Americans across the nation today will honor the sacrifices our armed forces have made in protecting our country and our freedoms. Advances in technology have made showing your support and appreciation for our veterans easier than ever before.
Whether it’s turning your old phone into free minutes soldiers can use to call home or clicking a button to send a cup of joe to a Joe, here are a few ways technology can help you, help a soldier.
· 1 TroopTree
TroopTree is a free private video messaging platform for military families to stay in touch with their loved ones overseas.
KeepTree provides the free service which allows soldiers or their family members to leave messages for each other to be viewed at any time.
The videos can be stored and saved forever so families can rewatch the videos or a soldier can record a birthday message ahead of time for his or her child to watch at a later date.
“TroopTree’s video technology helps overcome many deployment communication challenges for troops because video messages can be viewed and responded to at any time, which eliminates the need to work around busy schedules and huge time zone differences to set up a live chat,” KeepTree’s general manager Brody Ehrlich told FoxNews.com.
You can leave your own thank you video on TroopTree’s “Thank You Vault” by visiting www.trooptree.com and clicking “Record a Thank You Video.”
· 2 CompTIA’s IT-Ready Apprentice Program
Courtesy of CompTIA
A Minnesota-based company with a “teach a man to fish” philosophy is helping veterans land jobs in the Information Technology (IT) field.
“One of the things that we learned is that veterans are coming back with a variety of skills that are poorly understood in the civilian world,” Creating IT Futures Foundation executive director Charles Eaton told FoxNews.com. “They know how to solve problems and IT is essentially about solving problems.”
Eaton’s CompTIA’s IT-Ready program is completely free of charge and 80% of its participants receive employment in the IT field after completing the training.
“It’s not enough to give money away,” Eaton said. “The feel good aspect is nice, but it doesn’t help improve people’s lives.”
One veteran who went through the program has been happily employed in IT for a year since receiving his IT-Ready certificate.
“My job in the military was infantry which most people wouldn’t suspect to be computer involved but we use computers every day in all aspects of our jobs,” Michael Dauffenbach who served six years in the National Guard told FoxNews.com.
Dauffenbach was even invited to the White House to an event hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama in an effort to encourage companies to hire veterans.
Find out how you can support CompTIA’s IT-Ready Program by visiting their website.
· 3 Cell Phones for Soldiers
In 2004, Cell Phones for Soldiers was created by 12 and 13-year-old Robbie and Brittany Bergquist of Norwell, Mass. The teens wanted to help keep military families connected so they created a service that recycled old cell phones and turning them into calling cards for soldiers.
“Cell Phones for Soldiers started as a small way to show our family’s appreciation for the men and women who have sacrificed the day-to-day contact with their own families to serve in the U.S. armed forces,” the teens’ father, Bob Bergquist writes on their website.
Since its inception, Cell Phones for Soldiers has provided 181 million minutes of free talk time for soldiers as well as help recycle 10.8 million cell phones.
In 2012, the Bergquist family started a new effort called Helping Heroes Home, to provide emergency funds for returning veterans to help with physical and emotional hardships.
Find out how you can recycle your old cell phone at CellPhonesForSoldiers.com.
· 4 Cup of Joe for a Joe
Courtesy of Green Beans Coffee
The Internet makes supporting a veteran as easy as clicking a button. Literally.
For just $2, you can send a cup of coffee to a soldier. California based coffee company Green Beans Coffee, has several cafes serving soldiers at military bases in Afghanistan, Kuwait, Qatar, Kyrgyzstan, Djibouti East Africa, Oman, and United Arab Emirates.
“I often say it is easier for us to deliver coffee to our Troops in hot war zones than it is to drive day-to-day awareness for them here at home,” Green Beans Coffee vice president of marketing Clay Lingo told FoxNews.com