Wednesday, May 26, 2010

SunTrust Invites You to Say Thank You to the Heroes in Your Life with 'Solid Salutes' Personalized Video

/PRNewswire/ -- This Memorial Day, Father's Day or "just because," pay tribute to the solid people in your life who go above and beyond and make a difference. With SunTrust Bank's "Solid Salutes," you can send a free, customized video thank you as unique as the person you're honoring - whether a loved one or friend in the military, a parent, special mentor, or your neighbor.

"The Solid Salutes video is a unique way to pay tribute to our servicemen and women and to say thank you to those who have shown us what it means to live solid," said Rilla Delorier, Chief Marketing Officer, SunTrust Bank. "We encourage people to share the video with their friends and family through the Internet, Facebook and Twitter so they, too, can pass it on."

Featuring photos of our country's military personnel and veterans and everyday heroes along with the song, "Thank You" by Diana DeGarmo, the video can be personalized by adding your own photo and message or can be sent as is. Intuitive and easy to customize, at, the video takes only a few simple steps to create, review and send your own tribute. There's also an option to share this site with friends and family.

Beginning May 26 through Father's Day, June 20, you can visit, to send a message to anyone who is a solid hero in your life - anywhere in the world.

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The American Legion and Military Channel Launch 'American Heroes' Vignettes Honoring Those Who Served in Iraq, Afghanistan

/PRNewswire/ -- The American Legion and Military Channel have teamed up to honor troops who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, including three soldiers who never made it back home. A series of ten, one-minute vignettes, "American Heroes" premieres Memorial Day on the Military Channel, which co-sponsored the production with The American Legion - the country's largest veterans service organization with about 2.5 million members worldwide.

Produced by Creative Street Entertainment, "American Heroes" includes the dramatic and poignant stories of those who fell in battle, suffered severe injuries, helped repair war-torn communities, or made it home to help other wounded warriors. Each American hero is honored with a Norman Rockwell Moments portrait at the close of the vignette. The profiles will air on the Military Channel for an entire year, starting with the network's live coverage of the National Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 31 from 2 to 4 p.m. EDT.

"The 'American Heroes' stories are a collection that encompasses several different aspects of what it means to be a hero in wartime. First and foremost, we think of those who gave their lives - those whose memories we will honor forever," said Clarence Hill, national commander for The American Legion.

"Then there are those who return home with severe injuries, yet go on to succeed in the civilian world. We have American heroes who take care of wounded troops at VA hospitals, who have helped Iraqi children in their devastated cities, or who have taught their own families how to be heroes," Hill said. These vignettes really highlight the sacrifices of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and how veterans of those wars continue to serve our country."

"Partnering with The American Legion to create these 'American Heroes' vignettes is emblematic of Military Channel's commitment to sharing compelling stories of heroism from within the U.S. Armed Services," said Henry Schleiff, general manager and president of Military Channel, Investigation Discovery and HD Theater. "And what better day to launch these poignant stories than Memorial Day, a hallowed day for our country to recognize the accomplishments and sacrifices of the men and women serving in uniform, who have preserved our freedom and liberties while bringing security to the world."

The 11 individuals featured in the "American Heroes" vignettes are: Patrick Brady and his daughter, Meghan; David Brown, Tammy Duckworth, Dawn Halfaker, Nick Madaras, Jose Pequeno, Robert Posivio, Joseph Proctor, John Schatzel and Klay South.

Madaras, Posivio and Proctor died in Iraq; Proctor received the Silver Star. Duckworth, an assistant secretary in the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, was a pilot who lost both legs when her helicopter was shot down. Halfaker, vice president of the Wounded Warrior Project, lost an arm when an RPG exploded near her Humvee.

South, who founded the Veterans of Valor service organization, was shot while clearing out houses in Fallujah. Pequeno, whose story was told in the May 2009 issue of The American Legion Magazine, suffered severe traumatic brain injury from an IED explosion.

Patrick Brady, a retired Army major general, is a Medal of Honor recipient for bravery in Vietnam; his daughter, Meghan, has served in Kosovo, Kuwait and Iraq. Schatzel helped to rebuild the Iraqi scouting program in Baghdad, and Brown - twice-injured in battle - now spends his days helping veterans recover from war and readjust to the world of peace.

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Office Depot and Lexmark Team up with Operation Homefront to Provide Military Families with Free Printers

(BUSINESS WIRE)--In recognition of Memorial Day, Office Depot® (NYSE:ODP), a leading global provider of office products and services, and Lexmark International, Inc. (NYSE:LXK), a leading global provider of imaging products, solutions and services, today announced a new program in conjunction with Operation Homefront that will provide military families with much-needed technology to help them stay in touch with their loved ones serving in the armed forces.

