"Faces of Freedom": A chance to say "thank you" to men and women in uniform

Projects like this one remind me why Facebook has become so much more than a time-waster for college kids. The folks at American Action Network today used the social networking site to upload a photo album of a handful of men and women in the U.S. military — and then encouraged their more than 200,000 Facebook fans to comment on the photos to thank these “Faces of Freedom.” They also invited fans to add to the album with pictures of family and friends currently in the service.

The result? A series of heartening tributes to individuals in uniform.

This picture of Chris Pruitt of the Marines, for example, quickly drew a screenful of comments:

“Hi Chris what a smile [you] have and a beautiful little girl … [T]hank [you] so much for your service!!!!!!!!” wrote one commenter. “God Bless and keep [you] safe.”

Another chimed in with: “Because of you …we are free. Thanks for your service, Chris. … God bless you.”

Yet another wrote: “Chris, we as a nation thank you. We thank you for the service and duty you are giving to our country to keep us safe. And we realize while you are serving, you have a family at home. We pray for your safety. God be with you, and your family. You are love[d] and respected by your fellow Americans.”

American Action Network’s Fred Malek explains the impetus for the album:

As an Army Veteran, I know how demanding military service can be for service members and their families, but I also remember how moved and uplifted I was by the simplest thank you from a passerby.

Today, through the power of social networking we have an opportunity to express our gratitude as never before, which is why we are launching Faces of Freedom on our Facebook page.

The goal is simple, to say thank you for the selfless service of our brave military members, who put their lives on the line to keep us safe.

Simple, yes, but so meaningful. Consider what an encouragement it is in our day-to-day lives to be thanked personally, by name. Then, consider that this project has barely begun. Please help it grow!