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Paul Rieckhoff

Paul Rieckhoff

Posted: January 20, 2010 01:10 AM

Miley Cyrus vs. the Veterans

What's Your Reaction:

Unless you follow Hollywood feuds closely, then you probably haven't heard about the celebrity death match unfolding this week on the Internet.

Miley Cyrus vs. Justin Bieber

Ashlee Simpson Wentz vs. Ivanka Trump

Switchfoot vs. Jimmy Eat World

Oh yes, it's definitely on. The fighting is more intense than an episode of Jersey Shore. Over the weekend, America's sweetheart Miley Cyrus officially dropped her Hannah Montana schtick to launch an all out blog war against fellow tween pop star Justin Bieber. Hours later, singer-turned-Melrose Place "actress" Ashlee Simpson started tweeting head to head with socialite Ivanka Trump. And by Monday, rock band Switchfoot had jumped into the action to tear up fellow rockers Jimmy Eat World.

So what's all the fighting about?

A million-dollar challenge for non-profits on Facebook.

A week-long online Battle Royale, the contest is geared to help fight issues ranging from poverty and illiteracy to pollution and cancer with just the click of a button. Facebook users vote to send money to the charity of their choice, and the top six non-profits split $1.5 million.

Since Friday, more than 100 non-profits nationwide have been competing in the challenge for the grand prize: a $1 million grant from Chase (TARP money, anyone?). And in an effort to reach that goal, many groups have come out swinging, enlisting the support of high-profile celebrities with Twitter followings that rival small nations.

Amid the Entertainment Tonight-type drama, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families from across the country are uniting to give Miley, Ashlee and Ivanka a run for their money.

Their goal? To push IAVA to the top of the challenge leader board and ensure that, after eight years of war, our nation's newest veterans finish on top.

As part of that effort, veterans from coast to coast are lobbying for a slice of the winnings to provide critical support resources for returning service members and their families.

In Montana, Purple Heart veterans like Casey Elder are gathering votes to fight VA bureaucracy and hire better patient advocates. In New York, Don Gomez, Jr. -- a two tour Iraq veteran with the 82nd Airborne -- is rallying support to educate more veterans about their options for going to college on the Post-9/11 GI Bill. And deep in the heart of Texas, Marines like Reynaldo Leal, Jr. are rounding up votes to erase the stigma of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Casey, Don and Rey don't have the backing of Miley Cyrus or Justin Bieber, but more than 8,000 Americans from military wives at Fort Hood to troops as far away as Khost and Balad have voted on Facebook this week for their cause.

And with just the click of a button, you can show our veterans that you've got their back too.

At a time when global challenges seem to outnumber solutions, your vote to make veterans a priority is a crucial step towards building our nation's new greatest generation. It's a sound investment in America's future doctors, architects, judges, businessmen, diplomats, social entrepreneurs and Presidents. And maybe even an actor or two.

Above all, it's notice to a new generation of veterans that after eight years of war they are not forgotten and we will not let them down.

Even if Miley Cyrus doesn't give a tweet.

Crossposted at www.IAVA.org.

 
 
 

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