The Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) is an association of the YMCA dedicated explicitly to serving junior-enlisted military service members and their families, representing the six branches of the armed services: Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, and Coast Guard.
The oldest military support organization in the U.S., the ASYMCA has been "Strengthening Our Military Family®" since 1861 through its 12 branches and 23 affiliate partners, serving 87 military installations and facilities nationwide. Our nationally and locally tailored programs and services for our nation's troops and their families are offered at no or low cost and require no dues or membership fees.
Thanks to this YMCA organization and support from the Jack Daniel's Distillery, nearly 2,000 Junior-enlisted service members will be headed home for the holidays through Jack Daniel's and the Armed Services YMCA's "Operation Ride Home" (ORH).
Jack Daniel's once again kicked off this year's campaign with a $100,000 donation -- bringing its overall ORH commitment to more than $1.2 million -- and is asking friends to visit operationridehome.com, where they can contribute to the cause. More than $2.3 million in donations have provided travel funding over the past 12 years.
Since its founding in 2011, Operation Ride Home has provided financial assistance to active-duty, junior-enlisted military and their families to travel from their base of duty to homes across the country. More than 10,000 people have traveled by airplane or car through ORH. Service men and women from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard have been assisted with travel to all 50 states.
"From Alaska to Virginia, our hero junior-enlisted military and those with families will be able to leave their bases and make it home to share the warmth of the holiday season through Operation Ride Home," said Chris Fletcher, Jack Daniel's Master Distiller. "It is an honor and privilege to support these heroes who otherwise would not have the means to make it to see their loved ones. We hope our friends will join us to get as many of them home as we can this year."
"Going home for the holidays is a privilege that many military families miss out on far too often due to the expense of travel," said Armed Services YMCA President and CEO, VADM Bill French, USN (Ret.). "Thanks to our terrific partnership with Jack Daniel's, the Armed Services YMCA has removed the financial barrier for junior enlisted service members and their families. Our service members deserve to be with the ones they love the most this holiday season."
The ASYMCA works with the various military commands in specific areas co-located with ASYMCA branches to identify and prioritize junior-enlisted service members and families most in financial need. Plane tickets and pre-paid debit cards are given to assist those traveling.
Operation Ride Home is open to active-duty E-5 and below, both single and married, who might not otherwise financially be able to travel home. The option to drive or fly is an individual decision. For additional eligibility information and to view participating installations that qualify for travel assistance, please visit https://www.asymca.org/operation-ride-home.