The Jack Daniel Distillery and the Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) today kicked off fundraising efforts for the 10th year of “Operation Ride Home,” a campaign providing financial assistance to active-duty, junior-enlisted military and their families to travel from their military bases to loved ones’ homes across the country.
Since Operation Ride Home began in 2011, the partnership has generated a total of more than $1.8 million in donations and sent a total of 8,583 individual junior-enlisted service members and their families home when it mattered most. Servicemen and women from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard have been assisted with travel to all 50 states.
As it has done throughout the program, Jack Daniel’s has kicked off the campaign with a $100,000 donation and is asking friends to visit operationridehome.com and contribute to help more service members make it home. Due to the current pandemic, travel for these heroes is on hold until the lifting of Department of Defense restrictions. All donations are 100 percent tax deductible and with the help of friends, Operation Ride Home can eclipse 10,000 servicemembers and their families who have been assisted throughout the life of the effort as well as exceed $2 million dollars in overall donations.
“Serving in the military is stressful enough for our heroes, but this year even more so as they and their families sacrifice for us all while waiting to see their loved ones,” said Chris Fletcher, Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller. “We will be pulling out all the stops to raise awareness of Operation Ride Home, help address the tremendous financial needs our junior-enlisted face and celebrate with them when restrictions are lifted and they can visit their loved ones. It will be a special time and one they all so deserve.”
“Having been there, I know what it’s like when you’re a young servicemember trying to provide for your family while facing financial hardship and the stress that comes with wearing the uniform,” said William French, President/CEO of the ASYMCA. “Operation Ride Home has made a tremendous difference in so many lives and this tenth anniversary is going to be special as we work to get as many home as we possibly can. I can’t wait to look them in the eye and let them know they’re going home.”
The ASYMCA works with the various military commands in specific areas co-located with ASYMCA branches to identify and prioritize junior-enlisted service members and families most in financial need. Plane tickets and pre-paid debit cards are given to assist those traveling.
Operation Ride Home is open to active duty E-5 and below, both single and married, who might not otherwise financially be able to travel home. The option to drive or fly is an individual decision. For additional information on eligibility and to view participating installations that qualify for travel assistance, please visit https://www.asymca.org/operation-ride-home.