Lewis, Wash., Jul 1, 2008 -
Today, in front of 4,000 soldiers, Army Spc. Michael Gallagher took
possession of his new vehicle, an all-new, custom-painted 2008
Jeep® Liberty. The vehicle was provided to him by Chrysler LLC in
partnership with Operation Gratitude. The vehicle includes a
custom-painted mural that honors five fallen soldiers in Gallagher's
The presentation continues Chrysler LLC's support of the military
through its "Honoring Those Who Serve" initiative, and relationships
with organizations like Operation Gratitude.
Frank Fountain, Senior Vice President, External Affairs and Public
Policy – Chrysler LLC, delivered the vehicle along with Carolyn
Blashek, Founder and President of Operation Gratitude. Following the
vehicle presentation, Spc. Gallagher joined the soldiers from 4th
Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, for a redeployment
ceremony marking the brigade's return from their Iraq deployment.
"Our Armed Forces are making incredible sacrifices every day to protect
our freedom and way of life," said Fountain. "Providing Spc. Gallagher
with an all-new Jeep Liberty vehicle is the least we could do to thank
him for his courage and service to our country."
Upon receiving the vehicle keys in an Operation Gratitude package
assembled in December 2007, Spc. Gallagher expressed his desire to
create a way to remember fallen soldiers from his unit, Company A, 2nd
Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team.
Gallagher's new Jeep will feature a custom-painted mural on its hood
that reflects the names of those heroes who have fallen.
"Meeting Spc. Gallagher and his team in Iraq last January when we
hand-delivered the 300,000th Operation Gratitude package was a very
special moment, matched today by watching him take delivery of the Jeep
Liberty here at home on American soil," said Blashek. "Spc. Gallagher
is a wonderful representative of the U.S. Military. Operation Gratitude
is honored to express our appreciation and respect to him and to all
the men and women in uniform who so bravely defend our freedoms all
over the world."
"Spc. Gallagher's desire to transform the vehicle into a permanent
moving tribute as a result of his good fortune is admirable," added
Honoring Those Who Serve
Chrysler continues to express support and encouragement to America's
military men and women through its "Honoring Those Who Serve"
initiative, consisting of three components: Employment, Transportation
With the Employment component Chrysler is partnering with the
Departments of Defense and Labor and Veterans Affairs to bring current
and former members of the military together with the Company, Chrysler
dealers and suppliers to find suitable career opportunities as they
transition to civilian life. The company has set up a Web site for
those looking for career opportunities at www.ChryslerHonoringThoseWhoServe.com
Under the Transportation component, Chrysler continues to offer special
incentives and warranties on Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge products, crafted
specifically for members of the military.
For the Community component, Chrysler joined America Supports You
(ASY), a Department of Defense program that connects nonprofit support
groups with military people and their families. The Company is
currently working with two ASY home front groups—The Freedom Calls
Foundation and Operation Gratitude.
About Chrysler LLC
Chrysler LLC, headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich., produces Chrysler,
Jeep, Dodge and Mopar® brand vehicles and products. Total sales
worldwide in 2007 were 2.7 million vehicles. Sales outside of North
America were the highest ever with an increase of eight percent over
2006. Its product lineup features some of the world's most recognizable
vehicles, including the Chrysler 300 and Town & Country, Jeep
Wrangler and Grand Cherokee, and Dodge Challenger and Ram. The Chrysler
Foundation, the company's philanthropic arm, annually supports hundreds
of charitable organizations in the United States and throughout the
world. In 2007, the Foundation gave approximately $21 million in
About Operation Gratitude
Operation Gratitude is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that sends
care packages and letters to individually named U.S. troops deployed in
hostile zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan, and onto military ships all
over the world.
The organization was founded in March 2003 by Carolyn Blashek to
support U.S. troops serving in some of the world's harshest locations
and is funded entirely by private donations and staffed exclusively by
volunteers. Its mission is to lift morale, bring a smile to a service
member's face and to express to all troops the appreciation and support
of the American people. Since its inception in 2003, Operation
Gratitude has delivered more than 350,000 packages to American troops