More than a million folks are expected to gather in Times Square, New York, to ring in the first of January 2008 — just about as far away as you can get from Baghdad or Balad, Kabul or Bagram.
But on one of those glowing signs, Americans can broadcast text messages of support to those troops, thousands of miles away in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Why bother? Vets from Iraq or Afghanistan will tell you, the troops often think: A) the public has forgotten them; or B) the public is down on the war in general, and them in particular.
Rightly or wrongly, many of them take personally the media's reports of continuing violence, or anti-war demonstrations, or congressional moves to set troop withdrawal deadlines. They perceive these acts as a negative report card on their performance, even while those reporting, marching or negotiating believe what they're doing ultimately protects the troops. It's one of those classic "failure to communicate" moments.
So whatever you think of the war, how it was started, how it's being fought, what it has or will accomplish…a veteran's group, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, is inviting you to take a moment to tell the guys and gals serving 'over there' what you think of them, and the sacrifice they're making – serving in harm's way on New Year's Day.
Ninety-nine cents is being charged to users' phones for each text message sent. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to IAVA. The messages will be broadcast worldwide via a live video stream.
Too bad you can't text them champagne. But they wouldn't be allowed to drink it anyway.