Thanking the U.S. Military With SMS?

In the United States this Thanksgiving holiday, Americans can send an SMS to support military men and women serving around the world as part of the America Supports You (ASY) campaign. ASY, a program of the U.S. Department of Defense, allows mobile users to send an SMS to short code 89-279 (TX ASY) with a message of support or thanks for military troops. The program, "recognizes citizens' support for military men and women and communicates that support to members of our Armed Forces at home and abroad."

While initially intended to promote an exchange of messages from troops abroad to the senders, the DOD yesterday abruptly changed the program and now sends back only prepared thank-you messages rather than live messages from troops aborad.

American wireless providers AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile are all participating in the program, though standard text message rates apply (although there is, as the release confusingly reads, no 'upcharge'). The program runs for a week until November 22. Text messages that have been sent can be seen both on the ASY website and on a widget. As a recent text message read, "May God bless u! Thank u 4 protecting us. Happy Thanksgiving! :-) -- IL"

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