Hancock Communities, of Scottsdale, Ariz., donated over 1.6 million American Express Membership Rewards points to the Operation Hero Miles program — a donation that could help up to 80 soldiers get home for Emergency Leave.
“Hancock is privileged to donate these miles to help bring our troops home,” said Ron French, president of Hancock Communities. “Although it’s a short leave from their duty, it is our humble way of saying thank you for their service, dedication and the safety they provide all of us everyday.”
Miles donated through the Operation Hero Miles program were first used to provide free domestic transportation for soldiers on R & R Leave from Iraq and Afghanistan to travel to their hometowns. Now that the Pentagon is paying for these trips through an Act of Congress, the program’s primary focus is to provide transportation to troops traveling back from Iraq on Emergency Leave due to a death or serious illness in their family, or the birth of a child. Most recently, Operation Hero Miles has started providing transportation to the families of troops wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan so that family members can visit their recovering soldier in one of 14 military hospitals around the country.
Commanders who approve Emergency Leave for a soldier, airman, marine or navy personnel will coordinate with the family support center of each branch of the military to determine the availability and need for Hero Miles tickets.
Hancock converted its 1.6 million points into credits for Southwest’s Rapid Rewards program, at an estimated total value of about $32,000.