Nov 28, 2010

Gen John Kelly talk last week

Please read this speech written by Lt. Gen.John F. Kelly. He delivered it four days after his son Robert, platoon commander of First Platoon, Lima Company, 3/5 was
killed in action in the District of Sangin, Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

SEMPER FI SOCIETY OF ST LOUIS Speech by LtGen John Kelly, 13 Nov 2010

Nine years ago three of the four commercial aircraft took off from Boston, Newark, and Washington. Took off fully loaded with men, women and children-all innocent, and all soon to die. These aircraft were targeted at the World Trade Towers in New York, the Pentagon, and likely the Capitol in Washington, D.C... found their mark. No American alive old enough to remember will ever forget exactly where they were, exactly what they were doing, and exactly who they were with at the moment they watched the aircraft dive into the World Trade Towers on what was, until then, a beautiful morning in New York City. Within the hour 3,000 blameless human beings would be vaporized, incinerated, or crushed in the most agonizing ways imaginable. The most wretched among them-over 200-driven mad by heat, hopelessness, and utter desperation leapt to their deaths from 1,000 feet above Lower Manhattan. We soon learned hundreds more were murdered at the Pentagon, and in a Pennsylvania farmer's field.

Once the buildings had collapsed and the immensity of the attack began to register most of us had no idea of what to do, or where to turn. As a nation, we were scared like we had not been scared for generations. Parents hugged their children to gain as much as to give comfort. Strangers embraced in the streets stunned and crying on one another's shoulders seeking solace, as much as to give it. Instantaneously, American patriotism soared not "as the last refuge" as our national-cynical class would say, but in the darkest times Americans seek refuge in family, and in country, remembering that strong men and women have always stepped forward to protect the nation when the need was dire-and it was so God awful dire that day-and remains so today.

There was, however, a small segment of America that made very different choices that day; actions the rest of America stood in awe of on 9/11 and every day since. The first were our firefighters and police, their ranks decimated that day as they ran towards-not away from-danger and certain death. They were doing what they'd sworn to do-"protect and serve"-and went to their graves having fulfilled their sacred oath. Then there was you Armed Forces, and I know I am a little biased in my opinion here, but the best of them are Marines. Most wearing the Eagle, Globe and Anchor today joined the unbroken ranks of American heroes after that fateful day not for money, or promises of bonuses or travel to exotic liberty ports, but for one reason and one reason alone; because of the terrible assault on our way of life by men they knew must be killed and extremist ideology that must be destroyed. A plastic flag in their car window was not their response to the murderous assault on our country. No, their response was a commitment to protect the nation swearing an oath to their God to do so, to their deaths. When future generations ask why America is still free and the heyday of Al Qaeda and their terrorist allies was counted in days rather than in centuries as the extremists themselves predicted, our hometown heroes-soldiers, sailors, airmen, Coast Guardsmen, and Marines-can say, "because of me and people like me who risked all to protect millions who will never know my name."

As we sit here right now, we should not lose sight of the fact that America is at risk in a way it has never been before. Our enemy fights for an ideology based on an irrational hatred of who we are. Make no mistake about that no matter what certain elements of the "chattering class" relentlessly churn out. We did not start this fight, and it will not end until the extremists understand that we as a people will never lose our faith or our courage. If they persist, these terrorists and extremists and the nations that provide them sanctuary, they must know they will continue to be tracked down and captured or killed. America's civilian and military protectors both here at home and overseas have for nearly nine years fought
this enemy to a standstill and have never for a second "wondered why." They know, and are not afraid. Their struggle is your struggle. They hold in disdain those who claim to support them but not the cause that takes their innocence, their limbs, and even their lives. As a democracy-"We the People"-and that by definition is every one of us-sent them away from home and hearth to fight our enemies. We are all responsible. I know it doesn't apply to those of us here tonight but if anyone thinks you can somehow thank them for their service, and not support the cause for which they fight-America's survival-then they are lying to themselves and rationalizing away something in their lives, but, more importantly, they are slighting our warriors and mocking their commitment to the nation.

