EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE NEXT UP FOR JACK DANIEL’S/USO “TOAST TO THE TROOPS” PROGRAM

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE NEXT UP FOR

JACK DANIEL’S/USO “TOAST TO THE TROOPS” PROGRAM

Country Music Star Craig Morgan to Make 14th Appearance Headlining
Toast Concert for U.S. Troops, Families and Volunteers

LYNCHBURG (pop. 361), Tenn. (April 11, 2011) – Eglin Air Force Base in northwest Florida will be the site of the next Jack Daniel’s/USO “Toast to the Troops” event on April 15th as military spouses,  USO volunteers and others will assemble thousands of Operation USO Care Packages for our troops serving overseas.   

Since 2005, the Jack Daniel Distillery has been collecting personal messages of support in the form of “toasts” to include in USO care packages, and has hosted 13 other “stuffing parties” at military installations across the country.  More than 150,000 care packages have been sent to our troops through the “Toast to the Troops” program.   

The 14th “Toast to the Troops” stuffing party will continue the tradition of having a “thank you” barbecue for all the package stuffing volunteers followed by a free base-wide concert headlined by country music star and Army veteran Craig Morgan.

“All of us at Jack Daniel’s honor and support our nation’s servicemen and women,” said Jennifer Powell, Senior Brand Manager for Jack Daniel’s.  “We also recognize and sincerely appreciate the sacrifices made by the spouses and families of our military heroes.  The Toast program is just one way for us to show our love and support to those who truly deserve it.”

The Operation USO Care Packages, sponsored for $25 each, include items requested by service members, such as prepaid international calling cards, toiletries, sunscreen, playing cards, disposable cameras and snacks.  The packages are being assembled for troops deploying to Afghanistan, Iraq and other overseas locations, as well as troops arriving and departing on rest and recuperation (R&R) flights. 

“We thank Jack Daniel’s for their continued support,” said Elaine Rogers, president and CEO of the USO of Metropolitan Washington, which administers the Operation USO Care Package program.  “Since 2005, these events have been an excellent opportunity for local communities to demonstrate their support for our men and women in uniform and their families.”

Ten-year Army veteran Craig Morgan has been a part of all 13 previous Jack Daniel’s/USO “Toast to the Troops” events dating back to 2005.  He is a recipient of the USO Merit Award and has made nine overseas trips to entertain our U.S. troops.

“I’ve been honored to be part of the Toast to the Troops program since it began six years ago and it’s always inspiring for me to perform for our troops and their families,” said Morgan.  “I know how much it means to receive a care package out in the field and to know that you are supported.  Our troops, their spouses and families sacrifice so much, and I’m glad to get the chance to let them know how much we value their efforts.”  

One of country music’s best-loved artists, Morgan has made a name for himself with massive radio airplay of his signature hits:  “Bonfire,” “Almost Home,” “Redneck Yacht Club,” “That’s What I Love About Sunday” (Billboard’s most-played country songs of the year in 2005) and “International Harvester.”  Craig received one of country music’s highest honors when was inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 2008.  Prior to becoming a country music star, Craig Morgan spent more than 10 years of active duty in the Army and additional years in the Army Reserves.  Adding to his diverse list of talents, Morgan is also the host of “Craig Morgan: All Access Outdoors,” the Outdoor Channel’s #1 rated Saturday morning hunting show.

The stuffing party will begin at 1:00p.m. on April 15th at Hangar 102 on Eglin AFB, followed by the concert at 7:00 p.m.

Due to heightened security, individuals can no longer send letters and packages addressed to “Any Service Member.”  The Operation USO Care Package program is the best way to send a message of encouragement directly to troops and provide a touch of home.  The USO has distributed more than two million care packages since the program’s inception in 2003.  More information on the Operation USO Care Package program and other USO programs can be found at www.uso.org.

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