Magazine article Soldiers Magazine

Freedom Team Salute

Magazine article Soldiers Magazine

Freedom Team Salute

Article excerpt

SGT John Smith's commander called Smith's wife, Jane, to the podium before a crowd of well-wishers, who gathered in the post's gym to welcome his unit home from Iraq.

The moment when Jane threw her arms around John for the first time in a year would be one she'd never forget. To be singled out by her husband in this sea of dedicated spouses--who support and encourage Soldiers every day--well, that made the occasion doubly memorable.

The couple and the ceremony are fictional, but by the time this article is printed, the event may be representative of countless such ceremonies involving couples Army-wide.

The special surprise "SGT Smith" had planned for his wife was a Freedom Team Salute, introduced by the Army in May to honor the people the Army depends on most to keep Soldiers going strong--spouses, parents and employers.

"In these demanding times, the support of families and employers gives our Soldiers strength and security while they are protecting our nation. Freedom Team Salute provides Soldiers with an excellent opportunity to salute those at home and to thank them for their continued support and encouragement," said Army Chief of Staff GEN Peter J. Schoomaker.

This special recognition can be given by all active-duty and reserve-component Soldiers spouses and parents. Guard and Reserve Soldiers may nominate their employers, and Army veterans can register to receive special recognition for their service. …

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