Skip to comments.30,000 ways to connect to a Soldier (awesome article and website)
Posted on 10/20/2004 2:40:08 AM PDT by Former Military Chick
WASHINGTON -- Every day in cities, towns and rural outposts throughout America and around the world, hundreds of people sit down at their computers to carry out one mission: they head to the "To Our Soldiers" Web site.
"This site represents a viable communication tool for the general public to reach Soldiers while deployed or at their home station assignment," said Lt. Col. Todd Livick, community relations team chief with the Office, Chief of Public Affairs, Community Relations and Outreach Division.
35,000 visit site each month
The site, which has been accepting well wishes for 18 months, receives about 35,000 visitors per month. On Oct.1, the 30,000th message was posted to the Web site, addressed to a Soldier with the 4th Infantry Division.
"Perhaps the best part about the site is that it provides the opportunity to thank today's Soldiers in real-time measurements. It enables the general public to reach out to Soldiers and provides them the capability to voice their opinion," Livick said.
The Army community relations team posts several dozen messages per day, from supporters in countries from Iceland to Australia, and from Iraq to Afghanistan. In many cases, the screening staff has attempted to connect friends and family members with deployed loved ones, considering the restriction on posting senders' e-mail and mailing addresses.
Site online for 18 months
The site went live in April 2003 to meet a demand for ways to support Soldiers, according to an officer who was involved in the inception.
"There were several reasons we wanted to have this site, but primarily we were overwhelmed with the requests from the hundreds and thousands of calls we received just prior to and after the start of the ground war in Iraq," said Lt. Col. Dan Williams, who was the community relations chief at the time.
Several months after overseeing the site's implementation, Williams was able to see and use the site himself, as a deployed Soldier on the receiving end of these messages. He was "pleasantly surprised" at the amount of Internet access when he reached Iraq in December 2003.
Patriotic messages reach beyond cyberspace
"Overall, the tone of the messages being posted have been overwhelmingly supportive of the Soldiers' role in the Global War on Terrorism," Livick said.
Some messages have even touched off their own campaigns of patriotism.
Earlier this year, Tammi Ketteman of Ohio, whose son was deployed, wrote a tribute and submitted "A Letter from Mom" to the site. The community relations staff turned the composition over to the U.S. Army Field Band and Soldiers Chorus, whose arrangers set the letter to music and performed a dramatic reading at a concert near Ketteman's hometown.
Another letter writer has also been invited to a concert on the Field Band's upcoming concert tour through the southern United States.
"The Soldiers appreciate the notes and words of encouragement. They read them. I will also add that this is not just for Americans. Many times I have read the entry and am delighted to see the sender is from Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, and other parts of the world. Overwhelmingly these notes are messages of support, appreciation, and encouragement," Williams wrote.
Those wishing to express their support for Soldiers deployed around the world are encouraged to log on to www.army.mil/tooursoldiers/ and submit a message.
I think it is terrific that they have this to look at and I hope you pass this to those in your address book.
awesome article and website **ping**
A friend of mine is on the staff that is responsible for that website.
He says it is the most rewarding military job he has ever had.
Thank you so much for the post. It does make it a small world. Let him know I appreciate all the hard work he does to keep our troops in touch with those who support them.
Bump for later read. thanks
Wrote the troops a note. Thanks for posting this.
Most welcome and have a wonderful day. I am sure the troops will enjoy your post.
ping for later reading
I am thrilled to do so. I was also looking for a similar site. I hope the traffic doubles now that it has been posted on FR!