Exhibits highlight the latest state-of-the-art technologies 

 
Over 330,000 square feet of exhibit space in five halls at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center featured industry and Army exhibits to include National Pavilions – Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Korea, Turkey and the United Kingdom – and U.S. State Pavilions – Michigan and North Carolina – that focused on the latest technology that will give America’s fighting forces the ‘Decisive Edge.’

As far as professional forums and trade shows go, exhibitors’ offerings at the Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting and Exposition share a few commonalities with the military and other industry representatives.

New products and services are highlighted with displays, handouts and literature aimed at fostering goodwill and promoting the company’s product.

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 called 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.

The website 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).

The website 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., the website is http://www.homesforourtroops.org.

"There are no losers," Karolyn Stuver, Fluor Government Group’s senior director of marketing and strategy, said.

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.