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Operation Ride Home


Getting Our Troops Home for the Holidays

Reconnecting military families during this special time of year is one small way Operation Ride Home is strengthening military families. 

Operation Ride Home is open to active duty E-5 and below, both single and married, who might not otherwise financially be able to travel home. The ASYMCA works with the various military commands in specific areas co-located with ASYMCA branches to identify and prioritize junior-enlisted service members and families most in financial need. Plane tickets and pre-paid debit cards are given to assist those traveling.

Eligibility Limitations

Before applying, please review the FAQs and verify that you or your service member are stationed at a military installation that is served by a participating Armed Services YMCA. You can download that list here.

To apply, please scroll down and click on the branch location that serves your installation.



The Armed Services YMCA and its twelve (12) branch locations are honored to partner with Jack Daniel’s to facilitate the 10th Annual Jack Daniel’s Operation Ride Home.

The information below addresses the most frequently asked questions. A complete list of FAQs can be found here. If we have not addressed a question you may have, please contact the ASYMCA branch POC listed in the table here.

Why is this program only available at certain installations?

We can only offer Operation Ride Home where the Armed Services YMCA has full branches.

Please the list of ASYMCA locations and/or Military Installations participating in
Operation Ride Home by clicking here.

Who can apply for Jack Daniel’s Operation Ride Home?

Operation Ride Home is open to active duty E-5 and below located at the Bases and Installations served by our Armed Services YMCA Branches; both single and married service members travelling with their spouses and/or dependents who may not have the financial means to travel home for the holidays. The service member, their spouse or a dependent may apply.

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.
When do applications open up for Operation Ride Home? Applications for holiday travel in 2021-2022 may be submitted starting August 16th, 2021.
How are participants selected? Participants will be prioritized and selected based on need, in coordination with their commands. Submitting an application does not guarantee selection. Selections are based on the total number of applicants, and the requests for flights versus driving travel requests. Applications will be prioritized based on need as determined by their respective installation commands.
What if my travel costs are more than the stipend amount?

If travel costs exceed the stipend amount, the traveler(s) pay the difference. Your billing
information will be collected upfront to pay for these costs in the case of air travel. In the
nine-year history of this program, many Operation Ride Home participants have paid the difference toward their flight(s). Operation Ride Home is structured to help facilitate travel and offset costs as much as possible, but not necessarily to provide “free” travel. In order to ensure optimal benefit of the donated funds, the program follows guidelines established by the ASYMCA and Jack Daniel’s.

If air travel costs are less than the stipend, will I get the difference in cash? No, if your ticket(s) is less than the allotted $400 per person flying, we will not provide the difference in cash. Less expensive fares allow more troops and family members to participate in the program. The ASYMCA or authorized travel agents will book travel and will look for the most cost-effective flights. Requests for specific airlines/routes will not be accommodated; the priority is to meet the travel dates.
Do you provide travel for family members to visit service members? No, the intent of Operation Ride Home is to send service members and their family home for the holidays. Travel is not provided for family members to visit the service member.
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. On social media, please use #OperationRideHome.
If I have questions about Operation Ride Home, what should I do? The best way to get details on the program and to find answers, dates and contact info for all
participating locations is by contacting the point of contact at the ASYMCA branch serving your installation. You can find that information here.

Application Process

Applications can be submitted online using the links provided for each branch. As part of the application process, you must upload a completed and signed Command Approval Form. Please have your Command Approval Form completed prior to proceeding with your application. Instructions and additional information may vary by location. If you have questions about the application process at your Armed Services YMCA branch, please contact your branch representative.

Download Command Approval Form