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Coca-Cola Employees Assemble 10,000 USO Care Packages

Friday, November 09, 2012

By Sarah Camille Hipp 

His message was simple. But it also carried weight.

“With each package you assemble, you’re telling a soldier you care and that you remember and honor his or her service and sacrifice,” Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, told his employees. “And that’s a very worthy and honorable thing.”

Kent paid a visit to the hundreds of Coca-Cola employees who volunteered to stuff 10,000 USO care packages for our nation’s deployed troops last Wednesday at the soft drink giant’s Atlanta headquarters.

After applauding and thanking the veterans in the room, Kent discussed how proud Coca-Cola is to partner with the USO, a relationship that began in 1941 during World War II when Coca-Cola committed to providing every man and woman in uniform a bottle of Coca-Cola for just a nickel. Since that time, hundreds of thousands of service members have received Coca-Cola beverages in USO Centers around the world.

“Today, we continue proudly a tradition that started many decades ago,” Kent said. “Thanks to everyone here we are able to share a bit of home with those brave men and women now protecting our families and our lives in distant, often dangerous places around the world.”

The Coca-Cola Company’s passion for supporting our nation’s service members, through its partnership with the USO, was also visible on the faces of the smiling volunteers, who worked tirelessly throughout the day. Many discussed their hope to stuff even more care packages next year.

Tooth brushes, hand warmers, popcorn and batteries were just some of the items placed in the care packages, which will be delivered to troops throughout the holiday season.

“Every year we get more and more done,” said Melanie Bollinger, a Coca-Cola senior manager whose father served in the Army during the Vietnam War. She mentioned she thinks of him each time she puts a care package together. “People have spread the word about how much fun it is and what a great feeling it is to put these packages together.”

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Photo caption: Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company Muhtar Kent, center, stuffs USO care packages with his wife and fellow employees. (USO Photo by Michael Clifton) 

Donate today to support our troops this Veterans Day during the USO’s "Grant a Wish for Our Heroes" campaign. 

Federal employees can help the USO fulfill its mission to support troops and their families though the 2012 Combined Federal Campaign. Please designate #11381. 

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