When National Guard and Reserve units from our communities are deployed, the Complete Community Connection should provide personal pages telling the stories of the units and the troops.
In addition, we can provide the hometown link for Iowa troops who are scattered to various bases here and abroad. We start the page with the basic information: name, rank, unit, hometown. And we invite the sevicemember and his or her family and friends to fill in the rest: photos, videos, stories, personal interests, etc.
As with other areas of personal content, we have commercial opportunities, especially when people are deployed. Family, friends, supportive individuals and congregations and civic groups in the community can contribute to buy care packages from local businesses, which will ship them overseas. We should report when people are returning on leave or when deployments are ending and family, friends and community members can buy all or parts of rest-and-recreation gift packages — weekend at a local hotel or resort, spa or golf package, dinner gift certificate, etc.
We need to develop a lead-generation model for veterans’ organizations, alerting them to military people whose hitches are ending, so they can advertise on the page or contact the person directly.
When local service members become casualties — injured, missing or killed — coverage from the news site would be posted on their pages (unless the family chooses to exclude news coverage). The page becomes a place for distant relatives, friends and supporters to keep updated on a soldier’s recovery or express their grief at a family’s loss.