America Supports You Program Highlights American Resolve
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla., Mar. 30, 2005 American servicemembers have demonstrated their resolve to win the war on terror countless times, but sometimes they wonder if Americans back home understand the situation, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said during an interview here March 29.
That's why the military's America Supports You program is so important, said Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers.
The program's Web site allows individuals, companies and civic organizations to show they support the troops. America Supports You is also a clearinghouse where people and organizations can get ideas on how to support the troops, he said.
This week, the chairman pointed out, a whole town - Enid, Okla. - joins the effort. Enid is the home of Vance Air Force Base and is the first community in the United States to sign up for the program. Officials are planning a ceremony there on March 31. Myers said he received his initial pilot training at Vance and began his married life in a small apartment in Enid. "I still remember the address," he said.
The general said he hopes other communities and individuals will follow Enid's lead. "It's really important," he said. "It's a different type of war, this war on terrorism."
Most Americans go about their daily lives unaffected by the war, he said. Servicemembers and their families and friends, however, are affected. "They know what this is about and what the stakes are," Myers said. "I think they sometimes wonder if the rest of America knows what the stakes are. A program like this says, 'Yes, America gets it. We know you are making huge sacrifices for our security here at home, and we thank you for it.'"
The chairman said the United Service Organizations sends shows overseas for the same reason. It tells servicemembers that America does remember them. "You don't have to be in Iraq or Afghanistan very long before you realize that we have some troops in some very challenging circumstances, not just from a threat or security standpoint, just living in a pretty harsh environment and a long way from their friends and families," he said.
He added that the troops understand the situation in the war on terror. "They get it," Myers said. "They are motivated by their mission." He said American servicemembers around the world are resolved to see this through.
In a larger sense, he said, the whole war on terror comes down to resolve. He said al Qaeda counted on America losing its resolve following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. "That's why they struck the World Trade Center," he said. "They thought one blow would bring us to our knees, psychologically. And what they found out was it had exactly the opposite reaction."
Americans signing up at the America Supports You Web site help demonstrate to deployed servicemembers that America supports them and Americans have resolve also, Myers said.