SIMI VALLEY, CALIF. – It seems simple enough. Honor the service of our brave troops who are on the frontlines protecting America from her enemies.
But this year, Move America Forward (MAF), the nation’s largest grassroots protroop nonprofit, has put new meaning in the phrase: “Honor Their Service” with a Troopathon aimed at sending the largest shipment ever of care packages to U.S. troops in war zones.
A stable of talk radio titans, Hollywood talents, Gold Star families and former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush are participating in MAF’s Troopathon, which is Thursday, June 25, at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif.
Bloggers are competing to sponsor the most packages as part of the Troopathon, and the competition is fierce. (Go to http://www.troopathon.org/index.php/HTS/Page/blogger_competition to compete or watch big blogs go for the gold.
“I didn’t think we would top last year’s list of guests and the excitement of working together for our troops,” said Melanie Morgan, syndicated radio talk-show host and co-host of the Troopathon. “We are sending a strong message to our troops with such big names giving their time and talents to this effort.”
Andrew Breitbart, author and proprietor of “BigHollywood.Breitbart.com,” a website focusing on the entertainment industry, will cohost with Morgan.
The Troopathon works somewhat like Jerry Lewis’s telethon, except that it is broadcast over the Internet via ustream.tv. The high-tech event blends traditional production by a professional producer and the modern communication tools of the Internet. For those who like old school, telephone operators will stand by to take orders from folks who want to sponsor care packages.
This year people can purchase tickets and appear at the live event at the Reagan Presidential Library, which runs from 1 to 9 p.m. Pacific time.
Viewers are encouraged to sponsor care packages (donations are tax deductible) for the troops. Each package includes a personalized message and items that our troops have requested that make their life a little easier while they are far from home, such as sunscreen, Gatorade, deodorant, coffee, cookies and much more.
Presales have already begun and Americans have sponsored over $200,000 by Monday afternoon, which is about the same as last year at that time.
During last year’s first MAF Troopathon, Americans sponsored $1.6 million worth of care packages that were sent to Iraq and Afghanistan. Radio talk show giants Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham and Dr. Laura donated time and talent last year and have signed up again for this year’s Troopathon. So did conservative bestselling author Ann Coulter and mega-blogger Michelle Malkin.
Joining them will be comedian and talk-show host Dennis Miller, actors Jon Voight, Gary Sinise, Kelsey Grammer and Kevin Farley, comedian Jackie Mason and many more from the entertainment industry. Gen. David Petraeus, the architect of “the surge,” which turned around the war in Iraq for America, joins the effort.
“The troops are going to hear our support loud and clear with this widespread effort that includes Hollywood folks, troops, former presidents, bloggers, comedians and families who sacrifice so much as their loved ones go to war,” Morgan said. “I am always humbled by the love and admiration this country has for our troops. It makes me proud when people come forward to give back to the men and women who selflessly protect us every day.”
For more information on the Troopathon, to purchase tickets, or to sponsor care packages for our troops, go to Troopathon.org.