Carnival Cruise Line today released the first in a new video series featuring heartwarming meet-and-greet opportunities between seven-time GRAMMY-award winning country superstar Carrie Underwood and U.S. military families recognized through the Honor. Family. Fun. program benefiting Operation Homefront.
In the first video, Underwood surprises the Vaughn family, whose patriarch Phillip served in the U.S. Army, at a pre-concert event in Washington, D.C., during her Storyteller Tour. Underwood thanked Vaughn for his service to our country and invited his family, which includes his wife Jung Sun and kids Tara and Jeremy, to her special private concert for military families pierside aboard Carnival Vista in New York on Nov. 4, 2016. Carnival Cruise Director Butch Begovich then awarded the Vaughn family a free Carnival cruise.
“This initiative with Carrie and Operation Homefront has been extremely rewarding and this first video in the series featuring the Vaughn family shows how Honor. Family. Fun. is positively affecting so many people,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “The men and women of our military deserve our respect and admiration and we hope that Carnival’s small role in their lives will show them how much we value what they do for our country,” she added.
Carnival and Underwood have partnered on the year-long Honor. Family. Fun. initiative which is designed to support U.S. military families through Operation Homefront, the national nonprofit that builds strong, stable and secure military families.
The Vaughns are among dozens of military families recognized during 10 stops on Underwood’s Storyteller Tour. During the pre-concert events, military families, chosen in partnership with Operation Homefront, were treated to a personal meet-and-greet with Underwood who then invited them to her exclusive concert aboard Carnival Vista.
“Meeting the Vaughn family was touching for me and I hope they are as excited to come to my concert in New York as I was to surprise them with the invitation,” said Underwood. “This program has afforded me the opportunity to personally thank these soldiers for all that they do, and I am grateful to be a part of something so positive and rewarding.”
Driving the effort to raise funds for Operation Homefront, supporters will have the opportunity to donate by clicking on the “Donate Now” button on carnival.com/HonorFamilyFun. Commemorative dog tags also are also available for purchase at merchandise stands at all The Storyteller Tour stops as well as throughout Carnival’s fleet with all proceeds going to Operation Homefront.
Carnival has also launched a new shipboard military appreciation program. Each ship is hosting a special event onboard to recognize active and retired military personnel and their families and kicks off with a welcome video featuring Underwood. The country music superstar also will join the Carnival LIVE! roster of artists in early 2017, with further details to be announced at a later date.
Carnival’s most family-friendly ship, Carnival Vista, will set sail in Europe in May 2016 and make her stateside debut in New York in November before repositioning to Miami for year-round service later that month.