Celebrities Honor Troops on 'America Supports You' Videos
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 17, 2005 They read like a "Who's Who" of music, sports, TV and movie icons, all pulling together to lend their time, talents and voices to supporting America's men and women in uniform as part of the "America Supports You" program.
These celebrities, of all ages, races and backgrounds share a common appreciation of the U.S. armed forces. They express their thanks to the troops directly through video messages on the Pentagon Channel and the America Supports You Web site.
The America Supports You program was launched a year ago, on Nov. 19, 2004, to showcase the nation's support for its men and women in uniform and the many ways citizens are expressing that support. Since then, the program has galvanized Americans from every walk of life who reaffirm their commitment to the military.
This includes legions of celebrities who say thanks through myriad ways - from traveling to the Middle East personally, to lending their names to programs that support the military, to recording video messages of support aired worldwide on the Pentagon Channel.
Country music stars remain a rock-solid support base, and many have traveled to the Middle East to visit and entertain deployed troops.
"You are the good guys and we love you," Clint Black tells the troops in his recorded video.
"Thanks for all you do to protect our nation," echoes Ricky Skaggs.
"I want to take this chance to thank you all for what you do. America supports you!" adds Chely Wright.
"Thank you to all of our American servicemen and women who are in the trenches and making it safe for me and my family," says Hal Ketchum.
"I know that America is behind you 100 percent, and then some," adds Keni Thomas, a former Army Ranger turned country star.
Clay Walker sums up the overall sentiment in his video message: "Our troops rock!"
But country stars don't stand alone in the music world in thanking the troops and endorsing the America Supports You program.
"We love you. We're so proud of you," says gospel artist Yolanda Adams in her video. "Hang in there. We're praying for you constantly."
Top 40 artists 3 Doors Down offer their own encouragement: "We also want you to know that America is behind you and America supports you," they say.
American Idol star Ruben Studdard echoes, "I am praying for you all, praying that God gets you home safely and letting you know that America supports all of you!"
Daniel Rodriguez, a New York City cop turned singer and popularly known as "America's Tenor," adds, "We love the freedom that you guys are fighting for and we're going to be here with open arms when you come home."
TV personalities and actors on the big and small screen join recording artists in sending their recorded tributes to the men and women in uniform.
"What you are doing over there dwarfs any other human endeavor," says writer, actor and producer Dennis Miller in his video.
"I'm so impressed with you young people stepping up to the plate, and I'm here behind you 100 percent," says R. Lee Ermey, a retired Marine Corps drill sergeant who hosts the History Channel's "Mail Call."
"You allow us to be able to do what we do in this country," adds actor Peter Jacobson.
"We pray for you. We love you. And we can't wait for you to come home," says Henry Simmons of NYPD Blue fame.
"We're thinking about you back home. We love you, support you!" adds Rick Shroeder.
"We want you to stay safe, come home," says Samuel L. Jackson, adding, "We love you, we miss you. Be brave."
"You are protecting the homeland, and I admire you for it," says comedian Phyllis Diller.
The sports world, too, joins entertainers and music stars in sharing their support for the troops.
"I appreciate all the hard work you guys have been doing over the past couple of years, and we just want you to know that America supports you!" says tennis star Robby Ginepri in his recorded video.
"I want to wish you the best. Thank you so much for protecting the homeland," adds former National Football League star Emmitt Smith.
"I want to thank all the men and women overseas fighting for our freedom," says golf star Todd Hamilton.
"You're the real heroes out there, so thank you very much," echoes fellow Pro Golfers Association member Jim Furyk.
"We all support you - not only the drivers, but the entire NASCAR community," adds Dale Earnhardt Jr.
World Wrestling Entertainment champions, many who have traveled to the Middle East to entertain deployed troops, reflect their continued support in video messages.
"Everyone at the WWE and America supports you," says Jerry Lawler.
"The real great American heroes are the ones overseas protecting our country," says Hulk Hogan.
"Thank you for everything you do for us," says Booker T.
"I would like to thank each and every one of you for everything you do," echoes Torrie Wilson.
"Thank you for sacrificing so much to protect our country," says Eric Bischoff.
"Thank you for protecting America," says Kurt Angle.
"There's not a day that goes by that we're not thinking about you," adds John Cena.
"Thank you from the bottom of my heart," summarizes WWE diva and model Christy Hemme.
The Cincinnati Reds play prominently in America Supports You videos, reflecting Major League Baseball's support for the military.
"We appreciate everything you're doing, appreciate you protecting my family and me," says Todd Coffey.
"I just want to send my prayers and wishes over to the men and women serving overseas," says Aaron Harang.
"I just want to let y'all know how much we support you guys," echoes Adam Dunn.
"I thank you for everything that you've done, especially keeping us safe in our country," says Jason LaRue.
"I'd like to send a special thanks for all the troops overseas supporting our country," adds Aaron Holbert.
"Thanks to all the men and women serving in the armed forces," echoes Brandon Claussen.
"We just support you guys so much," says Tom Hume. "You're in our thoughts and our prayers," adds manager Jerry Narron.
Complete messages and other video tributes to the troops, including one by President Bush, plus a radio message from actor Gary Sinise, are posted at www.americasupportsyou.com.
Site visitors are encouraged to join the team and send a message of thanks to the troops.