The Jack Daniels Distillery launched Operation Ride Home this week, an effort to help soldiers and their families travel home for the holidays.
The famous Tennessee whiskey-maker joined forces with the Armed Services YMCA of Fort Campbell to identify soldiers and families in need of financial assistance for travel from the base to their homes throughout the U.S. this holiday season.
Jack Daniels has donated $101,000 in honor of the decorated 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, located along the Kentucky - Tennessee border. The 101st Airborne Division recently returned from a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan.
The Whiskey-maker encourages Americans to visit www.JDOperationRideHome.com and contribute what they can to assist in the effort.
There are so many enlisted soldiers with families who would love to go to their homes for the holidays, but just don't have the means to do it, said Jeff Arnett, Jack Daniel's Master Distiller. These heroes have been serving our country on multiple deployments overseas and we just want to do what we can to help reunite them with their families during this special season.
After all, Arnett said, it's not what is under the Christmas tree, but who is around it.
The Armed Services YMCA of Fort Campbell, one of 16 dedicated branches of the nonprofit organization, will purchase plane tickets and provide pre-paid debit cards for gas, lodging and food to help soldiers and their families. Soldiers will be eligible for plane tickets up to $300 and debit cards up to $100.
The Operation Ride Home campaign hopes to reach hundreds of soldiers and their families to help them travel home for Christmas and New Year.
The military does an outstanding job getting our soldiers back to base from deployments, but unfortunately so many of them just don't have the money to leave the base - whether that's money for a plane ticket if they live far away from the base or even gas money if they're closer to Fort Campbell, YMCA Executive Director Shirley West said. This campaign will be a huge help in reuniting these families.
Jack Daniels has a history of supporting America's troops. In recent years, Jack Daniels collected personal messages of support in the form of toasts to include in USO care packages, and has hosted 14 stuffing parties at military installations across the nation to send care packages to troops serving overseas.
Any donations made to the Armed Services YMCA are tax exempt. To learn more about Operation Ride Home, click here.