WWE Returns to Iraq
NEW YORK, N.Y., Nov. 21, 2006 -- Armed Forces Entertainment has once again invited World Wrestling Entertainment® (NYSE: WWE) to bring holiday cheer and perform a series of wrestling matches for U.S. troops based in Iraq.
On Christmas night, the WWE will present “WWE Tribute to the Troops: Christmas in Baghdad,” which airs on USA Network Monday night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, 8:00 p.m. Central. This television special will highlight military personnel telling their stories, interacting with WWE Superstars, and enjoying a presentation of WWE action.
This year, the WWE will be teaming up with America Supports You, A Million Thanks, and Microsoft to show support for our uniformed personnel.
For more information, go to www.wwe.com.
Gary Davis, WWE, 203-353-5066
Brad Bernstein, USA Network, 212-664-4401
Nathan Nazario, USA Network, 407-346-9665
Michelle Shortencarrier, America Supports You, 202-615-7152
Holiday Greetings For The Troops Initiative
WWE, AFE, America Supports You, A Million Thanks, and Microsoft have joined forces to encourage the American public to send holiday greetings to the troops that will be delivered in person by the WWE Superstars and Divas when they are in Iraq.
As part of this effort, the WWE Superstars will deliver the 2.6 millionth letter of appreciation to the troops sent through a campaign undertaken by A Million Thanks, a California-based non-profit organization. The achievement of presenting 2.6 million letters to our troops represents a letter for each member of the U.S. armed forces.
In addition, Microsoft is providing Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment systems, Xbox Live Gold subscription cards and Xbox Live Vision cameras, allowing troops in Iraq to play video games with fellow soldiers and loved ones abroad. The Superstars will deliver the Xbox 360 video game systems along with video games donated by THQ as they visit base camps across Iraq. Games donated by THQ are “WWE Smackdown vs. RAW 2007,” “The Outfit,” and “Saints Row.”
How the Public Can Participate
Holiday greetings to the troops can be submitted electronically by going to WWE.com. The emails will be printed on holiday cards and distributed to the troops by the WWE Superstars and Divas when they are in Iraq. Links to the cards can also be found on USA.com, Xbox.com, americasupportsyou.com, and amillionthanks.org. USA Network will be running a public service announcement in support of the campaign.
The public can send holiday mail to A MILLION THANKS, c/o LUTHERAN HIGH SCHOOL, 2222 North Santiago Blvd. Orange, CA 92867. More information on how to mail to A Million Thanks can be found at http://www.amillionthanks.org/How_To_Mail.asp.
Shauna Fleming, the 17-year-old founder of A Million Thanks:
“We knew we would need some extra muscle to reach our goal, and with the WWE’s help, I’m confident the American public will embrace this call to support our troops with greetings for the holiday season. A Million Thanks is deeply appreciative of the assistance being offered by WWE, USA Network, America Supports You and Microsoft to help increase holiday mail to military personnel on the front lines of Iraq.”
A Million Thanks is a year-round campaign to show our U.S. Military men and women, past and present, our appreciation for their sacrifices, dedication, and service to our country through our letters, emails, cards, prayers, and thoughts.
Allison Barber, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs and founder of America Supports You:
“We were so pleased that the America Supports You program was able to connect World Wrestling Entertainment and Shauna’s “A Million Thanks. Because of their new relationship, they are combining their resources to deliver the thousands of letters of support written by the American people into the hands of our military men and women serving in Iraq. This is a perfect example of how the America Supports You program connects groups and corporations and enables them to join forces as they work to show their support for members of the U.S. Armed Forces serving around the world.”
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 2004 by the Department of Defense, America Supports You has welcomed more than 225 grassroots organizations and more than 20 corporate sponsors to its team. 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 http://www.americasupportsyou.mil/americasupportsyou/index.aspx.
Major General Joseph J. Taluto, the Adjutant General of New York, who commanded the New York National Guard’s 42nd Infantry Division and Task Force Liberty in Iraq in 2005:
“Take it from me, efforts like this to visit the troops, entertain them and show support are deeply appreciated by service men and women who are far from home, in the combat zone and serving on behalf of the American people. I want to thank WWE and Armed Forces Entertainment for the efforts and sacrifices they continue to make on behalf of our military personnel. Unless you have deployed yourself, you can’t imagine how good it feels to know that people back here think about you as a service member and a person, and care about you enough to send greetings and support overseas. No one should underestimate the impact on our personnel when entertainers and sports personalities take the time out to actually go over to see us, entertain us and support us. I salute you all.”
Art Myers, Director of Air Force Services, who oversees the military agency hosting the tour, Armed Forces Entertainment (AFE):
“The men and women stationed in Iraq will laugh and cheer for their favorite wrestler. They’ll shake hands with the Superstars and Divas, talk with them individually and get autographs for themselves and their kids. They’ll let their guard down, if just for a few hours, and savor an entertainment tribute that brings them a piece of home and enhances morale. Armed Forces Entertainment is about bringing that piece of home to our troops 24/7, 365. And we couldn’t do it without dedicated patriotic partners like WWE.”
Armed Forces Entertainment, founded in 1951, is the lead Department of Defense agency for providing entertainment to U.S. military personnel serving overseas, with priority given to those in contingency operations and remote and isolated locations. The Department of the Air Force is the executive agent of Armed Forces Entertainment. Visit www.armedforcesentertainment.com for more information.
This is the fourth straight year Armed Forces Entertainment has hosted WWE on a tour to entertain U.S. troops in the war zone. The WWE Superstars and Divas will live and sleep in the barracks and eat in the mess halls along with active duty personnel, while taping a series of appearances with the troops.