Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Bob and Dolores Hope Charitable Foundation Makes Donation to PGA TOUR Charities, Inc. Birdies for the Brave for Wounded Warrior Project

/PRNewswire/ -- The family of the late World Golf Hall of Fame member Bob Hope has made a donation in the amount of $200,000 to the PGA TOUR Charities, Inc. Birdies for the Brave program, designated for the Wounded Warrior Project.

"This contribution is a perfect fit honoring both the veterans that my dad so admired, and the game of golf which played such an important role in his life," said Linda Hope, Bob Hope's daughter. "We hope that our donation in my dad's name will help lighten the burdens of some of our returning heroes much as Dad was able to do during his lifetime."

"We're so appreciative to the Hope family for this generous donation," said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. "Not only will these funds positively impact the lives of the men and women who return home after courageously serving our country, but this gesture from The Bob and Dolores Hope Charitable Foundation also continues a legacy of goodwill between the Hope family, the military and the game of golf."

"We are extremely honored that the Hope family views Wounded Warrior Project as a deserving program and extension of Bob Hope's legacy of caring for those serving in our nation's Armed Forces," said Steve Nardizzi, Wounded Warrior Project executive director. "This humbling gift, combined with the PGA TOUR's ongoing efforts to raise awareness and funds to support Wounded Warrior Project, will measurably impact our ability to provide timely and valuable services to wounded warriors, their families and caregivers."

The idea for the donation originated at the 2008 World Golf Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Weekend last November, when Linda and her brother, Kelly, attended an exhibition opening of the Hall's newest featured exhibition, "Bob Hope: Shanks for the Memory." Within the exhibit, which focuses on many aspects of Hope's life, the Hopes viewed a section that pays tribute to the Wounded Warrior Project as the modern-day embodiment of Bob Hope's support of the troops.

Also during Induction weekend, Dan Nevins, a wounded soldier who credits his passion for golf as critical to his rehabilitation [and subsequently took a position with Wounded Warrior Project], spoke at the Hall of Fame's Night of Legends Tribute Dinner. Linda and Kelly were in attendance and were inspired by his speech.

"When our exhibit team dove into the project, we were astounded by the endless accounts of Bob Hope's philanthropic devotion, especially as it related to the men and women of the United States military," said Sr. Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of the Hall of Fame Jack Peter. "We wanted to be sure that aspect of his story was as emotional to our guests as it was to us. This donation really adds to the big picture of the Hope family's continued dedication to both golf and military."

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

General Petraeus Honored With The American Legion's Distinguished Service Medal

/PRNewswire/ -- Thousands of wartime veterans rose to cheer as General David H. Petraeus, Commander of the U.S. Central Command, was awarded The American Legion's Distinguished Service Medal this morning.

The Legion's National Commander, David K. Rehbein, began his tribute to the Iraqi conflict leader by quoting critics who had declared, "The war is lost," and "The surge will never work."

"Yet," said Rehbein, "General David Petraeus, the chief advocate of the military troop surge and the Commander of the Multi-National Forces Iraq, refused to share this pessimism. He never lost faith in America's fighting men and women. He would be the first to tell you that the credit for the success in Iraq belongs to those who served and are still serving over there."

General Petraeus himself reiterated this point as he accepted The American Legion's medal and in remarks a short time later. He also vowed to wage a vigorous campaign against insurgents in Afghanistan as U.S. forces aid the fragile country in its quest for self-sufficiency and freedom from tyrannical rule.

The award, the veterans' service organization's highest honor, was presented during The American Legion's 91st national convention in Louisville, Ky. this morning, General Petraeus joined fellow convention speaker Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at the Legion convention's opening ceremonies.

With a current membership of 2.5-million wartime veterans, The American Legion was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and youth programs. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through more than 14,000 posts across the nation.

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Jack Daniel’s/USO “Toast to the Troops” Event Honoring Troops and Their Families to Be Held at Bristol Race

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Tennessee National Guard service members and their spouses, members of the NASCAR community, USO volunteers and Jack Daniel’s employees will assemble 10,000 USO care packages at Earhart Campground East adjacent to Bristol Motor Speedway as part of the Jack Daniel’s/USO “Toast to the Troops” program.

The event will be held prior to the Sharpie 500 race at Bristol on Aug. 22, and is the 11th stuffing party since Toast to the Troops was launched in 2005. Through Toast to the Troops, Jack Daniel’s collects personal messages of support, or “toasts,” to include in USO care packages.

