SOURCE: Armed Forces Service Center

July 12, 2011 08:34 ET

Military Veterans (and Other Cruisers) Invited to Join Medal of Honor Recipient Col. "Bud" Day on Military-Themed Veterans Week 7-day Caribbean Cruise

MIAMI, FL--(Marketwire - Jul 12, 2011) - A special Veterans Week 7-Day Caribbean cruise aboard NCL's newest ship Norwegian EPIC will raise funds benefiting the Military Hospitality Lounge at Miami International Airport.

U.S. Air Force Colonel George E. (Bud) Day, a Medal of Honor recipient and ex-POW (of the Vietnam War), will join the cruise as a featured guest taking part as a guest speaker and in the Veterans Day Remembrance Ceremony to be held on board the ship on November 11th.

Each month, the hospitality center operated by the Armed Forces Service Center (AFSC), a Miami-based tax-exempt charitable trust, hosts as many as 2000 military visitors (from both U.S. and allied forces), at its centrally-located (Terminal E) haven in Miami International Airport.

The former U.S.O. center is staffed entirely by volunteers and provides a safe, comfortable and no-cost oasis for military travelers and their families. Only military travelers (and their dependents) with official ID (active duty, reserve, guard and retired military on official or personal travel) are eligible to use the lounge and its facilities.

AFSC Executive Director Keith Whitbeck, observes "many of our active duty military members who are traveling on orders, have very limited personal funds. We work hard to provide them with a relaxing atmosphere that offers free snacks, drinks, comfortable seating, TVs, DVD movies and games, reading material, free Internet service (WiFi) and computers."

In its ever-increasing need for funds, AFSC discovered that Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line had an innovative fund-raising program capable of producing substantial donations. The result is the first "Salute to the Military" cruise on the Norwegian EPIC. For passengers booking this November 5 cruise via AFSC's designated agency WMPH Vacations -, NCL will contribute $100 per cabin. In addition each stateroom will receive a $75 shipboard spending credit.

"This is really a win-win for everyone," says Whitbeck. "It's a truly painless way to donate since the contribution comes directly from the cruise line and does not change the cost of the cruise. Thus, our cruisers get a really great cruise, while we generate some much needed funding. We plan to hold several special events on board, particularly on Veterans Day (Friday). We are also anticipating that several military guests of honor will attend. We hope that many patriotic veterans will book this cruise, but want to emphasize: this cruise is open to everyone, not just veterans."

Rates for the 7-night cruise start at $719 per person (plus port taxes) and includes admission to all special functions, a silent auction and special parties to be held on board. Reservations and more information are available at or by calling iCruise at (800) 427-8473 ext 7849. More information about the AFSC can be found on their website at

Contact Information

  • For More Information Contact:

    Joe Ewart
    AFSC Director of Special Events
    (954) 415-4774
    Email Email Contact