Many communities are expressing interest in hosting a ceremony in 2009 to demonstrate their own commitment to our troops and their families by signing a Community Covenant with the Army.
In 2008, 85 American communities hosted "Community Covenant Signing Ceremonies" to demonstrate support for our nation's military and their families. These ceremonies occurred in small towns, large cities, and state houses; were hosted by governors, mayors, civic and business leaders; and were attended by many state legislators and members of Congress as well as tens of thousands of supportive citizens.
Senior leaders from our nation's military attended these ceremonies affording the opportunity to thank communities for their continued support. What began as an Army initiative quickly expanded to focus on support for all members of the armed forces.
Many of the ceremonies included the announcement of a new program of support, ranging from free tuition at local colleges for Purple Heart recipients and their families; to the start of "Adopt-a-Unit" programs; to financial assistance for our wounded warriors and their families; as well as many other programs and initiatives.
The web site http://www.communitycovenant.army.mil profiles over 1,500 "Best Practices" of support for our troops and their families. Highlights from the 2008 ceremonies can be found there as well as a schedule of upcoming ceremonies in 2009 and a “tool kit” for planning a successful ceremony.
For more information about how to host such a ceremony, or find new ways to support our troops and their families in the active force, National Guard and Army Reserve, contact:
Major General Craig Whelden, U.S. Army (Ret)*
321 939-2354 or 407 617-2515 (cell)
Director of Communications
Association of the United States Army