Operation Ride Home will help nearly 2,000 enlisted men and women head home this holiday

Jack Daniel’s raises money for Operation Ride Home, in part, by auctioning off the top barrel of the Barrel Trees located in Lynchburg and 11 other U.S. cities. to the highest bidder. Bidding will begin on December 1 online. (PHOTO CREDIT: Jack Daniel’s Distillery)

LYNCHBURG, Tenn. — The Jack Daniel Distillery and the Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) announced today that nearly 2,000 junior-enlisted service members and families will be making the trip home to see loved ones this holiday season through their “Operation Ride Home” (ORH) program. 

Jack Daniel’s once again kicked off this year’s campaign with a $100,000 donation – bringing its overall ORH commitment to more than $1.2 million – and is asking friends to visit operationridehome.com where they can contribute to the cause. More than $2.3 million in overall donations have provided travel funding over the past 12 years.

One of the ways Jack raised money for the program is by auctioning off the barrels from trees in Lynchburg and 11 other U.S. cities including Miami, Tampa, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Nashville, Washington DC, Detroit, Philadelphia, Savannah, and Atlanta. Bidding will begin on December 1 online. Click here to bid.

“From Alaska to Virginia, our hero junior-enlisted military and those with families will be able to leave their bases and make it home to share the warmth of the holiday season through Operation Ride Home,” said Chris Fletcher, Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller.  “It is an honor and privilege to support these heroes who otherwise would not have the means to make it to see their loved ones.  We hope our friends will join us to get as many of them home as we can this year.”

Since its founding in 2011, Operation Ride Home has provided financial assistance to active-duty, junior-enlisted military and their families to travel from their base of duty to homes across the country.  More than 10,000 people have traveled by airplane or car through ORH.  Service men and women from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard have been assisted with travel to all 50 states.

“Going home for the holidays is a privilege that many military families miss out on far too often due to the expense of travel, said Armed Services YMCA President and CEO, VADM Bill French, USN (Ret.).  “Thanks to our terrific partnership with Jack Daniel’s, the Armed Services YMCA has removed the financial barrier for junior enlisted service members and their families.  Our service members deserve to be with the ones they love the most this holiday season.”    

The ASYMCA works with the various military commands in specific areas co-located with ASYMCA branches to identify and prioritize junior-enlisted service members and families most in financial need. Plane tickets and pre-paid debit cards are given to assist those traveling.

Operation Ride Home is open to active-duty E-5 and below, both single and married, who might not otherwise financially be able to travel home. The option to drive or fly is an individual decision. For additional information on eligibility and to view participating installations that qualify for travel assistance, please visit https://www.asymca.org/operation-ride-home. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently-owned, community newspaper located in Lynchburg, Tennessee the home of The Jack Daniel Distillery. We focus on public service, non-partisan, rural journalism. We cover the Metro Moore County government, local tourism, Moore County schools, high school sports, Motlow State Community College, as well as whiskey industry news and regional and state stories that affect our readers.}