Pentagon Kiosk Showcases Video E-mail Sent to Deployed Service Members
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sept. 6, 2002 A computer maker today unveiled a special kiosk at the Pentagon that features hundreds of video e-mail messages sent to service members deployed worldwide in the war against global terrorism.
The high-tech device highlights Hewlett-Packard's "Give Thanks America" program, launched in December 2001. The program honors the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on America and thanks military members for their service in the war against terrorism.
Hewlett-Packard President Michael Capellas (left) and Navy Rear Adm. Craig Quigley, senior military officer in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, shake hands at the dedication of the company's "Give Thanks America" kiosk Sept. 6 in the Pentagon. Photo by Gerry J. Gilmore.
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
The idea was developed by survivors of five Compaq employees killed in the New York World Trade Center attack, according to a Hewlett-Packard official. The company and Compaq merged earlier this year.
Hewlett-Packard President Michael Capellas and Navy Rear Adm. Craig Quigley, senior military officer in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, dedicated the kiosk. It's slated to remain in the building for about a week.
Capellas said he was proud that his company "was able to play a role in helping the nation heal and in conveying the country's pride in a job well done to the men and women who protect our freedom and way of life."
Since the Give Thanks America began, military families, celebrities, athletes, politicians and the general public have recorded video messages nationwide at special kiosks. The Pentagon kiosk features a large monitor and desktop computer that play a collection of those messages.
Hewlett-Packard officials note that messages have been uploaded to www.givethanksamerica.com or have been sent directly to military men and women around the world. Most of the 12,000 messages recorded to date went to service members.
Quigley thanked the company for the program and the kiosk. He also expressed amazement in the advances in communication made possible by technology. He called e-mail an incredible improvement in communications, especially for deployed service members.
"You've always been able to receive, slowly, ... a letter from your loved one," the admiral pointed out, noting that e-mail is immediate.
Quigley said service members reviewing Give Thanks America e-mails and video messages will see missives, often from strangers, who "have taken the time, because they care."