Since this generation's "day of infamy" the American military has handed our ruthless enemy defeat-after-defeat but it will go on for years, if not decades, before this curse has been eradicated. We have done this by unceasing pursuit day and night into whatever miserable lair Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and their allies, might slither into to lay in wait for future opportunities to strike a blow at freedom. America's warriors have never lost faith in their mission, or doubted the correctness of their cause. They face dangers everyday that their countrymen safe and comfortable this night cannot imagine. But this has always been the case in all the wars our military have been sent to fight. Not to build empires, or
enslave peoples, but to free those held in the grip of tyrants while at the same time protecting our nation, its citizens, and our shared values. And, ladies and gentlemen, think about this, the only territory we as a people have ever asked for from any nation we have fought alongside, or against, since our founding, the entire extent of our overseas empire, as a few hundred acres of land for the 24 American cemeteries scattered around the globe. It is in these cemeteries where 220,000 of our sons and daughters rest in glory for eternity, or are memorialized forever because their earthly remains are lost forever in the deepest depths of the oceans, or never recovered from far flung and nameless battlefields. As a people, we can be proud because billions across the planet today live free, and billions yet unborn will also enjoy the same freedom and a chance at prosperity because America sent its sons and daughters out to fight and die for them, as much as for us.

Yes, we are at war, and are winning, but you wouldn't know it because successes go unreported, and only when something does go sufficiently or is sufficiently controversial, it is highlighted by the media elite that then sets up the "know it all" chattering class to offer their endless criticism. These self-proclaimed experts always seem to know better---but have never themselves been in the arena. We are at war and like it or not, that is a fact. It is not Bush's war, and it is not Obama's war, it is our war and we can't run away from it. Even if we wanted to surrender, there is no one to surrender to. Our enemy is savage, offers absolutely no quarter, and has a single focus and that is either kill every one of us here at home, or enslave us with a sick form of extremism that serves no God or purpose that decent men and women could ever grasp. St Louis is as much at risk as is New York and Washington, D.C... Given the opportunity to do another 9/11, our merciless enemy would do it today, tomorrow, and every day thereafter. If, and most in the know predict that it is only a matter of time, he acquires nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons, these extremists will use these weapons of mass murder against us without a moment's hesitation. These butchers we fight killed more than 3,000 innocents on 9/11. As horrible as that death toll was, consider for a moment that the monsters that organized those strikes against New York and Washington, D.C. killed only 3,000 not because that was enough to make their sick and demented point, but because he couldn't figure out how to kill 30,000, or 300,000, or 30 million of us that terrible day. I don't know why they hate us, and I don't care. We have a saying in the Marine Corps andthat is "no better friend, no worse enemy, than a U.S. Marine." We always hope for the first, friendship, but are certainly more than ready for the second. If its death they want, its death they will get, and the Marines will continue showing them the way to hell if that's what will make them happy.

Because our America hasn't been successfully attacked since 9/11 many forget because we want to move on. As Americans we all dream and hope for peace, but we must be realistic and acknowledge that hope is never an option or course of action when the stakes are so high. Others are less realistic or less committed, or are working their own agendas, and look for way to blame past presidents or in some other way to rationalize a way out of this war. The problem is our enemy is not willing to let us go. Regardless of how much we wish this nightmare would go away, our enemy will stay forever on the offensive until he hurts us so badly we surrender, or we kill him first. To him, this is not about our friendship with Israel, or about territory, resources, jobs, or economic opportunity in the Middle East. No, it is about us as a people. About our freedom to worship any God we please in any way we want. It is about the worth of every man, and the worth of every woman, and their equality in the eyes of God and the law; of how we live our lives with our families, inside the privacy of our own homes. It's about the God-given rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable right." As Americans we hold these truths to be self-evident. He doesn't. We love what we have; he despises who we are. Our positions can never be reconciled. He cannot be deterred; only defeated. Compromise is out of the question.

The comforting news for every American is that our men and women in uniform, and every Marine, is as good today as any in our history. As good as what their heroic, under-appreciated, and largely abandoned fathers and uncles were in Vietnam, and their grandfathers were in Korea and World War II. They have the same steel in their backs and have made their own mark etching forever places like Ramadi, Fallujah, and Baghdad, Iraq, and Helmand and Sanguin, Afghanistan that are now part of the legend and stand just as proudly alongside Belleau Wood, Iwo Jima, Inchon, Hue City, Khe Sanh, and Ashau Valley, Vietnam. None of them have every asked what their country could do for them, but always and with their lives asked what they could do for America. While some might think we have produced yet another generation of materialistic, consumeristic and self-absorbed young people, those who serve today have broken the mold and stepped out as real men, and real women, who are already making their own way in life while protecting ours. They know the real strength of a platoon, a battalion, or a country that is not worshiping at the altar of diversity, but in a melting point that stitches and strengthens by a sense of shared history, values, customs, hopes and dreams all of which unifies a people making them stronger, as opposed to an unruly gaggle of "hyphenated" or "multi-cultural individuals."