Following the care package stuffing party, ten-year Army veteran and country music star Craig Morgan will perform a free concert for all volunteers and fans attending the race.

“Since this program began, we’ve had the opportunity to see firsthand the great sacrifices that our friends serving in the military, as well as their spouses and families on the home front, make for our country,” said Tim Rutledge, Brand Director Americas for Jack Daniel’s.

Rutledge said this “Toast” event would be very special since a majority of the volunteers would be members and spouses of the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment of the Tennessee National Guard that is being redeployed to the Middle East later this year. “We’re humbled and honored that these heroes will be joining us in Bristol, and we look forward to spending a wonderful day with them and recognizing their many contributions to our country,” he added.

“It is a privilege to be a part of such a worthy event,” said Lt. Colonel James Blevins, Squadron Commander of the 278th. “Our soldiers and families are looking forward to participating in ‘Toast to the Troops,’ knowing the care packages are being sent to our military brothers and sisters serving in harm’s way.”

Citizens can go to to fill out the special “toasts” that will be included in USO care packages for troops deploying to Afghanistan, Iraq and other overseas locations, as well as troops arriving and departing on rest and recuperation (R&R) flights. The care packages, sponsored for $25 each, include approximately $75 worth of items requested by service members, such as prepaid international calling cards, toiletries, sunscreen, playing cards, disposable cameras and snacks.

“We thank Jack Daniel’s for their continued support,” said Elaine Rogers, administrator of 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.”

Craig Morgan has been a part of every Jack Daniel’s/USO Toast to the Troops event and fulfilled a lifelong dream last September when he was invited to join the Grand Old Opry at a Toast event at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he was stationed from 1990-1992. Morgan has entertained troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and is a recipient of the USO Merit Award, an honor shared by the late Bob Hope.

“It has been an honor and privilege for me to perform for our military service members and their families, and the Toast to the Troops program is one way of letting them know how much we love, respect and appreciate everything they do for us,” said Morgan. “Their sacrifices, both abroad and on the home front, cannot be measured, and we all owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude.”

BNA Records recording artist Morgan has made a name for himself with massive radio airplay of his signature hits. Morgan’s current album That’s Why features the hit single “Love Remembers” and his current single, “Bonfire.” The new releases follow his Top 10 hit and fan-favorite, “International Harvester.” Other Top 10 hits include “Little Bit of Life,” “Tough,” “Almost Home,” “Redneck Yacht Club,” and “That’s What I Love About Sunday” – which spent five weeks at No. 1 and was Billboard’s Most Played Country Song of the Year in 2005.

Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing, will be on hand to take part in the program. Childress owns and operates Richard Childress Racing and fields four Chevrolets in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, including the No. 07 Jack Daniel’s Impala SS driven by Casey Mears.

“It’s an honor for RCR to be involved in the ‘Toast to the Troops’ program with Jack Daniel’s and the USO,” said Childress. “I’ve seen first-hand the efforts of the National Guard and other branches of the military in Iraq and I couldn’t be more proud to be an American knowing that those brave men and women are protecting us. The folks at Jack Daniel’s show their patriotism in so many ways and teaming up with the USO for the ‘Toast to the Troops’ program is the continuation of that great tradition.”

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 a service member and provide a touch of home. The USO has distributed more than 1.5 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

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Monday, August 10, 2009

200,000 'I Served Stickers' Shipped to Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans

/PRNewswire/ -- OBX, BB and HH are just a few of the beach-town stickers you've seen on car bumpers. And if Scott Kreger has his way, every veteran returning from duty in Iraq and Afghanistan will have free stickers bearing the abbreviation "IRQ" or "AFG" with the words "I Served" underneath.

"I hope that people will approach our courageous veterans and thank them for their service when they see the sticker," says Kreger, who created the concept. "I also see these stickers as a way for fellow veterans to identify and talk with each other. These connections could lead to networking opportunities, jobs and support in tough times."

About 40 volunteers stuffed 20,000 envelopes and packages on Saturday. The first wave of stickers will appear in towns across all 50 states and the U.S. territories, as well as the coalition troop countries, including Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.

"It's a small way to say thank you, but the response has been overwhelming," says Kreger. So far, he has received requests for about 200,000 stickers.

The project is funded entirely by private donations. Kreger has raised nearly $40,000 of the $100,000 he anticipates needing to cover printing and mailing for 1.5 million stickers to give to every soldier who has served or might serve in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page
Arts Across Georgia

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Soldiers' Angels and Spirit of America Cooperate to Support the Troops

/PRNewswire/ -- The need to encourage and support America's fighting men and women around the world remains strong, and nonprofits Spirit of America and Soldiers' Angels are sharing their contacts and working together to ensure every service member has support to complete the mission and return home safe.

