In September 2003, the Pentagon started giving soldiers stationed in Iraq two-week leaves in the largest R & R program since the Vietnam War. Soldiers on R & R or Emergency Leave are flown by the military to Germany or three airports in the United States, Baltimore/Washington, (BWI), Dallas/FortWorth, (DFW), or Atlanta, (ATL) for free.
The soldiers have been responsible for flights the rest of the way in the U.S. to their destinations, until Congress provided funding for this purpose on November 3, 2003. However, this funding is not yet available and may not be sufficient for all the troops or troops on "Emergency Leave".
More than 470 soldiers a day are arriving in the U.S.
Many soldiers on R&R leave must purchase high-priced last minute airfares to connect to their hometowns once their military flights land at the airports in Baltimore, Dallas or Atlanta. Soldiers on "Emergency Leave" must still pay the full cost of their domestic travel when they are rushed home for the family death, birth, illness or other emergency. The military does not pay the cost of their travel in the United States, so your frequent flyer miles are a huge help.
Americans have donated their unused frequent flyer miles to the Department of Defense to help troops travel home and spend quality time with their loved ones, without worrying about how much it will cost.
Your extra miles today can help our soldiers get home to their families tomorrow.