America Supports You: Partnership Prepares to Send Goods to Troops
By Paul X. Rutz
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, June 15, 2006 Now that they have collected the goods, it's time to send them.
Checkers/Rally's, the nation's largest double drive-through restaurant, has teamed up with a grassroots troop support group called Operation Gratitude in a drive to collect packages for America's servicemembers overseas. The partnership, called the Patriotic Drive, started on May 8 and ended yesterday with 720 drive-through restaurants across the country offering drop-off points. Packages will be delivered to the troops by July 4th.
"Our troops throughout the world will know they are appreciated and supported at home this Fourth of July when they receive their care packages filled with items donated by Checkers/Rally's guests," said Keith Sirois, the company's president and chief executive officer.
"Checkers/Rally's is committed to supporting those who serve our country," he noted, "and this initiative ... allows our team members and our guests to do something memorable for our servicemembers overseas."
As the official burger and drive-through restaurant of NASCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Checkers/Rally's sponsors events to support the military throughout the year.
DHL is the official shipping partner of the Patriotic Drive and will be sending all of the packages to Operation Gratitude free of charge. Sirois said, "We sincerely appreciate DHL's generous participation and logistical support."
The all-volunteer, nonprofit Operation Gratitude expresses the American public's thanks to the troops by sending care packages, according to a news release. Supporters donated cooling devices, electronic items, telephone cards, snack foods, personal letters of support, and more.
Both Checkers/Rally's and Operation Gratitude are members of America Supports You, a Defense Department program highlighting grassroots and corporate support for the nation's troops and their families.
"Checkers/Rally's Patriotic Drive, on behalf of Operation Gratitude, is a shining example of how citizen groups can team with corporations to build an amazing national program in support of all America's troops," Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Allison Barber said.