For the second year in a row, the Jack Daniel Distillery will donate more than $100,000 to help service members and their families travel from bases to homes across the U.S. through “Operation Ride Home” this holiday season.
And as with last year’s effort, the famed distillery will be asking its friends to visit www.jdoperationridehome.com and contribute what they can to help in the campaign. Through travel vouchers for plane tickets and pre-paid debit cards for gas, lodging and food, the distillery hopes to surpass the overwhelming success of last year’s effort that helped send 721 Fort Campbell soldiers and their families home last year. In addition to Jack Daniel’s contribution, more than $24,000 was collected from the general public through the donation site.
Increasing the national effort, Jack Daniel’s also announced its partnership with the Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) of the USA – a top-rated military charity that makes military life easier for junior enlisted military families nationwide. The Armed Services YMCA will partner actively with military commands and committed volunteers to identify those service members and families in most need of financial assistance and to assist them with travel.
“There is nothing like being home for the holidays, and we hope that Operation Ride Home this year will generate an out-pouring of support to help those junior enlisted soldiers and their families make it to see their loved ones,” said Jennifer Powell, Senior Brand Manager for Jack Daniel’s.
“We saw the success of the campaign last year and particularly how it provided a mechanism for folks to give just a bit, that when added up with other contributions, made a tremendous difference in these families’ lives. We want to do even more this year.”
“The Armed Services YMCA is proud to partner with the Jack Daniel’s Distillery for their second annual Operation Ride Home campaign to reunite deserving military with their families for the holidays,” said Capt. Mike Landers USN (Ret), CEO of the ASYMCA.
“Last year, in partnership with the Fort Campbell ASYMCA, 721 Soldiers and family members were given the opportunity to travel home and be with family for Christmas. Thanks to the generosity of Jack Daniel’s and their friends, we will be able to make military life easier for even more military families this coming holiday season.”
Country music star and 10-year Army veteran Craig Morgan will serve as national spokesperson for the campaign in an effort to help spread the word about the financial strain so many of the junior enlisted service members and their families are under during the holiday season.
“Having been there, I know that empty feeling in your gut when you want to travel from your base home for the holidays but just don’t have the money to do it,” Morgan said. “There are so many of these heroes who have served multiple deployments overseas and haven’t seen their families for years. Our nation’s military does a wonderful job getting them back to their bases, but it’s just not home.”
Through Operation Ride Home, identified junior enlisted (E-4 and below) single service members, military families, and families of deployed who might not otherwise have the funds or opportunity to travel home, will be eligible to receive vouchers and financial assistance for travel by air or vehicle, depending on the distance of their family homes from their current base or installation. An average of $300 travel vouchers per family member for flights and pre-paid debit cards of $100 for each service member and their family who are driving home will be made available through the ORH campaign.