Celebrating Armed Forces Day all year
“Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em”
The phrase was popularized during World War II (according to Wikipedia) by officers who wanted to give their squads a bit of free time. It’s still heard today “in the sandbox.” In fact, it may well be spoken again this Saturday somewhere in the world when a box of donated cigars arrives from Thompson Cigars.
This Saturday, May 21st marks the 67th Armed Forces Day. This single day celebration replaced separate Army, Navy, Marine Corp and Air Force Days when all military branches were unified under the Department of Defense in 1949.
Requests for donations for the troops have come into Thompson year-round, not just on Armed Forces Day, since the company was founded in 1915. Shortly after the attacks in September, 2001, Marilyn Taylor, Thompson’s International Control Buyer and unofficial donations coordinator was responding to four to five requests per day.
Marilyn hand picks the cigars, humidors, cutters, lighters and other accessories that are sent out in response to these requests. What had at one time taken her an hour or two to select and package up in the warehouse grew to be more than a full day’s work each week during the height of the Iraq war.
In addition to answering individual requests, Thompson also contributes cigars to another organization “Support Our Troops, Inc.” which will ship “anything short of cars and houses” to the military overseas. You can find out more about them at www.ourtroopsonline.com.
When we spoke with a half dozen veterans in our store in Tampa a couple of weeks ago, they told us that gifts like the cigars from Thompson or premium coffees sent by other companies supporting the troops really helped them get through the rough days. It wasn’t just the immediate boost in morale that came with opening the boxes, but the fact that their countrymen were thinking of them that they appreciated.
In thanks, they’ve sent flags, certificates and hundreds of photos to Thompson through Marilyn. Many of them can be seen in her office and around the Thompson building in Tampa, Florida.
“My favorite is a signed flag that I keep at home in a glass case,” Marilyn said. “It was the first one I received.”
That flag is shown in this picture before being flown in a mission over Baghdad. It was later signed by everyone who flew the mission and sent to Marilyn as a thank you.
Celebrating Armed Forces Day
In 2016 here at Thompson we’ll be celebrating Armed Forces Day with a “2 For the Troops” promotion. For every order placed through a link in our email this Saturday, we’ll be sending two cigars overseas. In order to make sure you receive that email, if you aren’t already on our list, go here and sign up to receive Thompson emails before Friday.
What will you be doing to celebrate this Saturday? Are there any events going on in your town, or will you be toasting our men and women overseas at your backyard BBQ?
Update 5/27/16: Thanks to all of you who ordered through our Armed Forces Day email links, Thompson was able to send more than 800 cigars to our troops overseas. You are awesome!