USO, Jack Daniel’s Team Up to Toast to the Troops

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More than 5,000 Operation USO Care Packages were assembled Thursday by military spouses as part of the 20th “Toast to the Troops” care package assembly event. USO North Carolina volunteers and Jack Daniel’s employees took part in the event at the Fort Bragg fairgrounds. Following the assembly event, country music star and Army veteran Craig Morgan treated more than 3,000 troops, military families and members of the Fort Bragg community to a free concert.

“If it were not for these men and women who are serving, the people we are packing these bags for, we would not live in the country we live in today,” Morgan said.  “And it is imperative that we take care of them.”

The USO and Jack Daniel’s have worked together on these events for eight years. The USO has distributed more than 2.3 million care packages since the program began in 2003.  In addition to providing service men and women with needed items, the care packages serve as a touch of home and a reminder to our troops that America is always by their side.

–Story by USO Story Development

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year for Celebrity Entertainment

With multiple entertainment tours out, we’re reminded why we do what we do.  Even though entertainment is about 20 percent of our mission, it’s a very visible way to let troops and families know someone back here cares about service members serving far from home – especially at the holidays.

So, hats off to Anna Kournikova, Billy Ray Cyrus, Dave Attell, Mark Wills, Keni Thomas, Sheryl Underwood, Leeann Tweeden, members of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and the U.S. Army Band (Downrange) for traveling to Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait and Germany this month.  Thanks, too to Admiral Michael Mullen and Sgt Major of the Army Ken Preston for continuing their tradition of taking these celebrities overseas.

I don’t want to leave out country artist (and Army Airborne veteran) Craig Morgan for visiting troops on Guam (hey, if you haven’t been stationed there, you don’t know how lonely that island can be) and to other members of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders for heading out on their annual Christmas tour of Korea.

Remember, folks, these performers don’t have to do this.  They volunteer to give up time with their families and this most family-centered time of year to do something bigger than themselves.

It really is the most wonderful time of the year.