As far as professional trade shows go, exhibitors’ offerings at the Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting and Exposition share a few commonalities with others of their ilk. New products and services are trumpeted with splashy displays and modest offerings of logo-emblazoned freebies, all aimed at fostering goodwill. The meeting took place Oct. 22-25 in Washington.
At this year’s meeting, however, one company decided to tie in their promotion activities with an effort to promote support for three organizations that are dedicated to improving the lives of service members and their families.
At the display booth of Arlington, Va.-based Fluor Government Group, company employees encouraged passers-by to stop and cast a vote for either the Military Child Education Coalition, the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, or Homes for Our Troops. The winner would receive a $3,000 prize, the second-place charity would get $2,000, and the third-place charity would receive $1,000.
The difference in cash winnings notwithstanding, Fluor’s intent is to call attention to the noble works conducted by each organization.
The non-profit Military Child Education Coalition is based in Harker Heights, Texas, near Fort Hood, and works to provide academic help to military children who are challenged by constant moves, separation from deployed parents, and a lifestyle of transition. Their Web site is http://www.militarychild.org.
The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing 24-hour assistance to anyone associated with the armed forces who is beset by the tragedy of losing a loved one. TAPS offers access to support and assistance resources for those overwhelmed by grief and trauma, and operates a hotline at (800) 959-TAPS (8227). Their Web site is http://www.taps.org.
Founded in 2004, Homes for Our Troops uses donations to provide money, materials, and labor to build homes for certain service members and veterans who suffered severe injuries and disabilities since hostilities began on Sept. 11, 2001. To qualify, veterans must be eligible for a Specially Adapted Housing Grant through the Department of Veterans Affairs. Homes for Our Troops will pay for all costs beyond each grant, ensuring that eligible veterans bear no out-of-pocket expenses. A non-profit organization based in Taunton, Mass., their Web site is http://www.homesforourtroops.org.
“There are no losers,” said Karolyn Stuver, Fluor Government Group’s senior director of marketing and strategy.
The company is a subsidiary of the Dallas-based Fluor Enterprises, Inc. Government operations include construction and maintenance services, facility operations, management of environment, and nuclear material for the U.S. Defense, Homeland Security, Energy, and State Departments. The company has a presence in Defense Department theaters around the globe, including Afghanistan and Iraq.