By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
June 30, 2008 - The goal of a troop-support group's new Web-based campaign is simple: tell the troops "thank you" a million times over, starting today. Hire A Hero, which works to connect military job seekers and military-friendly employers, has created the "One Million Thank Yous" campaign to do just that.
"We ... know that servicemembers are not aware of the tremendous amount of support that exists for them," said Brac Selph, executive director of Hire A Hero. "We want servicemembers to have a virtual place they can go to remind themselves that what they are doing is appreciated and necessary for Americans to live the way they live."
Though a beta version on the "One Million Thank Yous" Web site launched on Memorial Day, the campaign officially launches today, Selph said. Americans are encouraged to help Hire A Hero thank servicemembers by submitting a "thank you" e-mail through the Hire A Hero Web site through Veterans Day to help reach the 1 million "thank you" goal.
Troops and their families can read the messages already received online at the "One Million Thank Yous" section of Hire A Hero's Web site, www.hireahero.org.
The organization is looking not only for more creative ways to get the messages in front of servicemembers, but also for partners in this endeavor.
"Some ideas that have been suggested [include] monitors playing the messages as troops disembark, printed booklets with several hundred of the messages to be distributed to the troops [or] an art project to memorialize the messages in the real world," Selph said. "We are still trying to finalize this part of the project."
The "One Million Thank Yous" project, though relatively straight-forward, has a secondary goal to solidify the distinction between supporting the troops and political opinion of the war, Selph added.
"Most everyone we speak to, regardless of political affiliation or opinion about the war, supports our troops," he said.
Hire A Hero is a supporter of America Supports You, a Defense Department program connecting citizens and companies with servicemembers and their families serving at home or abroad.