Wal-Mart's "Operation Christmas" Brightens Holidays For Injured U.S. Soldiers

Wounded Warriors to Receive Voice-Activated Laptops as Part of Wal-Mart’s $500,000 Donation of Christmas Celebrations, Gift Cards and Toys to Military Families with Loved Ones Deployed Overseas

 


SAN ANTONIO, TX, December 13, 2006 –As part of a $500,000 donation to Operation Homefront to support military families this Christmas, Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club announced today the donation of more than 100 laptops to seriously injured servicemen and servicewomen.  The special computers are equipped with voice-activated software and other special features for soldiers to access the Internet and email family without having to use their arms or hands.

“The voice-activated software of this laptop offers me the independence I thought I had lost,” said Staff Sgt. Pio Paau of Ft. Hood, TX, one of the recipients of the computer donations.  Paau was the only survivor when his convoy was hit by an IED in Iraq.  “The voice-activated software offers me a way to study and learn a new trade without having to worry about using my hands.”

Operation Homefront launched “Operation Christmas” this holiday season with a generous donation by Wal-Mart. Operation Christmas, a campaign to spread Christmas cheer to military families with loved ones deployed overseas, has brought major events to six military communities across the country so military families may delight in Christmas activities as a break from their worries.

In addition to the laptop donation, “Operation Christmas” festivities include visits by Santa, craft tables, food, music and fun.  Every participating military family leaves the event with toys for the children and Wal-Mart gift cards as part of Wal-Mart’s nearly $500,000 total donation of gift cards, toys and cash to Operation Homefront.

“Christmas is a wonderful time – but it can also be a difficult time for the families of those who courageously serve our country overseas,” said Pat Curran, executive vice president, Store Operations of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.  “Operation Christmas gives us a chance to give a little back to those who sacrifice so much to preserve our safety and freedom.”

For the past eight years, Wal-Mart’s long-standing commitment to the U.S. military has included programs to help children deal with the stress of military life, pre-paid phone cards to deployed troops and morale-boosting message boards in stores.

"Wal-Mart has done a phenomenal job supporting organizations like Operation
Homefront by stepping up to the plate with a generous donation and really embracing the Christmas spirit of giving," said Allison Barber, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense and architect of the America Supports You program. "Wal-Mart’s continued support for the America Supports You
program and its many grassroots organizations like Operation Homefront makes it easier for Americans to come together to serve those who are serving us at home and abroad. The men and women of the armed forces have sacrificed greatly for our freedom and now we have amazing opportunities to thank them for their service."

In an effort to raise awareness of the unmet needs of military families, ABC’s "Good Morning America" is broadcasting live from the final three military celebrations.  The top-rated national morning show will shine the spotlight on Operation Homefront and honor the troops who are serving overseas and their families who sacrifice so much, particularly during the holidays.

About Operation Homefront:
Operation Homefront provides assistance to military families while service members are deployed. Operation Homefront supports our nation’s troops by allowing them to focus on the dangerous mission at hand instead of the crises back home. Over the past five years, Operation Homefront has raised and distributed over $6 million in aid to more than 35,000 military families in all branches of the armed forces. The organization operates with a small national staff of ten that coordinates the efforts of 2,500 volunteers across the country.
 
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Every week, more than 127 million customers visit Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Club locations across America.  The company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back locally.  Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and last year gave more than $245 million to local United States communities.  To learn more, visit www.walmartfacts.com, www.walmart.com, or www.walmartfoundation.org.
 
About America Supports You:
America Supports You is an ongoing nationwide program that helps showcase American’s support for the men and women of the Armed Forces. Since its launch in November of 2004 by the Department of Defense, America Supports You has welcomed 225 member organizations and more than 20 corporate sponsors to its team. Many America Supports You team members support the troops by writing letters, sending care packages, helping the wounded when they return home, assisting military families, sending
e-mails or simply extending kind gestures to the troops.  To learn more about how you can support military personnel please visit www.americasupportsyou.mil.

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