/PRNewswire/ -- A tribute program that has provided free admission to Worlds of Discovery for more than 3.2 million members of U.S. and coalition armed forces and their families has been extended through 2009. Budweiser's "Here's to the Heroes" was launched in February 2005 to acknowledge the service of military men and women and the sacrifices made by their families.
"It is gratifying to all of us at Anheuser-Busch InBev that so many members of our armed forces have taken advantage of this program and honored us with a visit," said Jim Atchison, President of Busch Entertainment Corporation (BEC). "This is a difficult time for our men and women in uniform -- and their families --- and we are honored to give them something back."
Here's to the Heroes provides a single day's free admission to any one SeaWorld or Busch Gardens park, Sesame Place, Adventure Island or Water Country USA for the service member and as many as three of his or her direct dependents. The program is sponsored by Budweiser, the flagship beer of Anheuser-Busch InBev.
Any active duty, active reserve, ready reserve service member or National Guardsman is entitled to free admission under the program. He or she need only register, either online at www.herosalute.com or in the entrance plaza of a participating park, and show a Department of Defense photo ID. Also included in the offer are members of foreign military forces serving in the coalitions in Iraq or Afghanistan or attached to American units in the U.S. for training.
"This is one small way we can acknowledge and thank the soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen and Coast Guardsmen whose service helps to preserve the freedom and safety of every American," Atchison said. "It's important to all of us at Anheuser-Busch InBev that we show our gratitude to the men and women of our armed forces and their families for the sacrifices they make on our behalf."
Here's to the Heroes is the fourth tribute to military personnel offered by the company since Yellow Ribbon Summer welcomed service members home from the Gulf War in 1991.
Three Worlds of Discovery -- SeaWorld Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa and SeaWorld San Diego -- operate year round. The company's remaining parks are seasonal, with varying opening dates this spring. Each park's operating schedule is available online.
Inactive, standby and retired reserve members, military retirees, U.S. Merchant Marine and civilian Department of Defense workers are ineligible for the program. The program does not include Discovery Cove or SeaWorld's new waterpark, Aquatica.
Orlando-based Busch Entertainment operates nine Worlds of Discovery across the U.S.: SeaWorld Florida in Orlando, SeaWorld California in San Diego, SeaWorld Texas in San Antonio; Busch Gardens Africa in Tampa, Fla., Busch Gardens Europe in Williamsburg, Va.; Discovery Cove in Orlando; Sesame Place in Langhorne, Pa. near Philadelphia; and waterparks Adventure Island in Tampa and Water Country USA in Williamsburg. Aquatica, SeaWorld's waterpark, opened in spring 2008.
The Worlds of Discovery play host to more than 25 million guests each year and employ 26,000 people nationwide. On the Web at WorldsofDiscovery.com.
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