|Give Them Our Thanks|
(12/15/2002) It's a testament to our mission here that so many people have questioned the validity of this message. This one is true, though there are still some cautions about signing it.
Many Chain-Breakers have questioned whether the www.defendamerica.com website is legitimate. Some have even wondered if this is a clever cover for a name-snatching scam. After all, most non-military citizens are not accustomed to the .mil top-level domain (expecting, instead, the .gov suffix for government-realted sites). On top of that, the defendamerica.mil site just doesn't seem like a Department of Defense (DOD) website. However, as a DOD press release points out, "The U.S. Defense Department's unconventional war against terrorism has spawned an unconventional Web site to report news about that war."
"America's Thank You Note," which this letter asks you to sign, was started in May, 2002, and was intended only to run during that month (The "Military Appreciation Month" mentioned in the chain). In response to outstanding reaction to the idea, they continue to collect signatures. To date, they've collected nearly 2.4 million signatures.
Interest in the campaign resurfaced in November, 2002, no doubt in anticipation of soldiers being overseas during the holidays. Unfortunately, the DOD gives little information on how the "thank you" campaign is being conducted and what will be done with the signatures.
Given the uncertain future of the "Thank You Note" campaign, BreakTheChain.org recommends against signing it. Instead, I encourage you to try Operation Dear Abby. For three and a half decades, this program has allowed citizens to send a Sailor, Marine, Soldier, Airman, or Coast Guardsman a holiday greeting or message of support. Concerns about the security of postal mail caused the military to close the letter-writing campaign earlier this year, but the DOD and the Navy, with the help of sponsors, have moved the campaign online, with a safe and secure way to send greetings. Let our soldiers know we appreciate them with your own personal note, not just by adding your name to millions of others.