1st Lt. Steven Pugh, of Andrews AFB, has been named the Grand Prize winner of the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s (AAFES’) second Patriot POG Photo Contest.
Pugh's shot of an American and Iraqi flag flying side by side at sunset as well as four other winning photos selected by 7-person panel consisting of military and civilian personnel including AAFES Commander Brig. Gen. Keith Thurgood, will be displayed on 5-, 10- and 25-cent POGS used as change at 62 BXs/PXs throughout Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF).
More than 2,500 images were entered in this year’s POG contest, with the judges picking five winners from a final photo pool of approximately 600. The images selected for the final 600 had to meet one of two criteria – they had to either capture the essence of OEF/OIF activities or depict support of America’s troops at home.
“The great thing about this contest is that it is a way for AAFES to tell the story about the troops and the connection they have with their Families,” said Thurgood. “It was very difficult narrowing down the winners because the images were very powerful and all told a great story.”
In addition to Pugh and his Grand Prize (a $10,000 AAFES gift check), 2008 Patriot POG Contest winners (and prizes) are as follows:
2nd place and a $2,500 gift certificate – Maj. Brett and Amy Waring, Nellis AFB
3rd place and a $2,500 gift certificate – Tawny Campbell, Landstuhl, Germany
4th place and a $1,000 gift certificate – Deborah Thomas, Patrick AFB
5th place and a $1,000 gift certificate – Sra David Gregg, Al Udied AB, Qatar
Developed in 2001 to facilitate retail operations in a war zone while adhering to Department of Defense restrictions on shipping coins downrange, the gift certificates known as “POGs” are flat, lightweight, coated disks used in place of heavy metal coins. While issued as change in the contingency theater, POGs are accepted at any BX/PX location worldwide.
The 2008 POG contest was co-sponsored by Yum! Brands. Today, AAFES operates 118Yum! Name Brand Fast Food concepts, such as Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, worldwide, including 29 facilities in OEF/OIF. View the winning photographs from the 2008 POG contest at http://www.aafes.com/Patriot_Family/pogcontest.asp.