Hero Miles

Following on from the thread about the differences in the US and the UK to returning military personnel, here's another "wouldn't happen in the UK" scheme:


A Unique Way to Help the Troops
Operation Hero Miles was created by Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger in cooperation with close to a dozen United States Airlines in October, 2003. When started, the program allowed troops stationed in Iraq or Afghanistan to fly home on leave for free. It now gives family members of wounded servicemen and women free plane tickets to visit their loved ones recovering at military hospitals across the country. Operation Hero Miles gives ordinary citizens an opportunity to help our troops in a very direct way that makes a real difference in their lives.

The program is brilliant in its simplicity. Travelers donate their unused frequent flyer miles to the Fisher House Foundation.

Donations are currently being accepted from the following ten airlines: Airtran Airways, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, Midwest Airlines, Northwest Airlines, United Air Lines and US Airways.


When Congressman Ruppersberger created Operation Hero Miles, the program awarded free tickets to servicemen and women stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan returning to the United States for their two weeks of Rest and Relaxation (R & R) Leave. In early 2004, the Department of Defense began paying for R & R leave. At that time, Operation Hero Miles began awarding free tickets to family members of wounded troops traveling to military hospitals to visit their injured loves ones. Sometimes the love and support of family is the best medicine to help a troop recover from a wound. Operation Hero Miles operates this program through a partnership with the Fisher House Foundation.
The airlines working within the scheme were also matching donations 1-fot-1 over the Memorial Day weekend.

the Fox News anchor who was discussing the scheme with its creator proudly admitted to having donated 90.000 air miles to the scheme, having not had time to donate more, which she would do so as soon as she could.

My wife is American and was very proud to hear of the scheme, and my immediate thought was "wouldn't happen in the UK"...

I was going to tack this onto the end of the other thread, but felt it deserved its own (PTP: merge if you feel this is better).

EDIT: admittedly we have free rail warrants in the UK, but the principle still stands.

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