Monday, November 30, 2009

Thank You Cards from Across America Sent to Troops for Thanksgiving Holiday

(BUSINESS WIRE)--U.S. Army Soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan over the Thanksgiving Holiday will be reading thousands of thank you cards written by Americans from across the nation. Volunteer Ambassadors with the Army’s Freedom Team Salute program campaigned on ”Make A Difference Day” on October 24 to encourage individuals in their communities to write thank you cards that would be sent to troops deployed in harm’s way.

“We shipped over five thousand cards to the troops overseas,” said Colonel David Griffith, Director of Freedom Team Salute. “Our goal was to send all of the cards to Soldiers for Thanksgiving but our office is still receiving thank you cards. It just demonstrates how people want to do whatever they can for our men and women in uniform who are away from home and making sacrifices for this nation.”

The Freedom Team Salute Ambassadors participating in “Make A Difference Day” set-up outside grocery stores, shopping centers, VFW and American Legion Posts, and Community Centers with one mission in mind – get members of their local communities to take a few minutes to sign or write Thanksgiving thank you cards for Soldiers deployed. Many people were so excited to be able to thank Soldiers that they brought bundles of cards signed by friends and family members.

School teachers participated and used the opportunity to have their students get involved by creating hundreds of handmade thank you cards that were signed by children of all ages. Bass Pro Shops, headquartered in Springfield, Missouri, notified all of their store locations to welcome any Freedom Team Salute Volunteer Ambassador requesting permission to reach out to their customers.

The expressions in the thank you cards were heartfelt and filled with patriotism. One individual wrote “Good morning and Happy Thanksgiving. I hope and pray that you have a quiet and uneventful day. We will be thinking of you and your buddies and the peace we are enjoying here at home because of you. We do appreciate all you are doing for us! God Bless You!” Another person simply said -- “Thank you for putting yourself second and your country first.”

“It will be awesome to get a box of cards to distribute to our Soldiers,” said Command Sergeant Major Brian Lambert with the 16th Military Police Brigade at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, when notified that a box of cards was being mailed to his unit. “Our younger Soldiers are just beginning to understand the power of a card or letter in the mail. I know they will enjoy receiving them.”

Each card was accompanied with a U.S. Army decal with Freedom Team Salute information printed on the back encouraging the Soldiers to go to to thank individuals who have supported them and made a difference in their lives.

U.S. Army Freedom Team Salute was established in 2005 by the Secretary of the Army and Army Chief of Staff to give the public the opportunity to thank all U.S. Army Veterans for their service by recognizing them with Commendations. The program also gives all Active Duty, Army Reserve, and National Guard Soldiers the opportunity to recognize their Parents, Spouses, Supporters, and Employers. Over 2.2 million individuals have been honored with Freedom Team Salute Commendations.

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