Toasting The Troops

April 28, 2008

Working in conjunction with the USO, Jack Daniel’s Distillery hosted a “Toast To The Troops” care package stuffing party, at Quantico, on April 19th. More than 200 volunteers were on hand to join in the event. By the time they were finished, more than 10,000 care packages were ready to be sent to the Troops. This isn’t the first such event that has paired the USO and Jack Daniels.

“We’ve done six of these parties at bases throughout the country,” said Elizabeth Conway, Jack Daniel’s public relations manager. “We include in each care package, a personalized post card with a little message to the Troops that we call a “Toast to the Troops.”

One participant in the event, Bill Stang is a World War II veteran. He said that he and the Troops who served with him at Guadalcanal, when they were serving. He said that they ran out of everything, whle they were serving there. He feels strongly that today’s soldiers appreciate each box they get, though he added, that they might just be a bit disappointed.

“On the island I was on, we’d have been too glad to have one of those things, a little package like that,” Stang said.

“Each time they open one of those packages, they’re going to look for a little bottle of Jack Daniel’s, but it’s not going to be there!” he said with a laugh.

Another former Soldier, participating in the event was former Army Sgt. Michael Cain who lost his right leg below the knee, when his vehicle hit an anti-tank mine in 2003. He said that while the Troops receiving the packages might be disappointed that there wasn’t Jack Daniels inside, they would appreciate what they do get, because everything in them is something that they can use.

Helping stuff the packages, was country music star, Craig Morgan, himself an Army veteran, who served 11 years active duty and another 6 years reserve. Morgan helped pack the boxes, before hitting the stage to perform. He was touched by the stories he was told, by the wounded warriors who had volunteered their time to help stuff care packages.

“I have a great deal of respect for what the men and women in the armed services are going through these days,” Morgan said. “I’m humbled by their presence and the pride that they take and their ability to carry on as if nothing’s happened. I don’t know how you can talk to these guys and not be motivated to do more.”

Morgan has participated in all 6 of the USO-Jack Daniel’s events in the past. Just like the other volunteers, he’s pitched right in, making sure packages were stuffed and ready to be mailed, before getting up on stage to entertain the crowds.

It’s great to hear of major corporations throughout the country, going out of their way to support our Troops in a tangible manner, such as this, not just once but six times so far. It’s also nice to see celebrities such as Craig Morgan putting for his time and effort to take part in these events. Many celebrities should look at te example set by Craig Morgan, Toby Keith and others and perhaps follow their lead.

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