By Mr. Rob Mcilvaine (ARNEWS)November 1, 2010
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Recently, Maj. Gen. Reuben D. Jones, FMWRC commander, was asked by Col. Liana L. Bratland, director of NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan/Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, if it were possible to have 2,200 calling cards sent to the troops.
"How many are you talking about'" Jones wrote back.
"We use 2,200 300-minute cards every six months for a camp population of 5,000. Of course, the more cards the merrier, as we sometimes have to ration when supply is low. For our Soldiers, talking to Family is a big morale booster here..." Bratland wrote to Maj. Gen. Jones.
Within a month, the 2,200 calling cards were sent, thanks to a partnership made possible through FMWRC's existing sponsors for the Darryl Worley "God and Country" tour.
"This is fantastic news. Thanks so much for this. Service members will be most appreciative," Bratland wrote back.
GM Military Discount, the sponsor of the Family and MWR Command's "God & Country Tour," partnered with Cell Phones for Soldiers, a non-profit organization that recycles used phones and uses the proceeds to purchase cell phones for deployed service members.
GM Military Discount gave them exposure at the concerts, and Cell Phones for Soldiers contributed the phone cards to be sent to Afghanistan.
Partnership like this with corporate America provides FMWRC with the ability to offer benefits that might not have been otherwise possible. FMWRC's mission is to support Soldiers and their Families, delivering on the Army Family Covenant's promise to provide a quality of life commensurate with their service and sacrifice to the nation,
Country singer-songwriter Daryl Worley also believes Soldiers and their Families deserve to be recognized for their service.
Best known for the song "Have You Forgotten," Worley has traveled eight times to the Middle East to entertain troops, where he was often asked by Soldiers to help support their Families back home.
"They came from all different places but they would have almost the exact same thing to say to me. 'If you're inspired to do something else for the military, ... could you please try to write something for our spouses - the people that are left behind at home waiting and wondering''," Worley said in a recent interview.
Worley was impressed that Soldiers downrange seem to think more about their Families than the dangers they face every day.
"So I just sat down with a buddy of mine and immediately I got a title in my head, I thought these people are 'Unsung Heroes.' We wrote the song, it's an incredible recording, and they're going to get it for free because they deserve to get it for free," Worley said.
"I think all the military out there are going to be excited about this because they're the reason we wrote it in the first place. They spawned the whole idea."
Maybe they'll phone home about it.