servicemen and women during the 2013 Coca-Cola 600’s “Welcome Home Our Troops” pre-race show. Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Causey will serve as grand marshal of the race, which is dubbed as the largest Memorial Day celebration in the country. This year, the USO of North Carolina is once again teaming up with the Charlotte Motor Speedway, Coca-Cola and Papa John’s to give hundreds of troops and military families from Fort Bragg, N.C., the opportunity to attend the race for free.

The USO is more devoted than ever to supporting our nation’s service heroes stationed stateside and abroad. During this campaign, the USO will recognize our nation’s armed forces for their everyday service and sacrifice. The USO is committed to shining a spotlight on the unique needs of today’s active-duty troops; military families; wounded, ill and injured troops and their caregivers; as well as families of the fallen, and helping to enhance their lives.

About the USO
The USO 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 families of the fallen. The USO is a private, non-profit organization, not a government agency. 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, Grand Canyon University, jcpenney, Jeep, 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
USO
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