NEW GLOUCESTER – The owners, managers and staff of 17 Kentucky Fried Chicken stores in Maine and New Hampshire joined to donate to Operation Phone Card, a postal program that provides free phone cards to Maine military personnel.

Matt Thurston, vice president of Conifer Industries, and Office Manager Diane Plummer visited the New Gloucester Post Office to purchase $2,500 in U.S. Postal Service phone cards on behalf of their managers and employees.

“Fred Thurston, president of Conifer Industries, which owns the 17 restaurants, always does something for his restaurant managers for the holidays to thank them for their good work,” said Plummer. “But in discussing what to do this year, the managers and corporate executives unanimously decided they wanted to give back to Maine military families instead.”

Conifer Industry’s purchase of 125 cards with 250 phone minutes on each was worth 31,250 free phone minutes. Maine military troops can use their phone cards to stay connected to friends and families.

Operation Phone Card is a program sponsored by the postal service, TRIAD chapters throughout Maine and the USO. The goal is to raise a million minutes for Maine troops. Postal customers may purchase phone cards and donate them at participating post offices.

The cards go to the USO, which distributes them to Maine military families. TRIAD is a partnership of the AARP, law enforcement personnel throughout the state and senior citizen advocacy organizations. Chapters have provided advertising, volunteer time and support to raise awareness about the program.

Since the program started in July, postal customers and employees throughout the state have donated more than 806,000 free phone minutes to Maine military troops serving throughout the world.

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