Grand Ole Opry Teams Up To Send American Troops Overseas "World's Largest Care Package"
The Grand Ole Opry®, the U.S. Postal Service®, and the U.S. Department of Defense’s “America Supports You” program will team up to launch what is being billed as “The World’s Largest Care Package” on Oct. 6.
Country music fans and top country artists, with the help of some of America’s most recognized corporate brands, will help show support for America’s military overseas by contributing to the packages which will be shipped by Veterans Day, Nov. 11, to arrive in time for Thanksgiving.
“Never before have so many people from all walks of life including country music fans, U.S. Postal Service workers, platinum-selling music artists, and others come together to send packages to our troops overseas,” said Pete Fisher, Opry vice president and general manager. “We hope that by including this project as part of our 82nd birthday activities throughout October, we can give something tangible back to those who defend our freedoms abroad every day. We’re excited to give those who visit us the opportunity to participate in this endeavor.”
The Postal Service is providing 1,000 Priority Mail® Flat Rate boxes for the troops, which will be sent to U.S. military bases around the world. Included in the packages will be letters written by Opry fans visiting the Opry House throughout October, gifts from artists, greeting cards from Hallmark®, GI Roses® gift certificates—which allow overseas military to send a dozen roses to loved ones back home— and country music CDs from Cracker Barrel Old Country Store®. The Postal Service created the special boxes, which feature Grand Ole Opry and America Supports You logos.
“Mail is a great morale booster for our troops,” said Postal Service Vice President for Public Affairs and Communications Joanne Giordano. “We're proud to be part of an effort to connect our brave men and women in uniform, with their friends and families back home.”
The giant package will be unveiled onstage at the Opry House during the evening’s first Opry performance. Funds for postage to ship the packages overseas were raised by the Grand Ole Opry through an online auction.
Items will be packaged by Tennessee Marine Family, an America Supports You group, whose founder is the mother of a Marine who has served three tours in Iraq.
“The partnership between the Grand Ole Opry, one of our earliest supporters, and the U.S. Postal Service, is an excellent example of how organizations can come together through the America Supports You program,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Allison Barber. “We’re grateful to the companies for the gifts. We know the cards, gift certificates and CDs will make Thanksgiving a little easier for our troops serving away from home. The way all these organizations have come together, I believe, is truly representative of the support of our nation for our military family, and we’re grateful for their generosity.”
The Grand Ole Opry® is presented by Cracker Barrel Old Country Store®. Opry performances are held every weekend of the year, and the Tuesday Night Opry continues through Dec. 18. To plan an Opry visit, call (800) SEE-OPRY or log on to opry.com. Opry performances can be seen and heard each week on the American Forces Television and Radio Networks.
About the Grand Ole Opry
The Grand Ole Opry presents the best in country music live every week from Nashville, Tenn. A uniquely American experience for more than 80 years, the Opry can be heard on 650 WSM-AM, WSM and www.opry.com. The syndicated weekly program, America’s Grand Ole Opry Weekend, airs on more than 200 country radio stations across the country and on the Armed Forces Radio Network, and Opry Live airs each weekend on Great American Country (GAC). The Opry will debut on XM Satellite Radio on Oct. 20. The Grand Ole Opry is owned by Gaylord Entertainment (NYSE: GET), a Nashville-based hospitality and entertainment company that also owns and operates Gaylord Hotels. For more information, visit opry.com or www.gaylordentertainment.com
About the U.S. Postal Service
An independent federal agency, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that visits every address in the nation, 146 million homes and businesses, six days a week. It has 37,000 retail locations and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to cover its operating expenses, not tax dollars. The Postal Service has annual revenues of $75 billion and delivers nearly half the world’s mail. For more information, visit www.usps.com.
About America Supports You
America Supports You is an ongoing, nationwide program organized by the Department of Defense to showcase Americans’ support for the men and women of the Armed Forces and their families. Since its launch in November of 2004, America Supports You has welcomed nearly 300 homefront organizations and more than 35 corporations to the program. Many America Supports You homefront groups demonstrate their support for the troops through letter writing, care packages, helping the wounded when they return home, assisting military families, sending an email or kind gesture—to learn more about how you can support military personnel please visit www.AmericaSupportsYou.mil.