“We applaud Operation Homefront for their dedication to military families all over the world, and we hope that our customers will embrace the opportunity to help these families as well.”

The special program runs from May 30 through June 5. During that time Office Depot and Lexmark will donate a new Lexmark printer* to Operation Homefront, a non-profit organization dedicated to the needs of military families nationwide, each time a customer purchases a Lexmark printer in an Office Depot store (regularly priced at $199.99 and above) or online at Office Depot and Lexmark hope to donate more than 4,000 printers.

“Office Depot is honored to support Operation Homefront through our partnership with Lexmark, and give back to thousands of military families by providing printers through this special program,” said Steve Mahurin, Executive Vice President of Merchandising for Office Depot. “We applaud Operation Homefront for their dedication to military families all over the world, and we hope that our customers will embrace the opportunity to help these families as well.”

“Operation Homefront provides necessary assistance to the families of U.S. military troops who are serving our country,” said Paul Rooke, executive vice president and president of Lexmark’s Imaging Solutions Division. “Lexmark is pleased to support dedicated partners like Office Depot that value corporate citizenship as much as we do. In addition to saving time and money with their purchase of a Lexmark all-in-one printer, customers will walk away feeling good about supporting this worthy cause.”

Program Featured on Tony Stewart’s No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevrolet

Two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™ champion Tony Stewart is helping the cause as well with his No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevrolet featuring a special rear TV panel with the Office Depot, Lexmark and Operation Homefront logos, as well as the message, “Buy A Printer, Support Military Families.” The message will appear on the race car during the nationally televised Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway on Memorial Day Weekend (Sunday, May 30, 6 p.m. EDT, FOX).

“I am very grateful to the men and women who serve our country, and that includes all of the military families who sacrifice time with their loved ones,” Stewart said. “They make it possible for people like me to do what I love and for fans to enjoy being at the race track every weekend. For any NASCAR fan who needs a new printer, now is the time to visit your local Office Depot store. Your purchase of a Lexmark printer will directly benefit a military family, and that is a great gift.”

Tweet Your Support: #OperationShoutOut

As part of the Office Depot and Lexmark program, people can also engage with Operation Homefront and support members of the military via Twitter. Beginning now through June 5, people can give a “Shout Out” to someone serving in the military and be entered for a chance to win one of 10 Lexmark printers. To participate, go to Twitter ( and tweet the name and rank of a loved one in the military, along with the hashtag: #OperationShoutOut, from your Twitter account.

For more information, please visit or your local Office Depot retail store location.

You can find Office Depot on Facebook at and follow Office Depot on Twitter at

To learn more about the products and services available at Office Depot, please visit your local Office Depot retail store location or

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

DRIFIRE, Provider of Comfortable FR Wear Donates Shirts to 2010 Run for the Heroes

/PRNewswire/ -- DRIFIRE, leading developer of comfortable flame resistant (FR) shirts and FR clothing, has donated its DRIFIRE Comfortable FR Wear t-shirts to the Run for the Heroes Memorial Day event. Run for the Heroes is a 260-mile run and relay across the state of Georgia from May 27 to May 31, and is open to all runners interested in supporting U.S. veterans.

The run was started in 2009 by John Teeples, a House of Heroes volunteer, as a way to raise money and awareness for the organization. House of Heroes provides free home repairs to disabled or elderly military heroes in gratitude for their service to the country.

"The DRIFIRE team is very excited to contribute to this event by donating our shirts. 260 miles is a really long distance, and our shirts will help runners stay dry, comfortable, and odor-free as they undertake this amazing feat of endurance and stamina," said Dustin Cohn, Chief Marketing Officer for DRIFIRE. "As a company that provides garments to many people serving in various branches of our country's military forces, DRIFIRE is honored to be working with an organization that strives to support our nation's heroes long after they've stepped off the battlefield."

The run begins at the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning, GA., and ends in Savannah, GA. Individual runners have 120 hours to complete the run, while relay teams of up to eight runners have 40 hours. Runners can follow their own schedule, stopping and starting at any time once the run has begun, but leaving markers at exact stopping point to allow them to pick up where they left off after taking a break.

"The House of Heroes is a compassionate and committed nonprofit organization, and we are proud to be a part of this unique, charitable event," said Cohn. "Together, we can make a difference in veterans' lives and give them a much-deserved 'thank you' for all they have done for this country. All of the runners have DRIFIRE's full support and encouragement in their Run for the Heroes."