And what are they like in combat in this war? Like Marines have been throughout our history. In my three tours in combat as an infantry officer and commanding general, I never saw one of them hesitate, or do anything other than lean into the fire and with no apparent fear of death or injury take the fight to our enemies. As anyone who has ever experienced combat knows, when it starts, when the explosions and tracers are everywhere and the calls for the Corpsman are screamed from the throats of men who know they are dying-when seconds seem like hours and it all becomes slow motion and fast forward at the same time-and the only rational act is to stop, get down, save yourself-they don't. When no one would call them coward for cowering behind a wall or in a hole, slave to the most basic of all human instincts-survival-none of them do. It doesn't matter if it's an IED, a suicide bomber, mortar attack, sniper, fighting in the upstairs room of a house, or all of it at once; they talk, swagger, and, most importantly, fight today in the same way America's Marines have since Tun Tavern. They also know whose shoulders they stand on, and they will never shame any Marine living or dead. We can also take comfort in the fact that these young Americans are not born killers, but are good and decent young men and women who for going on ten years have performed remarkable acts of bravery and selflessness to a cause they have decided is bigger and more important than themselves. Only a few months ago they were delivering your paper, stocking shelves in the local grocery store, worshiping in church on Sunday, or playing hockey on local ice. Like my own two sons who are Marines and have fought in Iraq, and today in Sanguin, Afghanistan, they are also the same kids that drove their cars too fast for your liking, and played the God-awful music of their generation too loud, but have no doubt they are the finest of their generation. Like those who went before them in uniform, we owe them everything. We owe them our safety. We owe them our prosperity. We owe them our freedom. We owe them our lives. Any one of them could have done something more self-serving with their lives as the vast majority of their age group elected to do after high school and college, but no, they chose to serve knowing full well a brutal war was in their future. They did not avoid the basic and cherished responsibility of a citizen-the defense of country-they welcomed it. They are the very best this country produces, and have put every one of us ahead of themselves. All are heroes for simply stepping forward, and we as a people owe a debt we can never fully pay. Their legacy will be of selfless valor, the country we live in, the way we live our lives, and the freedoms the rest of their countrymen take for granted.

I will leave you with a story about the kind of people they are; about the quality
of the steel in their backs, about the kind of dedication they bring to our country while they serve in uniform and forever after as veterans. Two years ago when I was the Commander of all U.S. and Iraqi forces, in fact, the 22nd of April 2008, two Marine infantry battalions, 1/9 "The Walking Dead," and 2/8 were switching out in Ramadi. One battalion in the closing days of their deployment going home very soon, the other just starting its seven-month combat tour. Two Marines, Corporal Jonathan Yale and Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter, 22 and 20 years old respectively, one from each battalion, were assuming the watch together at the entrance gate of an outpost that contained a makeshift barracks housing 50 Marines. The same broken down ramshackle building was also home to 100 Iraqi police, also my men and our allies in the fight against the terrorists in Ramadi, a city until recently the most dangerous city on earth and owned by Al Qaeda. Yale was a dirt poor mixed-race kid from Virginia with a wife and daughter, and a mother and sister who lived with him and he supported as well. He did this on a yearly salary of less than $23,000. Haerter, on the other hand, was a middle class white kid from Long Island. They were from two completely different worlds. Had they not joined the Marines they would never have met each other, or understood that multiple America's exist simultaneously depending on one's race, education level, economic status, and where you might have been born. But they were Marines, combat Marines, forged in the same crucible of Marine training, and because of this bond they were brothers as close, or closer, than if they were born of the same woman.

The mission orders they received from the sergeant squad leader I am sure went something like: "Okay you two clowns, stand this post and let no unauthorized personnel or vehicles pass. You clear?" I am also sure Yale and Haerter then rolled their eyes and said in unison something like: "Yes Sergeant," with just enough attitude that made the point without saying the words, "No kidding sweetheart, we know what we're doing." They then relieved two other Marines on watch and took up their post at the entry control point of Joint Security Station Nasser, in the Sophia section of Ramadi, al Anbar, Iraq.

