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JACK DANIEL’S/USO “TOAST TO THE TROOPS” ROLLS ON WITH
 UPCOMING EVENT AT MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE
Country Music Star and Army Veteran Craig Morgan to Entertain Volunteers

LYNCHBURG (pop. 361), Tenn. (December 3, 2010) – Military spouses,  USO volunteers and others will assemble 10,000 USO Care Packages at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, on December 10 as part of the Jack Daniel’s/USO “Toast to the Troops” program. 

Since 2005, the Distillery has been collecting personal messages of support in the form of “toasts” to include in USO care packages, and has hosted twelve other “stuffing parties” at military installations across the country. The program will surpass 150,000 care packages at the MacDill AFB event. 

The Toast to the Troops stuffing party will include a  “thank you” barbecue for the volunteers and when the packages are complete, a base-wide free concert by country music star and Army veteran Craig Morgan will be held for all military ID card holders and their families. 

“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.  “Toast to the Troops is Jack Daniel’s way of letting our friends serving in the military and their families know how much we support them and truly appreciate everything they do for our country.”

The 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, 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.” 

Ten-year Army veteran Morgan has been a part of every Jack Daniel’s/USO Toast to the Troops event, and will perform a free concert for the entire base following the MacDill stuffing party.  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 single, “Still a Little Chicken Left on That Bone” is rapidly climbing the charts and follows his recent hits “This Ain’t Nothin,” “Bonfire,” and “Love Remembers.”  Other Top-10 hits include “International Harvester,” “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.

The stuffing party will begin at 12:00 noon on December 10th at Hangar 3 on MacDill AFB., followed by the concert at 3:30 p.m.  For more information about media access at these events, please contact MSgt Bryan Gatewood at 813-828-2215 by Wednesday, Dec 8th at 3:00pm.

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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