Wednesday, November 04, 2009

VAULT™ and the USO partner on campaign to send messages to u.s. troops

ATLANTA, Nov. 4, 2009 – The approaching holiday season is a time of hope and family for millions of Americans, but hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops stationed around the world will likely celebrate far from home again this year.

In an effort to boost morale with messages of support and gratitude, VAULT is partnering with the USO and country music act Montgomery Gentry on

“The Uniform of Heroes: The Taste of Support” campaign.

Entering its second year, the program provides a unique opportunity for people to send hand-written postcards to “any service member” stationed worldwide.

Beginning today, people are encouraged to write messages of support on pre-addressed postcards, which are available through VAULT displays at convenience retail outlets and on VAULT standees in grocery stores where VAULT is sold.

They also are available at VAULT-sponsored events and on MyCokeRewards.com , while supplies last. Consumers can provide postage and easily drop the postcards in the mail for delivery to a USO collection center for screening before being distributed to U.S. troops.

“Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for all Americans to recognize the special contributions and sacrifices made by U.S. troops, especially during this time of the year,” said Neil Golson, VAULT Brand Manager, Coca-Cola North America. “These messages will go a long way in bringing comfort and lifting the spirits of our troops, especially those who are a world away from home.”

In addition to boosting morale through the postcard program, VAULT is asking consumers to contribute to the USO by donating their own MyCokeRewards points, which translate to cash for the organization. MyCokeRewards points, found under caps and on packaging of more than 60 products from Coca-Cola North America , can be redeemed at MyCokeRewards.com to donate funds that help support the continuing efforts of the USO to provide a home away from home to U.S. troops wherever they serve.

Sandy Douglas, President, Coca-Cola North America, recently presented $100,000 from last year’s campaign to Sloan Gibson, USO President and CEO, during a special performance by Montgomery Gentry at The Tabernacle Concert Hall in Atlanta. The concert served as the kickoff of “The Uniform of Heroes: The Taste of Support” campaign.

“We’re proud to continue the effort to support our U.S. troops, and it’s exciting to partner with VAULT on this important campaign once again,” said Troy Gentry. “VAULT and the USO have created a great way to spread goodwill and offer our thanks to the brave men and women serving our country. We hope thousands of people will get involved again this year.”

“Corporate partnerships, like the one we have enjoyed with Coca-Cola for 68 years, are the lifeblood of the USO, and programs like VAULT’s ‘The Uniform of Heroes: The Taste of Support’ make an enormous difference to the troops who defend our nation,” said Gibson. “We’re very pleased to work with VAULT and Montgomery Gentry again in generating awareness and delivering much-appreciated thoughts and well-wishes for U.S. troops worldwide.”

Background
The VAULT postcard program replicates the popular service previously operated by the U.S. Department of Defense, which allowed the American public to send mail addressed to “any service member” for more than 17 years before being discontinued in 2003 due to security concerns. “Since email has become the primary form of communication for soldiers, handwritten, personal notes are especially valued and can provide an incredible morale boost,” said Gibson. “By teaming with VAULT and leveraging the reach of the Coca-Cola system, we’re giving people across the country a chance to send a note of support or gratitude to our troops delivered through the network of USO centers.”
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