The U.S. Army will achieve a significant milestone June 12 in the successful operation of the U.S. Central Command's Rest and Recuperation Leave Program by serving the 500,000th participant since the program's inception Sept. 25, 2003.

The Army, in conjunction with officials at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, will mark the occasion with a brief ceremony June 12 at 9 am at DFW airport. Maj. Gen. Sean Byrne, commanding general of the Army's Human Resources Command, is the U.S. Army representative at the ceremony, which will feature returning deployed Soldiers and DoD civilians reuniting with their Family members. Other dignitaries scheduled to attend include the USO's Northern Director, various veterans' organizations, members of the Texas State Legislature, various coaches, managers and cheerleaders from the Dallas Cowboys football team; and former Dallas Cowboy, three-time Super Bowl hero, and Air Force fighter pilot veteran, Chad Hennings. A Book of Proclamations signed by the Texas State legislature and the 110th Congress, and House Resolution 391 commending the R&R program will be presented to MG Byrne by the Dallas and Fort Worth Mayors. Four Army supporters - a spouse and a parent of Soldiers, an employer of an Army Reserve Soldier and an Army veteran - representing the foundation of a strong Army support network, will be presented U.S. Army Freedom Team Salute commendations as a recognition of their service.

Approximately 420 service members fly home from the war zone on R&R leave daily as they take part in the R&R Leave Program. Two chartered commercial aircraft fly troops and DoD civilians from Kuwait City International Airport to two hubs in the United States, one in Atlanta, Ga., the other in Dallas, Tx. There is no cost to the Soldier for the roundtrip airfare, nor is the Soldier charged any leave time while in transit to or from their vacation destination. The R&R Leave begins when Soldiers arrive at the commercial airport nearest their leave destination.

This celebration is a testament to the many organizations, government and civilian agencies, military commands, military personnel, DoD civilians, contract and commercial airlines and many others who help to make this all possible daily.

- 30 -

Media interested in covering the celebration of the 500,000th R&R leave Passenger Event celebration should contact the DFW Public Affairs office at (972) 973-5555.
For more information about the Rest and Recuperation (R&R) Leave Program, news media may contact Ms. Rhonda Paige at (703) 695-5164, or Mr. Hank Minitrez at (703) 696-5207, Army G-1 Public Affairs. For updates and additional information on the USCENTCOM R&R Leave Program, visit the website at:

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16