Software Giant Lends Support to Troops

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 9, 2007 - As part of its continued commitment to honoring servicemembers and their families, software giant Microsoft Corp. announced today that it has become a corporate supporter of the Defense Department's America Supports You program.

The America Supports You program connects citizens and corporations with military personnel and their families serving at home and abroad.

"As the demands of service continue to challenge and strain America's armed forces, domestic efforts to support soldiers and their families grow increasingly important," said Curt Kolcun, vice president of Microsoft's Federal Division. "Joining America Supports You is a key part of Microsoft's commitment to our troops and provides our company with an effective way to plug into sustaining efforts that touch hundreds of thousands of families."

Microsoft's engagement with America Supports You is a natural extension of the company's existing work with troop-support groups affiliated with the program, such as the United Service Organizations.

"We know there are countless Americans across the country asking what they can do to show their support for our troops and their families," said Allison Barber, deputy assistant secretary of defense for public liaison and internal communications. She also is the architect of the America Supports You initiative. "By spreading the word about America Supports You, corporations like Microsoft help educate Americans and communities on tangible ways to show support for members of the U.S. armed forces."

In September, Microsoft announced that it would partner with the USO to show its appreciation for America's military community through creation of the "Above and Beyond Awards" honoring those who serve military personnel.

Nominations of individuals who go above and beyond to brighten the lives of servicemembers and their families are being accepted through the software company's Web site through Oct. 15. Nominations can be made in one of five categories:

-- Outstanding effort in supporting U.S. troops;
-- Dedication to providing superior medical attention to wounded troops;
-- Outstanding impact and success in generating promotional support of the USO;
-- Making a difference in a small way to improve quality of life of servicemembers; and
-- Youth leaders who champion and represent outstanding support of U.S. troops.

The award winners will be honored during a ceremony at New York's storied Rainbow Room. They also will join more than 5,000 active servicemembers for a private, complimentary performance of the 75th celebration of the "Radio City Christmas Spectacular."

Through another venture with the USO, Microsoft is equipping USO service centers around the world with Xbox consoles and the Xbox Live online game service. This will enable tens of thousands of servicemembers to play video games with friends and family across a high-speed connection. Thanks to the Xbox 360 headset, servicemembers can catch up with family and friends while playing games.

Software Giant Lends Support to Troops [ ]