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Ruppersberger Challenges Airlines to Start "Operation Hero Miles" Programs For American Soldiers Returning From Iraq

Nov 20, 2009
Press Release

Washington, DC - Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) is challenging other airlines to follow Delta's lead and start "Operation Hero Miles" programs of their own for American soldiers returning from Iraq.

The soldiers who have been granted two weeks of R & R are flown to BWI Airport by the Department of Defense and then required to pay their own way to catch connecting flights to their hometowns all across the country. Congressman Ruppersberger is greatly concerned about this excessive financial burden placed on the soldiers trying to spend some quality time with family and friends.

After consultation with my staff about this program, Delta Airlines has started a program where citizens can donate their frequent flyer miles to a "SkyMiles for Heroes" program where soldiers can use them to fly to their hometowns for free, but Delta doesn't fly everywhere these soldiers need to go. Congressman Ruppersberger has written a letter to the presidents of the major airlines (listed below) encouraging them to start similar programs.

"I challenge other airlines to set up their own 'Operation Hero Miles' programs. Our men and women risking their lives serving our country in Iraq deserve our support. You can help American troops travel home to spend quality time with their loved ones without worrying about how much it will cost," said Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger.

AirTran 1-800-247-8726     American 1-800-433-7300
America West 1-800-235-9292     Continental 1-800-525-0280
Delta Air Lines 1-800-221-1212     Frontier Airlines 1-800-432-1359
Midwest Airlines 1-800-452-2022     Northwest Airlines 1-800-225-2525
Pan Am 1-800-359-7262     Southwest Airlines 1-800-435-9792
United Airlines 1-800-241-6522     US Airways 1-800-428-4322
USA3000 1-877-872-3000

Congressman Ruppersberger's staff is donating over 67,000 frequent flyer miles for this worthy cause. For more information about this issue and links to all of the airlines are on Congressman Ruppersberger's web site at