Wounded Warriors Escape to the Vineyard for a Night

Griff Jenkins of Fox News and Sloan Gibson, president and CEO of the USO, enjoy conversation with the wounded warriors at the vineyard vines-USO Tied to a Cause reception in Georgetown, Washington, DC, June 22, 2010. (USO photo by Katherine Ruddy)

By Samantha Quigley, Senior Editor, ON PATROL

For a few hours on Tuesday night two wounded warriors and their wives escaped to the Vineyard.

The USO and vineyard vines hosted a reception at the retailer’s Georgetown location in Washington, D.C., to celebrate being “Tied to a Cause.”

Tied to a Cause, a campaign through vineyard vines recognizes the efforts of community and grassroots organizations. This month, Tied to a Cause is supporting the USO’s Operation Enduring Care, an initiative to create a national network of care and support for America’s wounded warriors and their families. Proceeds from the sale of the custom USO-vineyard vines ties and totes will be donated to the USO.

The wounded warriors and their wives enjoyed a vineyard vines makeover at the start of the evening and mingled with more than 100 friends of the military, vineyard vines, and the USO, including USO President Sloan Gibson, Fox News’s Griff Jenkins, and the late Tim Russert’s son, Luke.

Perhaps the highlight of the evening, however, was the warriors and Gibson each signing two ties. One will join the many others hanging as decoration in the Georgetown store. The other will be displayed in the USO Arlington office.

The promotion will last through the Fourth of July weekend, with receptions also happening in Connecticut, New York, and Massachusetts.

To see more photos, please visit our flickr gallery and enjoy the video below!

Let’s Go Krogering…for the USO!

From now through mid-August, visit a participating Kroger retailer and drop your cash donation into the coin collection canisters to show your support for the USO!  The Kroger Co. is pleased to partner with the USO to thank the men and women of the armed forces and their families.

Customers and associates at participating locations of the Kroger family of stores will be able to show their appreciation and gratitude to service members by donating spare change in specially-marked coin boxes at check stands. All of the funds raised will support the broad range of programs and services the USO provides to military personnel and their families.

The campaign will run in select Kroger stores in Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas; in Ralphs and Food 4 Less stores in California; in Dillon Stores in Kansas and Baker’s stores in Nebraska. Roughly 1,300 stores will participate.

“We are deeply indebted to our service members and their families for the many sacrifices they make on a daily basis on behalf of all Americans. Kroger is honored to partner with the USO to thank our military families for all they do,” said Lynn Marmer, group vice president of corporate affairs for Kroger.

If you shop at a participating Kroger store, be sure to keep an eye out for the sign below, and know that you’re supporting the USO and the Troops!

Look for this poster on the coin collection canisters at the register at participating Kroger stores!

Father’s Day is Almost Here – Is Your Dad “Tied to a Cause”?

Still searching for that last-minute gift for Dad this Father’s Day?  Look no further than a limited-edition vineyard vines® tie, with 100% of the proceeds going to the USO!  The retailer’s “Tied to a Cause” campaign is running now through the 4th of July, so there’s still plenty of time to show your support in style.

Express and Next Day Business shipping options are still available, and there are eight retail locations on the east coast.  And if you can’t make Sunday’s deadline, then let Dad know his tie is on the way by printing out one of the great posters at right and at the bottom of the post!
In addition, we’ll be holding in-store events at the following times and locations:

June 22: Washington, DC, 6pm – 6pm
1225 Wisconsin Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20007
Click here to RSVP

June 23: Greenwich, CT, 5pm – 7pm
145 Greenwich Avenue
Greenwich, CT 06830
Click here to RSVP

At both locations you’ll have the opportunity to purchase ties and totes.  And the first 150 purchases at each event will receive an exclusive USO gift bag!

Even if you’re not in the DC or NYC areas, you can RT to show your support: RT @the_USO and @vineyard_vines have the perfect #FathersDay gift – get “Tied to a Cause” http://bit.ly/auhPvk or grab one of the posters below and share with friends and family!

Mmm…Frosty. Central Texas Wendy’s Show Their Support

Looking for a tasty way to beat the heat in Texas this summer?  Look no further than the the Frosty Key Tag!

Now through July 4, participating Wendy’s Restaurants in Central Texas will provide customers with a way to directly support the Fort Hood troops and the USO by selling Frosty Key Tags for $1.

The Frosty Key Tag allows customers to receive one free Jr. Frosty™ with any purchase through the end of the year at the Killeen, Temple, Copperas Cove, Waco and Marble Falls area Wendy’s restaurants. These 14 locally owned and operated Wendy’s will donate proceeds from each Frosty Key Tag sold directly to the Fort Hood USO.

“The Fort Hood USO relies on the local community to provide support for our troops in any way they can,” said Robin Crouse, director of the Fort Hood USO. “Thanks to the generosity of Central Texas Wendy’s and their customers, the Fort Hood USO can continue to deliver its special brand of comfort, morale and recreational services to the military stationed here.”

“The Fort Hood USO is an incredible organization whose sole mission is to support the troops,” said James Hays, VP and COO of Central Texas Wendy’s. “Wendy’s is proud to contribute to this organization and knows the community will get behind the effort to provide for our troops here locally, while enjoying a delicious Jr. Frosty.”

Central Texas Wendy’s is a proud contributor to the Fort Hood USO and supporter of Fort Hood troops.  Go get your Frosty today!

More from the Base 2 Base March in Delaware!

Participants posed for large and small group photos along the way, including at the first rest stop. USO Delaware Center Director Joan Cote is standing in the USO shirt, center.

We hope you had a chance to read about a great event that occurred in Delaware this weekend: the 3rd Annual Base 2 Base March!  Nearly fifty airmen made the 47-mile trek from the Delaware Air National Guard headquarters in New Castle to the Dover Air Force Base.  Along the way they were supported by just one civilian marcher, and that was the USO’s own Joan Cote, Center Director for USO Delaware!

We wanted to share a bit more about this great event, which raised over $1000 for the USO…

The first participant began the march just a couple minutes before 5:00 p.m.  Within a few minutes after 5:00 p.m., all marchers departed the air base, with event organizer Tech. Sgt. David Jackson one of the last marchers to leave, keeping an eye on the long line of marchers.  Participants included 45 combined Airmen from the active duty 436th Airlift Wing and the Air Force Reserve 512th Airlift Wing, both based at Dover AFB.  Also marching were four Airmen from the Delaware Air National Guard’s 166th Airlift Wing.

The 49 Airmen departed Delaware ANG HQ past the main gate and down Spruance Drive, walking in small clusters of one, two, three, four or five Airmen. Nearly every other participant carried a flag, either their unit flag, or an Air Force flag, a USO flag, or a handmade flag.

It was a sunny spring day and the Airmen applied sunscreen, ate snacks and drank fluids before they departed, in addition to carrying a flashlight and a reflective belt for safety, as the march lasted all through the night, too.  The large group heard welcome remarks from Colonel Daniel Van Wyk, 166th Maintenance Group Commander, Delaware Air National Guard, and then received a safety briefing from event organizer Tech. Sgt. Jackson. The marchers also heard a few words of encouragement from Chief Master Sgt. Chris Ford, 512th Maintenance Squadron Superintendent, who is also participating in the march.

Congratulations to every one who marched and came out to support USO Delaware.   We’ll see you next year!

The marchers - having walked for nearly 22 hours - round the bend into the North Gate at Dover Air Force Base, where a host of sirens and cheers greeted them upon arrival.