Tostitos and the USO Reunite U.S. Troops Serving in Iraq With Their Families During Tostitos BCS Nat

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Chris Kuechenmeister
Frito-Lay
214-422-8901 cell
Chris.Kuechenmeister@pepsico.com

Oname Thompson
USO
703-908-6471
othompson@uso.org

PLANO, Texas (Jan. 10, 2011) – The Tostitos brand, in partnership with the USO, today revealed surprise reunions with loved ones for U.S troops live on field during halftime of the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game. The reunited troops played along side former college football all-stars in the recent Tostitos Connect to Home Bowl, which took place at Joint Base Balad in Iraq over the holidays. The one-of-a-kind college football bowl game experience was part of a series of activities led by Tostitos, a flagship brand of PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division, and the USO to honor and celebrate U.S. military heroes. The on-field reunions also marked the kick-off to the Tostitos “Reunite America” campaign, a program that will foster consumer-requested reunions of all kinds nationwide during 2011.

Moments before the surprise reunions took place, family members of four Tostitos Connect to Home Bowl military players were recognized on field for the sacrifices they make on behalf of the country each and every day. Then, in a dramatic and emotionally charged moment, from behind an oversized banner emerged their loved ones – the troops serving overseas who had made the more than 7,500 mile journey to reunite with their families in person. Among those reunited were:

  • SSG Alton Day, U.S. Army, Elizabeth, N.C., his wife Gwendalyn (Gwen), sons Alton, Jr. (age 14) and Aydan (age 2), and daughters Alexandria (age 12) and Alannah (age 5)
  • SPC Danyul Davis, U.S. Army, Houston, Texas, his wife Jalexus, son Jai (age 1) and brothers Jeremy Michael Powell and Guy DeJohn Jackson
  • Sgt Louis Davis, U.S. Army, Ft. Bragg, N.C., his wife Stephanie, daughter Zaiyah (age 3), mom Linda S. David and sister Simona R. Green 
  • PO1 Terry Eady, U.S. Navy, Ocilla, Ga., his daughter TeOndra (age 9), son Terrvon (age 12) and cousin Henry Leroy Fisher, Jr.

The reunions for troops and their families that took place as part of today’s Tostitos BCS National Championship Game were celebrated by millions around the country, but were only the beginning. Starting today, the Tostitos brand embarks on a mission to create real-world, consumer-powered connections throughout 2011 as part of Reunite America. To participate, consumers can visit www.facebook.com/Tostitos to submit stories explaining who they would like to be reunited with for a chance to have the Tostitos brand actually make the connections happen.

“The joy people experience when they are reunited with those they care about is universal,” said Justin Lambeth, vice president of marketing, Tostitos. “And, it’s one of the many reasons Tostitos is so excited to facilitate a series of reunions and homecomings through Reunite America. It was incredible seeing our first big reunion happen at the Tostitos BCS National Championship with help from the USO. Now, we look forward to giving others a chance to spend meaningful time together through this program.” 

“The USO focuses on bringing our troops a touch of home when they are deployed, but actually coming home to their loved ones is what they look forward to the most,” said Sloan Gibson, USO president.  “We are a proud partner with Tostitos to make these very special reunions possible.”

Current pop culture trends show that consumers are looking for ways to reconnect, not just online, but in real life. From television shows that spotlight high-profile reunions to the recent trend in tracing ancestry roots, people are seeking out long-lost connections. With that in mind, the Tostitos brand intends to make desired reunions a reality for many people who otherwise might be limited to connecting with friends and family online, or not at all.

Whether it’s reuniting troops and their families, reconnecting long-lost loves or bringing together former college roommates, Tostitos fans will be able to watch all of the reunions made possible by the brand at www.facebook.com/Tostitos, including the one taking place during today’s Tostitos BCS National Championship Game. They can also share the reunion videos with family and friends.

PepsiCo offers the world's largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 19 different product lines that each generates more than $1 billion in annual retail sales. Our main businesses - Frito-Lay, Quaker, Pepsi-Cola, Tropicana and Gatorade - also make hundreds of other nourishing, tasty foods and drinks that bring joy to our consumers in more than 200 countries. With annualized revenues of nearly $60 billion, PepsiCo's people are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth, called Performance with Purpose. By dedicating ourselves to offering a broad array of choices for healthy, convenient and fun nourishment, reducing our environmental impact, and fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace culture, PepsiCo balances strong financial returns with giving back to our communities worldwide. For more information, please visit www.pepsico.com.

The USO (United Service Organizations) lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families millions of times each year at thousands of places worldwide.  We provide a touch of home through centers at airports and military bases, top quality entertainment and innovative programs and services. We also provide critical support to those who need us most, including forward-deployed troops and their families, wounded warriors and their families and the families of the fallen.

The USO is a private, non-profit organization, not a government agency. We rely on the generosity of our volunteers and donors.  In addition to individual donors and other corporate sponsors, the USO is supported by Worldwide Strategic Partners American Airlines, AT&T Inc., BAE Systems, The Boeing Company, Clear Channel Communications, The Coca-Cola Company, Gallery Furniture, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Procter & Gamble and TriWest Healthcare Alliance. We are also supported through the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381).  To join us in this patriotic mission and to learn more about the USO, please visit www.uso.org.

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