• Soldiers fill out Freedom Team Salute commendation cards at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

    FTS Cards

    Soldiers fill out Freedom Team Salute commendation cards at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

  • Sgt. Maj. John Strock, Freedom Team Salute Soldier Outreach director, presents an Army veteran with his commendation at the Cambridge, Mass., veterans home.

    Veterans Home

    Sgt. Maj. John Strock, Freedom Team Salute Soldier Outreach director, presents an Army veteran with his commendation at the Cambridge, Mass., veterans home.

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Dec. 17, 2008) -- This holiday season, a Freedom Team Salute Commendation could be a special way for Soldiers to thank those who support them as they defend the country, a member of the organization's staff said.

Through a simple commendation process, Freedom Team Salute provides all Soldiers - active duty, National Guard, and Reserve - with the opportunity to recognize and honor a parent's service, a spouse's commitment, or an employer's long-standing support. Soldiers can honor anyone who supports them, staffers said.

"My first thought was to honor my beautiful bride," said one Soldier, "but I could not stop there. I went on to honor my mother and stepfather, who is a retired E-6." The Soldier also commended his aunt and uncle, "the only father that I ever knew."

The program also recognizes and says "thank you" to Army veterans for their legacy of freedom, duty, and honor...and for their continued support of the Army mission. "My family was amazed that the Army would do such a thing to support veterans and Army supporters," said one Soldier.

Every Freedom Team Salute honoree receives an official commendation package, which includes a certificate of appreciation, and personalized letter - signed by both the secretary of the Army and Army chief of staff - thanking them for their support of today's Army. The package also includes an official U.S. Army lapel pin and two Army decals.

"The Freedom Team Salute [commendation] has truly been a blessing to my wife, boss and family by giving credit where credit is due," said another Soldier.

A Soldier who sent a commendation to his mother said "she broke down and cried."

Another said: "When my parents received the certificate ,it was a very emotional moment because they didn't expect it. Now they are even more proud of me serving my country."

One mother wrote that she wears her Army parent pin "every day."

Page last updated Wed December 17th, 2008 at 17:11