Auto Group Drives Support for Troops

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 10, 2007 - The Chrysler Group is driving home its support for the nation's military and the United Service Organizations this month with a sweepstakes designed to help servicemembers keep in touch with their families.

In celebration of Mother's Day and Memorial Day, the contest, "Our Troops Are Calling On You," will continue throughout May. Based on the number of entries received for the giveaway of five new Chrysler, Jeep or Dodge vehicles, the Chrysler Group will donate up to $50,000 to USO's Operation Phone Home.

Operation Phone Home distributes free prepaid international and domestic phone cards to servicemembers.

USO is a member of America Supports You, the Defense Department program connecting citizens and corporations with members of the military and their families at home and abroad.

"This promotion will help the USO continue to make a difference in the lives of servicemembers and their families around the world," Edward A. Powell, president and chief executive officer of USO said in a news release. "The USO thanks the Chrysler Group for their support of the USO and our men and women in uniform."

A Virginia-based USO representative echoed the sentiment, calling the Chrysler program "outstanding."

"We are honored that Chrysler is doing this because it helps me and, I'm sure, the other USO that are involved in this ... accomplish our mission," Jonathan Thompson, president and chief executive officer of USO of Hampton Roads, Va., said. "Part of our (mission) is to provide a touch of home; how much more appropriate than being able to hand a young servicemember ... a calling card they can use overseas or here?"

The program's benefits aren't limited to the USO, though, he said.

It obviously benefits the USO, and the military personnel who will receive the prepaid calling cards. It's also a win for the civilian community, or at least the five lucky winners of the new vehicles. "I don't think you can get more layers of 'win' out of this," Thompson said.

Entries for a chance to win one of the new vehicles are being fielded from participating dealerships in select markets in areas with large military communities, including: Atlanta; Los Angeles; San Diego; Oahu, Hawaii; San Antonio; and Norfolk, Va.

"This gift from the Chrysler Group is saying, 'Thank You' to our U.S. servicemen and women," Tom LaSorda, the Chrysler Group's CEO, said in a news release. "It's just one more way the Chrysler family, including its dealership network, is giving back to local communities."

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