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Lowe’s, USO host Fourth of July grill-off for troops

WASHINGTON — Lowe’s and the USO treated hundreds of servicemen and women and their families to an all-American event headlined by a charity grill-off at Nationals Park to thank the U.S. armed forces and celebrate the Fourth of July. 

Active-duty troops from each branch of the armed services grilled up burgers for the grilling competition.

The winning Grill Sergeant, Lance Cpl. Noah Bratcher of the U.S. Marines and his wife, Cassandra, created the best burger among six branch chefs who fired up their Master Forge grills. The Marines won bragging rights, and Lowe’s donated $100,000 to the USO on its behalf. 

Chefs from the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, National Guard and Navy were given 40 minutes to turn a recipe with surprise ingredients into a burger worth saluting.

Celebrities Carson Daly and Brooklyn Decker attended the event in support of the troops and served as judges alongside Elaine Rodgers — president and CEO, USO of Metropolitan Washington — and Tom Lamb — Lowe’s CMO. Each team won gift cards and a grilling prize package for participating in the event. 

Invited guests at the Grill of Honor event cheered on their favorite military branch. Military families participated in free activities, including movie-themed Build & Grow clinics, face painting, cornhole tournaments, behind-the-scenes tours of the ballpark and a picnic-style cookout.

“Today, Lowe’s gave military families a chance to have a great time,” said USO president and CEO Sloan Gibson. “Their generous donation also makes it possible for the USO to continue providing important programs and services to those who need us most. On this Fourth of July, we are grateful to Lowe’s for joining us as we show our troops that their service and sacrifice are appreciated.” 

Lowe’s support of the U.S. armed forces spans more than 60 years. Founded in 1946 by World War II Army veteran Carl Buchan, Lowe’s describes itself as a proud military-friendly employer and a longtime supporter of the USO. The company employs more than 16,000 military veterans.

The USO is a private, nonprofit organization, not a government agency. Its programs and services are made possible by the support of American people, its corporate partners and its volunteers and staff.

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