Photo Credit: Kristin Barlowe

Photo Credit: Kristin Barlowe

More than 150 military spouses, sailors and USO volunteers will join forces to assemble thousands of Operation USO Care Packages on Friday, December 16th at Naval Station Norfolk. The event will be the 15th Jack Daniel’s USO Toast to the Troops stuffing party, and will be followed by a free concert by Army veteran and country music star Craig Morgan.    

Since 2005, the Jack Daniel Distillery has been collecting personal messages of support in the form of “toasts” to include in USO care packages, and has hosted 14 other “stuffing parties,” headlined by Craig Morgan, at military installations across the country.  More than 150,000 care packages have been sent to our troops through the Toast to the Troops program. The 15th Toast to the Troops stuffing party will continue the tradition of having a “thank you” barbecue for the stuffing party volunteers followed by a free base-wide concert headlined by Morgan. 

“All of us at Jack Daniel’s honor and support our nation’s servicemen and women, and we are very excited to bring our Toast to the Troops program to the  largest naval base in the world,” said Jennifer Powell, Senior Brand Manager for Jack Daniel’s. “We recognize and sincerely appreciate the sacrifices made by the spouses and families of our military heroes. The Toast program is just one way for us to show support to our military community.”

The Operation 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.  “Jack Daniels continues to be a fantastic friend to the USO,” said Kelli Seely, Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer. “Since 2005, these events have proven an opportunity for the community to demonstrate their support for our nation’s men and women in uniform.”

Ten-year Army veteran Craig Morgan has been a part of all 14 previous Jack Daniel’s/USO “Toast to the Troops” events dating back to 2005. He is a recipient of the USO Merit Award and has made nine overseas trips to entertain our U.S. troops.  “I’m honored to have been part of the Toast to the Troops program since it began six years ago and it’s always inspiring for me to perform for our troops and their families,” said Morgan. “I know how much it means to receive a care package out in the field and to know that you are supported.  Our troops, their spouses and families sacrifice so much, and I’m glad to get the chance to let them know how much we appreciate their efforts.”   

The stuffing party will begin at 1:00 p.m. on December 16th adjacent to Devary Theater; the concert will get underway at 7:00 p.m. in the theater and is open to anyone with base access. 

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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