Strengthening Our Military Family      |      Armed Services YMCA Hawai`i



Operation Ride Home 2021 

Bringing families together. There's no place like home for the holidays.


The application period for Operation Ride Home 2021 has ended. Scroll to the bottom of the page to view FAQs in preparation for Operation Ride Home 2022.

We received almost 500 applications and sent hundreds of military families home for the holidays in 2021. We sent Operation Ride Home participants from Hawaii all over the world this holiday season! Awardees were reunited with family in Puerto Rico, Palau, Philippines, Tanzania, West Africa, Northern Mariana Islands, Virgin Islands, and 30 states. Click on the image below to view a full-sized map.



Thank You Notes from Operation Ride Home 2021 Recipients


Special Thanks to Organizations and Individuals who make Operation Ride Home possible




Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I turn in my application?
    Email your completed application to or drop it off at any ASYMCA Hawai`i Branch - JBPHH, WAAF, or MCBH.

  • On page 2 of the application, what is the "Approving Command Point of Contact" section for?
    This section must be completed for your application to be valid. Leave dates must be listed and the person in charge of approving leave for your unit must sign-off on these dates. This step in necessary to prevent instances where tickets are purchased (see below for ticket purchase dates when tickets will be purchased) and it turns out leave is not approved.

  • Does the service member have to be one of the travelers?
    Generally, the service member travels with their family. However, there may be instances where the service member may not be able to travel, but the family is selected for the program.

  • What if the service member is deployed? Are the spouse or dependent eligible to apply?
    Yes, if the service member is deployed, the spouse and/or dependent of an active duty E-5 and below service member is eligible to participate in Operation Ride Home.

  • How are participants selected?
    Participants will be prioritized and selected based on need, in coordination with their commands. While a committee will make the final determination in awarding travel, we encourage applicants to submit their applications early. In the event of a "tie", early applications will be given priority. 

  • How does the process work?
    Service members, or their dependent, will apply via application. Once they have completed the application and have received their command's signature and approval, they should submit to ASYMCA. A committee will blindly review and prioritize each application. ASYMCA will notify service members awarded travel by October 23, 2021. We will then communicate via email regarding how to book travel in cooperation with ASYMCA. Service members cannot book travel on their own and be reimbursed - please note ASYMCA is prohibited from doing so.

  • Will I be responsible for any costs?
    ASYMCA has both free round trip tickets and additional stipends of $400. Service members will be responsible for any checked bag fees and should the travel costs exceed the stipend amount, the traveler(s) pay the difference. Your billing information will be collected upfront to pay for these costs.

  • What are the travel booking deadlines?
    Flights will be booked between October 25, 2021 and November 10, 2021. please make every accommodation to be available to book travel with ASYMCA staff when a time is coordinated. This may require you to come to our offices at JBPHH or meet us at the travel agency at JBPHH.

  • If I am selected to participate, what is required of me?
    If selected, and before travel is arranged, you must sign a waiver of liability. After travel has been arranged, we kindly ask that the service member/family write a thank you note so the ASYMCA and Jack Daniel's can share the importance of this program with donors. We also ask program participants to share photos and brief video as a testimonial about their experience to demonstrate Operation Ride Home's value to the military community.

  • Where does Operation Ride Home funding come from?
    Operation Ride Home is funded by the generous contributions of Jack Daniel's, Jack Daniel's Distributors, American Airlines, and the general public, along with support from the Armed Services YMCA.


Contact Laurie Moore or Kim Jeremiah with any questions.

Laurie Moore, ASYMCA Hawai`i Executive Director
(808) 473-1427 •


Kim Jeremiah, ASYMCA Hawai`i Finance Director
(808) 473-1417 •