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    Walmart, P&G Team Up With USO

    ‘Operation Family Connect’ aims to help holiday homesickness

    Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Procter & Gamble are joining forces with the USO to help connect deployed members of the U.S. military with their families during the holiday season.

    “Operation Family Connect” is helping families stay in touch by bringing much-needed improvements to communications technology and resources overseas. P&G and Walmart’s support will allow the USO to provide increased talk time for troops and families. The program not only provides troops with pre-paid phone cards, but is also increasing the number of phones that are available and improving the satellite-based phone network at USO centers in Southwest Asia. On average, 192,000 satellite-based calls are made each month from troops to their families.

    “We are delighted to partner with P&G and Walmart this holiday season,” said Sloan Gibson, USO president. “And with the help of both companies, we were able to increase public awareness of USO programs, substantially improve the ability to provide family connection through talk time and continue our mission of lifting the spirits of our troops and their families around the world.”

    “Operation Family Connect: Road to Reunion,” is a series of six web videos that chronicle three military families as they anticipate the return of their family members from Iraq. People can follow each family’s story online and share in their exciting moments through home videos and personalized blogs. For those who want to help connect deployed soldiers with their family members during the holiday season, there is also an opportunity to donate to the campaign.

    Further, P&G and Walmart are sponsoring a made-for-TV movie, “A Walk in My Shoes,” which focuses on how a military family comes together in the face of adversity. The movie is scheduled to air Friday on NBC.

    Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart operates more than 8,400 retail units under 55 different banners in 15 countries. 

    Cincinnati-based P&G markets a broad portfolio of brands including Pampers, Tide, Bounty, Dawn, Pringles, Charmin, Downy, Crest, Oral-B, Duracell, Head & Shoulders and Gillette.

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