America Supports You: Billboards Build Gratitude for Troops
By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 26, 2008 A troop-support group in a small southern Michigan town is working to raise public awareness and appreciation for troops and their families.
“‘Operation Never Forgotten’ bridges the gap between our military and civilian worlds by creating nonpartisan national awareness advertising for our troops, veterans and their families,” Linda Kelly, the group’s president and founder, said. “(The organization) has rolled out over 500 billboards across America on highways and in airports from Times Square to L.A.”
The billboards display an unmistakable military theme with phrases encouraging viewers to remember and support the military and their families and the sacrifices they’re making. For example, one shows an American soldier with the phrase “Heroes Not From Movies.”
The group avoids espousing opinions about the war.
“Operation Never Forgotten separates the war from the warrior,” Kelly said, adding that the group’s campaigns stimulate volunteerism for all military support organizations helping deployed troops and wounded warriors, as well as those honoring our fallen heroes.
The organization is working to expand its advertising to media outlets beyond highway billboards. It’s focusing on other outlets where its message will be seen, including transit systems, shopping malls, sports facilities, and more traditional advertising venues like newspapers, magazines and radio.
Operation Never Forgotten recently became a supporter of America Supports You, a Defense Department program connecting citizens and companies with servicemembers and their families serving at home and abroad.