Thursday, January 3, 2008

Do You Know the Sign?

the gratitude campaign (short)

The below was emailed to me:
From KING 5 News:

----- Original Message -----
From: *@*
Sent: Thursday, January 03, 2008 9:50 AM
Subject: article from *

* [*@*] has sent you a story from
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Seattle man starts 'Gratitude Campaign' to thank soldiers
05:51 PM PDT on Sunday, September 23, 2007


[SEATTLE - What began as a simple idea to say thank you to soldiers he passed on the street, has blossomed into a full scale campaign for Seattlite Scott Truitt.

He says many Americans want to express their gratitude to members of our military, but most aren't really sure how to proceed.

"I think there's a lot of politics wrapped around the military and that can get confusing for a lot of people," he said.

Both Truitt's father and father-in-law spent decades in the military, but even so, he realizes approaching strangers can be a little awkward at times.

"For several years I've been walking up and saying thank you to them when I've see them and sometimes its a really comfortable situation, and sometimes its not so comfortable," he said.

So he decided it would be nice to simply have a gesture to say thank you quickly and comfortably.

"The sign language sign for thank you starts at the chin and we thought geez, if you don't know what this means, you might not take it kindly. And that's certainly not the message we wanted to send," he said.

After a little research, he came up with a new idea.

"The gesture starts with your hand on your heart as if you're about to do the Pledge of Allegiance. And then you just bring the hand down and out in front of you. It actually means thank you from the bottom of my heart," he said.

Truitt hopes his Gratitude Campaign will spread across the country, and says even if soldiers don't know exactly what the gesture means, they'll realize if it originates on the heart, its got to be good.

Truitt hopes his video will continue to be shown at the start of every home Seahawks game this season.]

The Gratitude Campaign

Do You Know the Sign?

I'd like to also add a BIG Thank You to all Military Men and Women!


Jos said...

A nice post, Jeane Michelle! This would be a good sign to thank anybody, I think.
A story like this one makes me aware how different some cultures are, even among modern developed nations. In my area everybody in the military would look very, very surprised if they got a 'Thank You' from the public.

Chris said...

It's always a little overwelming when I see gestures such as this whether online or first hand. I remember the first time I was faced with such widespread public support for the military. It was Nov. of 2001 when I returned from Saudi Arabia after the towers fell. I was back in Tucson driving back to my apartment and started noticing all the flags and "support the troops" stickers on people's cars. At that point I'd been in the service 13 years and had never seen anything like it. It's always appreciated.

Thank you for that.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Chris for sharing this and for your service! My Jarhead Brother-In-Law is in Iraq now serving. Almost 2 years, and hopefully he will be home soon to such a deserving heartfelt reunion!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jos! Wow, that is interesting. I never thought about the cultural differences before, kinda sad. Fortunately, no matter the language - a smile will continue to transcend any custom or nontradition :)

Jos said...

That is so true, Michelle! And a smile never hurt anybody, has it?

But these cultural differences are there for sure.

There seems to be a major 'patriotic' connotation to "the military" in the US, whereas in many parts of Europe the image of the military is kinda mixed.

We have our histories in many cases of 'our own' or 'unfriendly' military misbehavings in and by several European nations (WWII, Indonesia, India, Africa, Vietnam, etc.). And, I believe even more importantly, most European nations have been invaded by unfriendly military forces a couple of times in the relatively recent past, whereas the US has never actually been invaded. I think this is a big difference as to what people think about the military in general. Furthermore, the US has always more or less (and give or take a few exceptions) been "the liberating force" rather than the occupying one (some Iraqi's and others may disagree..). In many other non-European/non-US nations, the military also have had the image of supporting coups and dictators, very often in countries that used to be European colonies. Furhermore, most of Europe has felt kinda 'in the middle' during the Cold War, and thus became cautious about military activity and the "major military industry".

I think all this explains a much more 'skeptic' attitude towards 'the military'..

Only in recent decades this is changing, a bit.. Now that we are contributing to "Peace Forces" like currently in Afghanistan, or in Lebanon in the 80's, we are starting to see something of a pride in the military.

Anonymous said...

Very educational Jos! Incorporating your words here and further elaboration would make a superb post by you, bringing much needed awareness to this subject. Additionally, accenting a welcomed political side of you, seldom seen!

Jos said...

Oh boy, I didn't mean this to sound 'educational' at all. I am sorry if it did..

I am particularly interested in how our so-called modern and developed cultures differ from each other, and how the perception of one culture by another often leads to serious misunderstandings.

Our governments are not doing a great job in creating the right atmosphere for international understanding, they seem much more interested in creating 'fear for the others' as a tool to get the public opinion behind their plans.

My "political side" is with that concern.

Anonymous said...

Educational is a good thing! Food for thought. And thanks to you, I am more aware of cultural differences I never considered before.