American public sends more than $8 million in support to military families
By Chris Ward, Army and Air Force Exchange Service Public Affairs
/ Published September 16, 2009
DALLAS -- In just five short years, contributions to "Help Our Troops Call Home" have surpassed the $8 million mark.
Since its inception in April, 2004 as a way the American public could provide an avenue for deployed Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors and Marines to stay connected to loved ones back home, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) program has generated $8,143,555 in telecommunication support. All totaled, more than 17,000 individual orders have been placed to send 355,612 phone cards to deployed troops and their Families back home.
"To average more than $1.5 million a year speaks volumes about America's support for those serving in harms way," said AAFES' Senior Enlisted Advisor Chief Master Sgt. Jeffry Helm. "As an Airman who has served downrange, I can personally attest to the importance of a phone call home and the morale boost that it provides. These contributions truly do go a long way."
Military Exchange Global Prepaid Phone cards purchased through the "Help Our Troops Call Home" program can be sent to individual service members or "any service member" through charitable partners such as the American Red Cross, Air Force Aid Society, Fisher House Foundation, Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, Soldier & Family Assistance Center and USO.
By simply logging on to aafes.org or calling 800-527-2345, friends, family members and even civic groups can take part in the "Help Our Troops Call Home" effort by sending any one of three Military Exchange Global Prepaid Phone cards, including a $27.50 card capable of providing more than two hours of call time from any of 69 phone centers in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait to the United States.