Soldiers' Angels (SA) "adopts" deployed Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines, while Spirit of America (SoA) provides those same service members with directly-requested materials for locals in need. In a spirit of cooperation, SoA lets their deployed contacts know homefront support is available for soldiers and their families through SA, while SoA flyers in Angel care packages tell service members where to get assistance for their local outreach activities. The two organizations are also prominently linked on each others' websites.

Together, Soldiers' Angels and Spirit of America provide comfort items and necessities, love from home, and material assistance for America's military personnel in their role as ambassadors to the local population. Material support for people caught in a war zone helps "win hearts and minds," encouraging locals to provide intelligence and reduce conflict. Meeting locals' needs also helps them resist insurgents who bribe or threaten them into terrorist activities.

"Soldiers' Angels is an outstanding organization with a total commitment to supporting America's soldiers. We are proud to be working with them," said Jim Hake, founder and chairman of Spirit of America. "This cooperation and putting our troops first is exactly what's needed to make sure they are successful and safe."

Soldiers' Angels founder Patti Patton-Bader expresses similar sentiments. "Spirit of America is amazing. Their ability to provide exactly what units request to build relationships and improve communities in the warzones helps make our troops safer and more effective. They are a perfect complement to our efforts in bringing home healthy heroes."

As Internet-based entities, Soldiers' Angels and Spirit of America recognize the importance of social networking and word-of-mouth in meeting their missions. The cooperative spirit they demonstrate has been a significant factor in placing them among the largest and most effective of the newer military-related nonprofits that developed after 9-11.

By helping meet troops' emotional and physical needs and making their jobs easier, Spirit of America and Soldiers' Angels help bring home healthy and successful warfighters. From shipping 500 pairs of boot socks for tired Infantrymen's feet to sending 5,000 toothbrushes to a Marine unit teaching Afghani villagers dental hygiene, SA and SoA's complementary missions remind the troops that America has their back.

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Two Army Programs Help Soldiers And Veterans Receive Compensation For Sacrifices

(NAPSI)-Two programs are further demonstrating the Army's commitment to caring for its Soldiers. Combat-Related Special Compensation and Traumatic Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance are helping veterans and traumatically injured Soldiers receive the compensation they deserve for their sacrifices to our Nation.

Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC)

CRSC was enacted by Congress on December 2, 2002. CRSC restores military retired pay that is offset when a Military Retiree accepts compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for a combat-related disability or condition. This allows eligible Retirees to concurrently receive an amount equal to or less than their length of service retirement pay and their VA-disability compensation, if the injury is combat related.

CRSC is available to Retirees from each Branch of Service. To qualify for CRSC, Retirees must meet three basic criteria: 1) they must be receiving military retired pay, 2) they must have had their military retired pay reduced by VA-disability payments (VA Waiver), and 3) they must have a 10 percent or greater VA-rated disability that can be linked to a combat-related event through official military documentation. Combat-related injuries are defined as those that are a result of armed conflict, hazardous duty, an instrumentality of war or training that simulates war.

Traumatic Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (TSGLI)

TSGLI is a congressionally mandated program that provides financial support to traumatically injured Soldiers and their Families. Qualifying Soldiers receive a tax-free payment between $25,000 and $100,000 per traumatic event based on the injury. The TSGLI benefit is not intended to serve as income replacement and will not affect other compensation determinations.

Traumatic injuries covered by TSGLI are defined as severe trauma from an external force that is physical in nature. Examples include loss of sight, paralysis, limb salvage, facial reconstruction, severe burns or loss of activities of daily living functions due to traumatic brain injuries or other traumatic injuries, which focus on the Soldier's need for assistance.

The program began on December 1, 2005, and all Soldiers from that point forward who elected SGLI pay an additional $1 for TSGLI coverage. In addition, Soldiers who incurred qualifying traumatic injuries from October 7, 2001, through November 30, 2005, while on orders overseas in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom or in a Combat Zone are covered retroactively by TSGLI, regardless of whether they had SGLI at the time of their injury.

If you or someone you know may be eligible for CRSC, visit You can also call 1-866-281-3254 or e-mail with any questions regarding CRSC.

For more information about TSGLI, including detailed eligibility requirements and claim submission instructions, you can visit; call 1-800-237-1336; or e-mail TSGLI@

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page