A few minutes later a large blue truck turned down the alley way-perhaps 60-70 yards in length-and sped its way through the serpentine of concrete jersey walls. The truck stopped just short of where the two were posted and detonated, killing them both catastrophically. Twenty-four brick masonry houses were damaged or destroyed. A mosque 100 yards away collapsed. The truck's engine came to rest two hundred yards away knocking most of a house down before it stopped. Our explosive experts reckoned the blast was made of 2,000 pounds of explosives. Two died, and because these two young Marines didn't have it in their DNA to run from danger, they saved 150 of their Iraqi and American brothers-in-arms.
When I read the situation report about the incident a few hours after it happened I called the regimental commander for details as something about this struck me as different. Marines dying or being seriously wounded is commonplace in combat. We expect Marines regardless of rank or MOS to stand their ground and do their duty, and even die in the process, if that is what the mission takes. But this just seemed different. The regimental commander had just returned from the site and he agreed, but reported that there were no American witnesses to the event-just Iraqi police. I figured if there was any chance of finding out what actually happened and then to decorate the two Marines to acknowledge their bravery, I'd have to do it as a combat award that requires two eye-witnesses and we figured the bureaucrats back in Washington would never buy Iraqi statements. If it had any chance at all, it had to come under the signature of a general officer.

I traveled to Ramadi the next day and spoke individually to a half-dozen Iraqi police all of whom told the same story. The blue truck turned down into the alley and immediately sped up as it made its way through the serpentine. They all said, "We knew immediately what was going on as soon as the two Marines began firing." The Iraqi police then related that some of them also fired, and then to a man, ran for safety just prior to the explosion. All survived. Many were injured, some seriously. One of the Iraqis elaborated and with tears welling up said, they'd run like any normal man would to save his life. "What he didn't know until then," he said, "and what he learned that very instant, was that Marines are not normal." Choking past the emotion he said, "Sir, in the name of God no sane man would have stood there and done what they did. No sane man. They saved us all." What we didn't know at the time, and only learned a couple of days later after I wrote a summary and submitted both Yale and Haerter for posthumous Navy Crosses, was that one of our security cameras, damaged initially in the blast, recorded some of the suicide attack. It happened exactly as the Iraqis had described it. It took exactly six seconds from when the truck entered the alley until it detonated.

You can watch the last six seconds of their young lives.

Putting myself in their heads I supposed it took about a second for the two Marines to separately come to the same conclusion about what was going on once the truck came into their view at the far end of the alley. Exactly no time to talk it over or call the sergeant to ask what they should do. Only enough time to take half an instant and think about what the sergeant told them to do only a few minutes before: “let no unauthorized personnel or vehicles pass." The two Marines had about five seconds left to live.

It took maybe another two seconds for them to present their weapons, take aim, and open up. By this time the truck was half-way through the barriers and gaining speed the whole time. Here, the recording shows a number of Iraqi police, some of whom had fired their AKs, now scattering like the normal and rational men they were-some running right past the Marines. They had three seconds left to live.

For about two seconds more, the recording shows the Marines' weapons firing non-stop.the truck's windshield exploding into shards of glass as their rounds take it apart and tore into the body of the son-of-a-bitch who is trying to get past them to kill their brothers-American and Iraqi-bedded down in the barracks totally unaware of the fact that their lives at that moment depended entirely on two Marines standing their ground. If they had been aware, they would have known they were safe because two Marines stood between them and a crazed suicide bomber. The recording shows the truck careening to a stop immediately in front of the two Marines. In all of the instantaneous violence Yale and Haerter never hesitated. By all reports and by the recording, they never stepped back. They never even started to step aside. They never even shifted their weight. With their feet spread shoulder- width apart, they leaned into the danger, firing as fast as they could work their weapons. They had only one second left to live.

