California Bowling Writers

November 25, 2008

Army & Air Force Exchange Service Corporate Communications
NEWS RELEASE: 08-032 Nov. __, 2008

The ‘Golden State’ Connects Troops with Family and Friends

DALLAS – When it comes to supporting the war effort, the “Golden State” has gone above and beyond this year to ensure deployed troops remained connected to loved ones back home. Since the beginning of the year, Californians have sent nearly 1,300 phone cards to military Families as part of the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s “Help Our Troops Call Home” initiative.

From Jan. through Oct., California, home of Fort Irwin and Edwards AFB, provided the most support as its residents ordered 1,296 phone cards worth $75,820.

One of the biggest military backers in California is the California Bowling Writers (CBW). Since 2005, they have contributed nearly $15,000 to “Help Our Troops Call Home,” including more than $6,500 in telecommunications support this year alone.

“Bowlers are very patriotic and when deciding upon a charitable endeavor we felt there was no better cause than to support the Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors and Marines who are fighting to keep us free,” said CBW President Bette Addington. “Through this program we are able to provide some link to home and to loved ones for that very necessary emotional support.”

Pennsylvanians also did their part to keep the lines of communication open in 2008 with 1,027 orders totaling $69,448. Residents of New York, Texas and New Jersey made their voices of support heard as well, sending some 2,000 phone cards collectively.

Available to the public since April 2004, “Help Our Troops Call Home” allows anyone, even non-authorized exchange shoppers, to send Military Exchange Global Prepaid Phone cards to troops stationed in Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom.

By simply logging on to or calling 800-527-2345, friends, family members and even civic groups can take part in the “Help Our Troops Call Home” effort by sending any one of three Military Exchange Global Prepaid Phone cards, including a 550-minute denomination card capable of providing more than two hours of call time from any of 69 phone centers in Iraq, Afghanistan or Kuwait to the United States.

The nation’s top states supporting “Help Our Troops Call Home” from January through October 2008 are:
State “Help Our Troops Call Home” orders Amount sent to troops
1. California 1296; $75,820
2. Pennsylvania 1027 $69,448
3. New York 756 $68,943
4. Texas 1091 $60,337
5. New Jersey 607 $41,474
6. Oklahoma 316 $40,893
7. Florida 790 $37,363
8. Ohio 638 $33,389
9. Illinois 569 $31,726
10. Michigan 496 $21,878
Since the program’s inception, 163,340 individual orders for more than 298,000 phone cards have been sent. More than 27,000 of those have been earmarked for “any service member” and distributed via charities such as the American Red Cross, Air Force Aid Society, Fisher House Foundation, Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, Soldier & Family Assistance Center and USO.

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint command and is directed by a Board of Directors which is responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and the Air Force through the Service Chiefs of Staff. AAFES has the dual mission of providing authorized patrons with articles of merchandise and services and generating non-appropriated fund earnings as a supplemental source of funding for military Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) programs. To find out more about AAFES' history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at

The California Bowling Writer (CBW), formed in 1998, is open to all California bowling journalists, promoters and supporters of the sport of bowling. The purpose of the organization is to encourage and educate both members and non-members in communication through print, promotion and use of electronic media. At the same time, CBW will recognize and reward those who create media awareness by providing outstanding bowling photography and journalistic excellence. For more information, visit


Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an AAFES representative please contact Chris Ward, 214-312-2714 or