At Home in Our Hearts

They’ve sacrificed so much for our country. Now, our troops are counting on us.

Your year-end donation to the USO’s At Home in Our Hearts campaign will help deliver vitally important services to our service men and women. And starting today, any gift you make through December 31st will be matched by a generous supporter — up to $350,000.

Whether they’re embarking on a new deployment in Afghanistan or returning from a difficult tour of duty in Iraq, you can let our troops know they’re At Home in Our Hearts. Your gift of $10, will provide $20 of support for our troops thanks to this limited-time matching gift opportunity.

Double the impact of your generosity with a tax-deductible gift to our troops today.

As always, you can count on the USO to be right there on the front lines with our troops on duty in Afghanistan. They may not have made it home for the holidays, but, with your support, we’ll make it clear they are At Home in Our Hearts with free phone calls home, military care packages, mobile USO2GO units reaching troops at remote outposts and more.

With your help, the USO will also be there for those returning from service in Iraq, many of them after multiple deployments. We’ll extend a helping hand to children who have spent most of their lives thousands of miles away from Mom or Dad. We’ll be there for those who have come back from the front lines wounded. We’ll honor our troops not just in words, but in deeds.

Make your At Home in Our Hearts matching gift today.

I’m so grateful for all that supporters like you do, especially around the holidays, when our troops miss their homes more than ever. I can’t tell you how much it means to them to be able to count on USO centers and supporters for a cup of coffee, some time to relax with friends, or a simple hug.

Sincerely,

General James Jones

Bills Khakis 20th Anniversary Celebrates American Heritage, Our Military and the USO

Bills Khakis 20th Anniversary Cramerton Khaki will retail for $195 and will include a commemorative canvas bucket bag.

Bills Khakis is introducing Limited Edition 20th Anniversary Khakis this October. The Khakis are cut from the original WWII cloth known as Cramerton Twill, and as with all Bills Khakis products, the pant will be made in America with distinctive features and detailing.

In conjunction with the introduction and sale of this product, Bills Khakis will donate a portion of the proceeds to the USO.  Today we share a special message from Bill Thomas, Founder/CEO of Bills Khakis…

The history of Bills Khakis can be traced back over 20 years to a visit I made to a remote Army Surplus store some 15 miles west of my college campus in central Ohio. There I discovered a pair of original WWII khakis which not only turned out to be the best pair of khakis I had ever found, they also represented a forgotten piece of Americana that was worth preserving and celebrating.

Today, this effort is shared among 20 employees at our headquarters in Reading, Pennsylvania, as well as hundreds of sewers, craftsmen and retailers across the United States. Through the simple act of producing Bills Khakis, the brand remains a touchstone of American values for our stakeholders as well as tens of thousands of customers throughout the United States and around the world.

And while we take great pride in what the Bills Khakis brand represents, our efforts pale in comparison to the vital support and services provided by the USO to our military and their families. We are sincerely humbled by our ability to contribute to the USO in a very small way as we embark on our third decade in business.

So we see the choice to celebrate our 20th Anniversary with the USO as both natural, and an obligation, bringing us full circle, back to our roots, serving as a profound reminder of why we are in business today.

At the heart of America’s economic engine is manufacturing. At the heart of America’s cause for freedom is our military. We thank all those who have chosen to participate in the preservation and furthering of these two fundamental American values.

Only One Week Left to Support the Troops with Just a Click!

My, how time flies!  It seems like only yesterday that we were telling you about the “60 Second Cocktails” program, brought to you this summer by Bacardi USA to support the USO.  Well summer’s almost over, but it’s not too late to show your support!

Now through Labor Day, we encourage you to click away and help us reach our goal.  So far, we’ve only raised about 15% of our goal of an additional $25,000, and only YOU can help us reach the ultimate goal of $100,000 being donated from Bacardi to the USO.  You can click as often as you like, share it on your own Facebook profile, and tell your friends by posting on their profiles, too!

We want to thank everyone who has shown their support with just a click this summer.  As a special treat, we wanted to bring you this video clip from 60 Second Cocktails!

Former US Marine and top mixologist, Bryan Stowe, demonstrates how to mix a BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Collins Cocktail made with BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Gin. Delicious but perfectly simple, each of the 60 Second Cocktails can be crafted in 60 seconds or less. Prep your mixers and garnishes in advance, and be ready to impress your guests.

Don’t forget to “Like” 60 Second Cocktails on Facebook to download the recipe book and to help support the troops!

