With the help of nearly 3,000 soldiers stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, Budweiser announced a partnership with the USO (United Service Organizations) early this week to honor America’s Armed Forces through the “Proud to Serve Those Who Serve” program.
As part of the program, Budweiser and its wholesalers will donate $250,000 in May and June to the USO’s Operation Enduring Care program, which was created to meet the recovery needs of wounded service members and their families. The donation will help fund the development of two wounded warrior centers at Walter Reed Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., and Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in Fort Belvoir, Va. The centers will integrate programs, community services and recreation space, alongside government provided non-medical services, creating a centralized location for innovative, state-of-the-art warrior care.
“The Great American Lager has supported America’s Armed Forces for more than a century, from producing diesel engines for Navy Submarines during World War I to the ‘Here’s to the Heroes’ tour in 2005,” said Dave Peacock, president, Anheuser-Busch. “With the help of our wholesalers and the No. 9 Budweiser Ford team, we’re proud to contribute to the USO’s invaluable services for troops and their families.”
Driver Kasey Kahne joined representatives from the USO and Fort Hood to announce the donation program and unveil a special Armed Forces paint scheme on the No. 9 Budweiser Ford that will run at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 30 and at Daytona International Speedway on July 3.
Following the car unveiling on April 16, Budweiser hosted a concert for the soldiers at Fort Hood starring country musician Kevin Fowler. Soldiers and their families also received complimentary tickets from Texas Motor Speedway to enjoy a day of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing on April 18.
“Racing with the Budweiser Armed Forces logo on my hood during the Memorial Day and Fourth of July weekends is a great way for our team to raise awareness about Operation Enduring Care,” said Kasey Kahne. “This car is going to get a lot of attention when it rolls onto the track.”
To support these efforts, Budweiser Armed Forces paint scheme die cast cars will be available for purchase beginning April 16 at Budweiser.com, NASCAR.com and USO.org, and at NASCAR races beginning May 30.
“Budweiser is a valued partner of the USO and we are grateful to wholesalers across the country for their contributions,” said Sloan Gibson, president and CEO of the USO. “The USO family is excited to cheer for Kasey as his car helps raise awareness of our organization’s mission to provide morale boosting programs and services to troops and their families.”
Since Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom began, more than 33,000 service members have been wounded in action. Created in 2006, the USO’s Operation Enduring Care program was designed to help meet the recovery needs of injured service members and their families as well as support the medical personnel who care for the wounded, funeral escorts, mortuary personnel and honor guards serving fallen troops.
The USO lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families by providing a touch of home through centers at airports and military bases around the world, top quality entertainment and innovative programs and services tailored to meet troop needs. The USO also provides critical support to those who need it most, including forward-deployed troops and their families, wounded warriors and their families, and the families of the fallen.