The truck explodes. The camera goes blank. Two young men go to their God. Six seconds. Not enough time to think about their families, their country, their flag, or about their lives or their deaths, but more than enough time for two very brave young men to do their duty into eternity. That is the kind of people who are on watch all over the world tonight-for you.
We Marines believe that God gave America the greatest gift he could bestow to man while he lived on this earth-freedom. We also believe he gave us another gift nearly as precious-our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Coast Guardsmen, and Marines-to safeguard that gift and guarantee no force on this earth can every steal it away. It has been my distinct honor to have been with you here today. Rest assured our America, this experiment in democracy started over two centuries ago, will forever remain the "land of the free and home of the brave" so long as we never run out of tough young Americans who are willing to look beyond their own self-interest and comfortable lives, and go into the darkest and most dangerous places on earth to hunt down, and kill, those who would do us harm. God Bless America, and SEMPER FIDELIS

Nov 17, 2010

Veterans Day - VA Loans

Veterans Day: An Honored National Holiday
By Kevin Pearia, guest writer

The celebration of the 2010 Veterans Day marks the 72nd year of the national holiday. Once celebrated worldwide as Armistice Day, Veterans Day is now a United States National holiday taking place each year on the 11th of November. The date commemorates the signing of the WWI Armistice by the Allied Powers and Germany at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month with Veterans Day ceremonies commencing at Arlington National Cemetery.

Although American flags can be seen throughout the US to honor the brave men and women who have dedicated themselves to their country through military service, other countries also celebrate Veterans Day. Great Britain, Belgium, Canada, and France all honor the 11th of November, but have declared different names for the holiday. Nearly every country, including the US, commemorates the holiday with red poppies and two-minutes of silence to honor brave service men and women worldwide.

To continue its tradition of honoring veterans and active duty service members, the Department of Veterans Affairs offers them a wide variety of benefits. Veterans are able to obtain educational assistance, job training, health benefits, and even obtain a loan through the VA Home Loan program.

The VA Home Loan program has helped 18+ million veterans and active-duty service members achieve homeownership since 1944, and it remains one of the most accessible and beneficial home loan programs available to military members. Service men and women interested in purchasing a home through the VA Home Loan program can expect:
 competitive interest rates
 flexible loan terms
 zero down payment required
 no mortgage insurance required

VA loans also have high loan limits, and military members can even determine their potential loan limit using the VA's loan calculator. The VA loan calculator not only provides users with the amount of their potential home loan, but it will also help them determine what can be done to increase their loan limit if they so desire.

The VA Home Loan program strives to make homeownership accessible to all veterans and active duty service members. In fact, nearly 80% of all military members who have qualified for a VA loan would not have qualified for a conventional loan. To be eligible for application, military members must meet one of the following initial requirements in addition to submitting a copy of their Certificate of Eligibility:
 Have served 181 days on active duty or 3 months during war time
 Or have served 6 years in the National Guard or Reserves
 Or be the spouse of a service member killed in action

Although the VA home loan program has no income or credit requirements, most VA-approved lenders will desire a credit score of at least 620 to secure financing. Even those with less than perfect credit are encouraged to apply, as those with history of bankruptcy or foreclosure have been approved in the past.

Further information is available at:

Nov 4, 2010

"The Karachi Project" ISI and AQ look to control Karachi

"The Karachi Project"

By Ali K. Chisti

In a dramatic series of raids in February, Pakistani authorities captured more than two dozen top al Qaeda, Afghan Taliban, and Pakistani Taliban leaders, mostly in Pashtun areas on the outskirts of Karachi, Pakistan's largest city. The list included Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar's top deputy, Mullah Baradar, whose capture raised hopes that the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan was finally gaining momentum.

The arrests also sparked a debate in Kabul and Washington over the seeming policy shift on the part of Pakistan, which for years had resisted cracking down on top insurgent leaders despite repeated entreaties from the United States. Some accounts suggested that Pakistan had nabbed Baradar to prevent him from cutting a separate peace deal with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who was reportedly angered by his arrest.

In fact, NATO sources say, most of the Afghan Taliban frontier leadership -- known as the Quetta Shura -- had for at least three years been sheltered in Karachi under an ultra-secret program run by the Pakistani security establishment and known as the "Karachi Project." The idea that most of the leadership of Taliban's was stationed in Quetta was a "smoke screen," a top NATO source told me. "In reality, it's Karachi Shura," confirmed a top NATO commander.

The origins of the Karachi Project reportedly date back to 2003, when, under intense U.S. pressure, then Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf closed "Forward Section 23," a combo of safe houses and camps in Indian-occupied Kashmir that had provided cover and refuge to top militants. The Karachi branch of Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) directorate then became the hub for anti-India activities, the Asia Times has reported, led by a coalition of militant groups including Lashkar-e-Taiba and Harukat ul-Jihad al-Islami, as well as elements of the Karachi criminal underworld. According to a recent account in the Guardian, citing "classified Indian government documents," at least two serving ISI officers played a role in the Nov. 26, 2008, attacks in Mumbai, which were launched from Karachi.