For more information about House of Heroes or Run for the Heroes, visit or

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Military Pathways(R) Commemorates Military Appreciation Month and Mental Health Month with iSalute Campaign

/PRNewswire/ -- Military Pathways is commemorating Military Appreciation Month and Mental Health Month in May by launching a web-based greeting called "iSalute." The site,, allows friends and family to send an online greeting to active duty soldiers, veterans and military families in honor of their service and sacrifice, while providing access to a variety of online health services including anonymous mental health self-assessments.

To send an iSalute, users can visit, where they can choose a custom greeting and write their own personal message. "Military Pathways is excited to be able to offer an easy, free way for service members and their families to connect, show thanks to one another and assess their mental health all at the same time," said Connie DiCocco, Executive Director of Screening for Mental Health, Inc., the non-profit that runs the Military Pathways program.

Military Pathways offers service personnel and their families the opportunity to take anonymous, mental health and alcohol use self-assessments online, by phone, and through special events held at installations worldwide. The self-assessments are a brief series of questions that help those in need of assistance find it, without the stigma that is often attached to seeking care.

"As May is both Military Appreciation Month and Mental Health Month, this is the perfect opportunity to honor our service members and their families. And although we are launching this in May, it will be available year-round as it is important that we thank those in the military for their service and sacrifice throughout the year," said DiCocco.

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Raytheon Pledges $1.5 Million to Advance Army Museum's Education Programs

/PRNewswire/ -- Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTN) has committed $1.5 million to the National Museum of the United States Army as a sponsor of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education content in the Museum's Experiential Learning Center. The museum, which will open its doors in 2015, hopes to attract 200,000 students each year to its Fort Belvoir, Va., location.

"Today's young students represent the promise of a new generation of technologists and innovators to work in both the public and private sectors," said William H. Swanson, Chairman and CEO of Raytheon. "The Army and Raytheon have a common goal to inspire these students to excel in STEM subjects in school in order to support our country's long-term competitiveness and security."

Swanson continued, "This museum will be a wonderful tribute to the millions of Americans who have served and sacrificed and are serving today in the United States Army, and we are proud to contribute to this important initiative."

General William W. Hartzog (USA-Ret.), president of The Army Historical Foundation said, "Research shows that middle school students are hands-on learners and benefit from interactive teaching tools. Raytheon's support will help make the Experiential Learning Center an unparalleled experience that will appeal to teachers, parents and students."

A cornerstone of the Museum's Experiential Learning Center will be the Raytheon-sponsored multi-user, multi-touch, interactive Learning Table with motion sensing technology. The Learning Table will accommodate more than a dozen simultaneous users or can be converted into four independent, team-oriented workstations.

Raytheon's support of the Army Museum's Experiential Learning Center is another element of the company's MathMovesU® program, which is committed to increasing middle school students' interest in math and science education by engaging them in hands-on, interactive activities. The innovative programs of MathMovesU include Raytheon's Sum of all Thrills(TM) experience at INNOVENTIONS at Epcot®, which showcases math in action as students design and experience their own thrill ride using math fundamentals; the "In the Numbers" game, a partnership with the New England Patriots on display at The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon; the company's multi-year sponsorship of the National MATHCOUNTS competition; and the Raytheon MathMovesU scholarship and grant program providing more than $1 million in annual funding to students and teachers.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

War Memorial Torn Down by Vandals!

/PRNewswire/ -- The Mojave Desert War Memorial, which was saved temporarily by a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, was torn down by vandals sometime Sunday night. Liberty Institute, which represents longtime memorial caretakers Henry and Wanda Sandoz, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW), The American Legion, Military Order of the Purple Heart, and the American Ex-Prisoners of War, is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the removal of VFW property.

"This is an outrage, akin to desecrating people's graves," said Kelly Shackelford, president/CEO of Liberty Institute. "It's a disgraceful attack on the selfless sacrifice of our veterans. We will not rest until this memorial is re-installed."

The ACLU and its plaintiff originally won a decision to tear down the memorial cross, but that was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court on April 28. The ACLU has stated that, as the case returns to the district court, it still plans to argue for the memorial to be torn down.

"This was a legal fight that a vandal just made personal to 50 million veterans, military personnel and their families," said VFW National Commander Thomas J. Tradewell, Sr. "To think anyone can rationalize the desecration of a war memorial is sickening, and for them to believe they won't be apprehended is very naive.

"The memorial will be rebuilt and the vandals will be caught and prosecuted in federal court, since the crime occurred on government property," said Tradewell, a combat-wounded Vietnam veteran from Sussex, Wis. "We hope this horrible act will highlight the importance of resolving this case quickly so that the memorial and land can be transferred to the VFW so that the service and sacrifice of all American war dead will be properly recognized and honored, as originally intended by a group of World War I VFW members 76 years ago."

