Our Community Salutes recognizes future service members this July 4th with virtual ceremony

Saluting America’s future service members

America Salutes is a first-of-its-kind virtual event recognizing the 150,000 recent high school graduates who enlisted in the U.S. military.

Celebrities and public figures have teamed up for a new virtual program on the Fourth of July to recognize the 150,000 recent high school graduates who enlisted in the U.S. military.

In a Saturday interview on "Fox & Friends Weekend" with host Pete Hegseth, Our Community Salutes founder Dr. Kenneth Hartman explained that he created "America Salutes" so new enlistees would understand they're not alone.


"This is America's time to come together to thank a group of high school graduates that rarely gets recognition," he explained. "And, we started this 12 years ago with ceremonies across the country."

But, with the introduction of the coronavirus pandemic, those ceremonies were quickly called off.

"So, we decided we are going to do something virtual," Hartman stated. "And, I have got to tell you something, people like yourself and all the other celebrities came out and said,’ How can we be a part of it?’ So, you’ve got everybody from the secretary of defense, to the second lady, to celebrities, Craig Morgan, everybody involved in this — all of which [came] out [to] say thank you to the class of 2020 — like Greg."

Gregory Smith is one of this year's Army enlistees. He told Hegseth that he is excited to start basic training and that being a soldier was "always a dream" of his.

"It's great to see everyone's support and everything for all the future soldiers out there. When I watched the video of everyone thanking me, it really, like, warmed my heart and everything," Smith said. "And, it was great."

But, while Our Community Salutes had to jump through hoops this year thanks to the pandemic, there's another issue which Hartman says is "the most important thing."

"The military is having a really hard time right now recruiting new soldiers and sailors and airmen. In fact, even those that are in —  because they can't get into high schools — even those that are in, due to external circumstances right now, many of them are deciding that maybe this is not an option for them," he remarked.


"So, here is what I need all your viewers to do," Hartman urged. "We have created a virtual thank you card to the class of 2020 high school enlistees. Our goal is to get a million Americans. One million Americans to go to americasalutes.us and sign our virtual thank you card."

"So, these kids – like Greg – know that their country is behind them," he concluded.

"America Salutes" is set to air three times for enlistees nationwide at 11 a.m., 3 p.m., and 6 p.m. ET.

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