Help Support USO Hawaii’s Back-To-School Program

USO Hawaii is happy to announce that they’ll be making the back-to-school process a little better for military kids this year. Director Eva Laird Smith explained the importance of providing free backpacks and school supplies for military families to Hawaii News Now earlier this week. “This is a great opportunity for our community to show their aloha support for our military and their families with their children’s back-to-school needs. It will be one headache less, one challenge less on the homefront for our deployed troops,” said Laird Smith.

Click here to watch her video interview!

The community is encouraged to get involved: now through July 25, donations of new backpacks and school supplies appropriate for any age may be dropped off at the Pearl Harbor Navy Exchange Aloha Desk, ground floor, as well as the USO Honolulu Airport Center.  Click on the poster above for more information or to spread the word.

Online donations are also being accepted online or you can call William Johnson at (808) 836-3351 for information on making a donation via PayPal.

And if you’d like to be one of the families that receives these great back-to-school basics, contact USO Hawaii’s Programs & Marketing Manager Barb Troegner at (808) 256-7744 or via email.  Items will be available for distribution this Sunday from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at the Hickam Air Force Base Officers’ Club area.

Check out the flyer at left for more info on how to participate.  Aloha!

Support the Troops with Just a Click!

Former US Marine and top mixologist Bryan Stowe demonstrates how to mix a cocktail the right way. Delicious but perfectly simple, each of the 60 Second Cocktails can be crafted in 60 seconds or less. Prep your mixers and garnishes in advance, and be ready to impress your guests.

With Independence Day just a week away, many Americans are looking forward to a long weekend full of quality time with their family and friends. While it’s great to unwind and celebrate, it’s also important not to lose sight of what the holiday stands for, and to remember the men and women who have fought for our country. If you’re planning to entertain your friends and family in style this 4th of July, an easy way to support the troops at home and abroad while having fun is through the “60 Second Cocktails” program, brought to you this summer by Bacardi USA to support the USO.

As a former Marine and a bartender, the charity partnership is very close to my heart. In support of the program, I’ve come up with some awesome and easy party tips and cocktail recipes that are sure to impress your guests this summer. There’s nothing worse than throwing a party and spending the entire time slaving away in the kitchen. Just because you’re the host, doesn’t mean you can’t have fun too! The ‘60 Second Cocktails’ – made with a number of brands including: Grey Goose, Bombay Sapphire, Bacardi Superior Rum, Bacardi Limon, Cazadores and Dewar’s Blended Scotch Whisky – are the perfect solution.

First things first, make sure to prepare in advance. For décor, a great tip is to select ripe, colorful foods and beverages, which bring a natural flavor to the table. Bright, fresh ingredients, such as vegetable crudités, lend a fresh, vibrant touch perfect for summer. When selecting music, a great time-saver is to set your satellite radio before your guests arrive, then you can let loose and let your favorite songs play throughout your party without even thinking about it!

When mixing drinks, the most important thing I can emphasize is to use fresh ingredients! They make all the difference in the taste of your cocktails, and your guests will definitely notice the extra effort and better taste! Also, remember to always pack the glass fully with ice. A stronger body of cold provides for a better drink, especially during the hot summer months. And, remember to have a good time. Above all else, a great attitude will help your party flourish.

Another great way to save time is by batching your cocktails in advance. A great batched recipe that I love is the Cazadores Margarita! Create this margarita in advance for an easy way to please an extra-large crowd. When you make drinks in advance, always wait until they’re served to add the ice to avoid dilution. Also, if a recipe calls for a sparkling ingredient such as club soda, be sure to add that at the very end once your guests arrive so it doesn’t go flat.

Tequila CAZADORES® Margarita
Serves 129

4 liters of Tequila CAZADORES® Reposado
2 liters of triple sec (40 proof)
10 bottles (750 mL) of sweet and sour ready-to-use (not concentrate)
1 gallon of orange juice
1/2 gallon fresh lime juice

Mix all ingredients in a large container and stir; serve over the rocks with salt on the rim. Garnish with a lime

Remember to visit the 60 Second Cocktails Facebook page, for many more recipes, updates and interactive cocktail videos! And, be sure to visit the donate tab and click on the link, as Bacardi USA will donate $1 to the USO for every click up to $100,000. What an easy way to make a difference! Enjoy the holiday with delicious cocktails brought to you by Bacardi USA to support the USO. Happy Independence Day!

Bryan Stowe is a former US marine and top mixologist who knows it only takes 60 seconds to show support for our Troops. The opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of Mr. Stowe and do not necessarily reflect those of the USO.