"Reports that the Mojave Cross was illegally removed overnight are very disturbing," said The American Legion National Commander Clarence E. Hill. "The American Legion expects whoever is responsible for this vile act to be brought to justice. While the memorial has been attacked, the fight will continue to ensure that veterans memorials will remain sacrosanct."

"This was never about one cross," said Hill. "It is about the right to honor our nation's veterans in a manner in which the overwhelming majority supports. The American Legion strongly believes the public has a right to protect its memorials."

Liberty Institute works to uphold Constitutional and First Amendment religious and speech freedoms in the courts. Liberty Institute represented all major veterans groups as amici in the Supreme Court case of Salazar v. Buono involving this 76-year-old war memorial.

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Friday, May 7, 2010

Ram Truck Brand and Zac Brown Band Launch 'Letters for Lyrics' National Letter-Writing Campaign to U.S. Soldiers

/PRNewswire/ -- -- Write a letter and receive a "Breaking Southern Ground" CD featuring
three all-new songs from Zac Brown Band

-- Goal to deliver 1 million letters to U.S. soldiers stationed across
the world
-- All U.S. Ram Truck dealerships will serve as collection points and
provide letter-writing stations
-- Letters to be collected at Zac Brown Band Concerts
-- Soldiers' Angels to deliver letters to U.S. Troops on behalf of the
Ram Truck Brand and Zac Brown Band
-- Exclusive documentary-style footage of Zac Brown Band's USO tour
directed by Darren Doane to debut on RAM Truck Brand's Letter for
Lyrics site

The Ram Truck Brand, in partnership with Zac Brown Band, kicks off "Letters for Lyrics," a national letter-writing campaign targeted to U.S. soldiers. The goal for the Ram Truck Brand and Zac Brown Band is to send 1 million letters to U.S. troops deployed around the world.

In exchange for writing a letter to a U.S. soldier, participants will receive a special compilation CD titled, "Breaking Southern Ground." This exclusive CD features three all-new songs from Zac Brown Band, as well as music from artists signed to Zac Brown's label, Southern Ground Records - Sonia Leigh, Nic Cowan and Levi Lowrey.

"The Ram Truck Brand is grateful for the commitment and courage that U.S. soldiers give to this country each day," said Fred Diaz, President and CEO - Ram Truck Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. "Our company has been steadfast in its support of America's armed services; we know these letters will help brighten a soldier's day. We encourage our employees, suppliers and our customers to visit a local Ram Truck dealership to write or drop off a letter for these soldiers who protect our right to freedom."

"We've had several opportunities to perform for the troops over the past year and each time we were deeply inspired by their positive attitudes and dedication to protecting our country and preserving our way of life," said Zac Brown. "We were so moved that we knew we needed to recognize their efforts in a big way. Our hope is that by combining our experience overseas, our music, and the good people at Ram Truck Brand, we will be able to rally a movement of support for our brave service members abroad."

Darren Doane, the CMT nominated director of Zac Brown Band's live 'Pass the Jar' DVD (Southern Ground/Atlantic) and their music video for the #1 hit "Toes," traveled with the band to the Persian Gulf to document the moving experience - capturing footage of the band performing for the troops and meeting individually with the men and women in uniform. Bringing the experience home, Doane has constructed several mini-documentary style videos which will be posted to starting today and updated throughout the coming weeks.

"This unique endeavor is derived from respect and admiration, from both the Ram Truck Brand and Zac Brown Band, for the men and women in the military," said Marissa Hunter, Head of Ram Truck Brand Communications, Chrysler Group LLC. "It is our hope that these letters serve as a source of appreciation and comfort."

Letters will be collected at Zac Brown Band concerts and all U.S. Ram Truck dealerships. People interested in writing a letter can visit any Ram Truck dealership where special "Letters for Lyrics" stationery will be provided.

Soldiers' Angels, a nonprofit organization, will deliver the letters on behalf of the Zac Brown Band and the Ram Truck Brand. Soldiers' Angels is a volunteer-led organization with over 225,000 members providing aid and comfort to the men and women of the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, along with veterans and their families.

"By standing wingtip to wingtip, the Ram Truck Brand, Zac Brown Band and Soldiers' Angels will be able to help build morale to heroes in combat zones one million fold," said Soldiers' Angels founder and president, Patti Patton-Bader. "We are truly grateful to the Ram Truck Brand and Zac Brown Band for their help in ensuring that our heroes know they are loved and appreciated."

The "Letters for Lyrics" campaign is part of an integrated marketing campaign for the 2010 Ram Heavy Duty and is supported with broadcast, print, digital and social media efforts that will run concurrently.

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