Carnival Thanks the Troops with Social Media–Powered Barbecue
Cruise News – July 7, 2017
Carnival Cruise Line joined forces with Operation Homefront this week to extend the July 4th holiday and thank men and women in uniform by hosting the world’s first “social media–powered barbecue” for military troops at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego.
Using the hashtag #ThankYouBurger, social media followers were encouraged to show their appreciation of the U.S. military by tweeting and posting messages of gratitude via Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. More than 15,000 thank you messages were transmitted in real time to a tech-enabled grill at the base in San Diego, and then laser-printed onto burger buns and served to military troops during the event.
In recognition of the thousands of #ThankYouBurger tweets and posts received, Carnival donated $25,000 to help the organization fulfill its mission of building strong, stable, and secure military families.
Deshauna Barber — godmother to Carnival Vista and the first woman serving in the military to be named Miss USA — joined Carnival Chief Maritime Officer William Burke and Operation Homefront president and CEO Brig. Gen. (ret) John I. Pray Jr. to personally serve nearly 2,000 burgers to military personnel.
“We wanted to create a platform for Americans looking to connect with the military and show our gratitude for their service during the July 4th holiday,” said Burke. “We all want the troops to know how grateful we — and our country — are for protecting our freedom and this unique social media–powered barbecue is a fantastic way to show our appreciation.”
“As an American who serves in the military, I really appreciate that Carnival Cruise Line looks for meaningful ways to serve us, and I’m honored to be a part of this fun event,” said Barber.
This special event was part of a continuing partnership between Carnival and Operation Homefront. Last year, hundreds of military families were welcomed aboard Carnival Vista prior to its inaugural sailing from the United States. The festivities were the culmination of a year-long campaign called Honor.Family.Fun —which also teamed up with Grammy-winner Carrie Underwood — to help raise funds and awareness for Operation Homefront.
Photos: Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Carnival Cruise Line