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Paul Rieckhoff

Paul Rieckhoff

Posted: November 11, 2008 09:01 AM

Veterans Day 2.0: A Historic PSA Campaign to Support New Veterans (See the Ad)

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What has the power to shut down part of JFK Airport, the Number 7 Subway Train, and one of the busiest intersections in New York City?

A bold new campaign to support veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.

I've told you before about the isolation many troops feel when they come home from Iraq. It's a shock to realize you've been fighting a war while for the average American, life has gone on basically unchanged. For many veterans returning from war, it can be hard to reconnect with friends, family and community.

So today, as people gather nationwide to honor all those who have served, I have a very exciting announcement to make. IAVA is launching a historic, groundbreaking Public Service Announcement (PSA) campaign aimed at easing the transition for veterans returning home from combat. Created by veterans, for veterans, this innovative media campaign is like nothing America has ever seen.

Check out the ad featuring Iraq Vet and Purple Heart recipient Bryan Adams here:


We're going to make sure that today's veterans find the community and the support that they have earned. These PSAs, which will soon be running nationwide, were created in partnership with the Ad Council. You might not know the organization, but you definitely know their campaigns -- these are the folks responsible for "Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk" and "A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste." This new campaign will be just as iconic and just as effective.

Sure, it's a powerful ad. But what is this PSA going to do to help vets?

It will bring them together and connect them with the veteran's hall of the future. Veterans coming home have told us again and again, the thing they need most of all is to reconnect with other vets. So this innovative campaign links veterans to a new private social network, exclusively for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, at www.CommunityOfVeterans.org.

For many veterans, they are in Baghdad one day and Brooklyn the next. They don't come home to a community full of people who have also fought in Iraq. CommunityOfVeterans.org will be a place they can build bonds with people who understand where they're coming from. The website will also provide veterans with a searchable database of vetted resources -- including everything from free counseling to help with your home loan. In addition, they'll get access to specials for vets only -- from sporting event tickets to free music.

We've all heard horror stories about vets struggling to find their place after coming home from combat. This historic campaign will save lives, and it will finally turn the page on how veterans were treated in America after Vietnam. This is the welcome home that our newest generation of heroes has been waiting for.

But there is still more to do after Veterans Day is over. Our new President will have to move boldly and quickly to support new veterans and their families. And he'll need the support of every single American--no matter who they voted for or where they stand on the war.

And there is something you can do right now. Please help us spread the word about this historic campaign. On Veterans Day, forwarding this link is an easy, 2.0 way for every American to do something to support our newest generation of veterans. Share this video. With your help, we can make every day Veterans Day.

You can learn more about how we shut down part of JFK, how we produced the ad, and about the personal stories of the wounded Iraq veterans featured in it, here.

UPDATE: I spoke about the new PSA campaign and other vets issues Tuesday night on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show. Check out the video here.

 
 

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