Military phone card, gift donation program goes public

| Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Any American can now help troops in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom call home, the Department of Defense announced recently.

The department has authorized the Armed Services Exchanges to sell prepaid calling cards to any individual or organization that wishes to purchase cards for troops who are deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan.

For those wishing to donate a prepaid calling card to a military member may log on to any of the three Armed Services Exchange Web sites:

Click the “Help Our Troops Call Home” link. From there, a prepaid calling card may be purchased for an individual at his or her deployed address or to “any service member” deployed or hospitalized. The Armed Services Exchanges will distribute cards donated to “any service member” through the American Red Cross, Air Force Aid Society and the Fisher House Foundation.

The Armed Services Exchanges operate telephone call centers in Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan and other countries and aboard ships – anywhere service members are deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. All of these locations stay busy around the clock to keep up communication between deployed troops and their loved ones. The cards – available through the “Help Our Troops Call Home” program – offer the best value for calls made from the call centers, never expire and have no added charges or connection fees.

Individuals and organizations also can show their support to deployed troops and their families with gift certificates. The “Gift of Groceries” program allows anyone to purchase commissary gift certificates at www.commissaries.com or by calling toll-free to 1-877-770-GIFT.

The Armed Services Exchanges offer the “Gift From the Homefront” gift certificate for merchandise at www.aafes.com and www.navy-nex.com on the Web, or by calling toll-free to 1-877-770-GIFT.

Gift certificates may be purchased to be mailed to service members and family members or will be distributed to “any service member.” Only authorized commissary and exchange patrons may redeem the gift certificates at military commissaries and exchanges, including those stores supporting deployed personnel around the globe.

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