America Supports You: Singer Shows Military Appreciation
By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May. 4, 2007 The Pentagon kicked off Military Appreciation Month today with the third annual “America Supports You Salute Concert,” featuring local recording artist Jenny Boyle, in the national military headquarters’ center courtyard.
Wounded soldiers from Walter Reed Medical Hospital pose for a picture with Jenny Boyle May 4, 2007, during an America Supports You ceremony in honor of Military Appreciation Month. Defense Dept. photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Molly Burgess
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
America Supports You is a Defense Department program connecting citizens and corporations with members of the military and their families at home and abroad.
Navy Vice Adm. Nancy Brown, the Joint Staff’s director for command, control, communications and computer systems, opened the concert with a welcome to guests of honor including six wounded soldiers from Walter Reed Army Medical Center here, and Rebecca Gates, wife of Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.
Brown expressed appreciation for the Pentagon’s civilian work force and the America Supports You home-front groups in attendance.
“I also want to … thank all of the folks that work in the Pentagon, because you also are warriors supporting those that are out in Iraq and Afghanistan and all of the other places that we have folks deployed today,” Brown said. “For our (home-front) groups that are here with their booths, … for their contributions and their sacrifices in supporting our troops, thank you all very much.”
The appreciation continued when Boyle and her band took the stage. The singer, who Brown had introduced as a “real hero” for her dedication to entertaining troops overseas, expressed her gratitude for the troops and civilians alike.
“There aren’t enough thank yous,” Boyle told the crowd. “You all are my heroes, each and every one of you.”
Army Staff Sgt. Collins Roberts, one of the six Walter Reed patients in attendance, said he was grateful for Boyle’s efforts to support the troops and the efforts of those like her. Roberts, who received support from America Supports You home-front groups while serving in Kuwait, said the care packages and letters from the kids kept him going.
Today’s concert was just an extension of that support, he said. “She doesn’t ask for anything; … (its) just to shows appreciation for what the military does, what we do,” Roberts said. “It speaks a lot of her.”
Defense civilians said the concert was a nice tribute to their efforts, and a great way to spend a lunch hour.
“I think that’s wonderful that people … give back to (servicemembers),” Barbara Brown, a contractor with Syracuse Research Corporation, said. “It’s really refreshing, especially on a beautiful day, good music, just to say, ‘Thank You.’”
An autograph session with Boyle and her band capped the hour-long, lunchtime concert.
A declaration in 1999 encouraged U.S. citizens to observe May as Military Appreciation Month "in a symbol of unity - to honor the current and former members of the armed forces - including those who have died in the pursuit of freedom and peace.”