While analysts have for years accused Pakistan's security establishment of playing a double game with militant groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba -- disavowing responsibility for their actions while retaining them as "strategic assets" to be deployed against India -- recent revelations emerging from the interrogation of David Headley, a Pakistani-American accused of complicity in the Mumbai attacks, threaten to blow the game wide open.

In Headley's telling, Pakistan is finding it increasingly difficult to distinguish between "good" jihadi groups -- those that launch attacks in India or Afghanistan -- and "bad" ones that wage against the Pakistani state. Indeed, that may have been the motive for the Mumbai assault.

According to the Guardian, Headley "told the investigators that the ISI hoped the Mumbai attack would slow or stop growing ‘integration' between groups active in Kashmir, with whom the agency had maintained a long relationship, and ‘Taliban-based outfits' in Pakistan and Afghanistan which were a threat to the Pakistani state."
The Karachi Project works under the direct supervision of the ISI, according to accounts in the Indian press confirmed by multiple sources, and also shelters Daud Ibrahim and Tiger Memon, infamous Indian gangsters accused of orchestrating in the 1993 attacks in Mumbai, as well as the Bhaktbal brothers, cofounders of the Indian Mujahideen, the largest Indian jihadi group.

Whether or not one believes such accounts, it is worth noting that Mullah Baradar was reportedly caught at Khudamul Qurun, a hard-line religious seminary located in an area of Karachi that is under the sway of a major Islamist political party, Jamaat-e-Islami, whose leaders were previously accused of sheltering high-profile al Qaeda leaders like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the 9/11 mastermind, and other top al Qaeda leaders. Safe houses like this particular seminary are placed and well protected by the Pakistan security establishment.

A former intelligence chief who is actively monitoring the situation noted, "Over the years, it's Karachi which has seen more al Qaeda and Taliban activity than anywhere else."

Nov 1, 2010

Corporate America suppoting the troops - Crown Royal Steps Up

Iconic Crown Royal Bags Being Shipped to Troops Overseas

It’s still purple! The iconic Crown Royal purple bag is heading to Afghanistan, but in camouflage

ATLANTA (Sept. 16, 2010) – On their most important mission to date, camouflage-designed Crown Royal purple bags will be packed with gift items for America’s bravest, just in time for the holidays. Crown Royal, teaming up with non-profit Operation Troop Aid, is dispatching 10,000 of the specially designed bags to legal-drinking age troops on overseas deployment, including Afghanistan and Iraq. Volunteers in select events across the country will stuff the bags with personal care items, snacks and phone cards. “I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for troops to be away from their family and friends, especially during the holidays,” said Yvonne Briese, Crown Royal Brand Director. “We hope they like the CAMObags
and that this small gesture shows we are thinking about them back home and wishing them a safe return.”

Included in the bag, service members will receive well-wishes in the form of a hand-written message from each member of the Crown Royal team, including NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth, legendary football coach Jimmy Johnson, along with thousands of Diageo employees and partners.

To kickoff the program, a special event was held earlier today in Atlanta at Piedmont Park. During the event, hosted by legendary football coach and Crown Royal spokesperson Jimmy Johnson, the first Operation CAMO Care Packages were filled, and the parties unveiled a special mural that represents the program’s mission to ensure that soldiers serving abroad are reminded that those at home truly admire
and acknowledge their on-going commitment to protecting this country.

“After traveling to Afghanistan last year, I witnessed first-hand the daily struggles experienced by our troops to keep this great country of ours safe, and it had a profound affect on me,” Johnson said. “When one of the troops opens a Crown Royal CAMO bag, I hope they crack a smile and are reassured that home is not that far away.”

Operation CAMO Care Package kits include personal care items such as a toothbrush, toothpaste,comb, soap, shampoo, body wash, shaving cream, disposable razor and sunscreen. Soldiers will also find snacks such as trail mix, peanuts, cookies and candies. Select units will also receive 120-minute international phone cards to call their loved ones.

For more information on Operation CAMO Care Package and Crown Royal’s commitment to supporting the military, visit Crown Royal reminds adult consumers to always please drink responsibly.