An Incredible Night at Tribute to Military Families

May 16, 2019

Last night we kicked off our 30 year anniversary at our 6th Annual Tribute to Military Families by saluting our beneficiaries, honoring our supporters, and launching our new app.

Brianna Keilar of CNN served as the master of ceremonies for the evening, sharing how books connect her military family during her husband’s deployments. We honored Representative Rob Wittman for his steadfast support of military families.

We celebrated Ellyn Dunford for her tireless volunteerism for United Through Reading through her role as chair of our Host Committee and advocate for military families.

We presented Cal Turner, Jr., former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dollar General, a flag flown over USS John S. McCain to honor his Navy service and his unwavering passion for unlocking everyone’s potential through his support of literacy initiatives.

Sergeant Major Dan Dailey introduced Campbell and Caitlin Chase, whose father happened to be a platoon leader when Dailey was serving as First Sergeant. The two girls have watched their United Through Reading video recordings, or their “daddy books” as they call them, over his 11 deployments. Watching these videos allowed them to spend time with their dad and know that he was safe while he was away.

We celebrated 30 years by hearing from LCDR Desmond Walker, who made his first recordings 20 years ago and plans to make a few more on the app for his 11 year old twins who have already moved to their next duty station while he finishes his current assignment, reenforcing that any time apart is a great time to make a video recording for someone you love.

We launched our new, free app to allow service members to video record themselves anytime, anywhere – expanding program access to those without a nearby video recording Story Station. The app is available today in the Apple and Google Play stores.

We are grateful for BAE Systems for serving as the Title Sponsor for the sixth year and our Presenting Sponsor, USAA, for their critical role in program support and making the evening such a success. Thank you to all of our sponsors for making Tribute to Military Families possible.

United Through Reading is so grateful for your support of the 6th Annual Tribute to Military Families. Photos from the evening are on SmugMug and Facebook.