Americans Supporting AmericaUpdated: October 5, 2022
Americans Supporting America (ASA) is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization that connects individual units in all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces with communities across the country. Its mission is simple: To establish a strong, supportive connection between military units with their local communities.
In 1967, during the Vietnam War, Sgt. Joe Artavia wrote his sister, Linda Patterson, from the trenches and asked her to do something to help raise the morale of his unit. Patterson took that request to heart and asked her hometown of San Mateo, California to “adopt” her brother’s unit. Believing that Patterson’s unit desperately needed to feel the concern of those back home amidst a highly controversial conflict, the city agreed. And, the ASA’s Adopt-A-Unit program was born. Later, Artavia would tell his sister that the morale of his fellow comrades was “raised as high as the clouds.” Tragically, Artavia was killed in battle just three weeks after the adoption.
Though the Adopt-A-Unit Program came about during the Vietnam War, it was reignited during Operation Desert Storm. Now, the adoptions of units by local communities continues across the nation while service members are deployed to fight during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
The ASA’s core program is the Adopt-A-Unit Program. However, the organization offers ways for students to learn more about the sacrifices of military in the classroom and for communities not involved in an adoption to show their support.
ASA believes that a supportive connection between our Armed Forces and local communities is crucial to overall troop morale, and so the Adopt-A-Unit Program is at the heart of its mission outreach. The organization facilitates “adoptions” between towns, cities, or counties and individual military units from all branches which include the National Guard. Adoptions can involve coordinating the connection between communities and local military units with no prior contact or helping to establish a formal connection when a unit and municipality want to solidify their relationship. Learn how to adopt a unit in your area.
While military units wait to be adopted by their community, local businesses, groups, and/or schools can still show their support to deployed service members by “fostering” a unit. These groups are encouraged to send letters and/or care packages to those serving in harm’s way. Learn how to foster a unit in your area.
Youth Civic Action and Awareness Program (YCAP)
A compliment to the Adopt-A-Unit Program, YCAP enables educators to use community participation in the adoption to expand young people’s understanding of America’s role in global affairs and the experience of our service members by adding a layer of understanding and learning in the classroom.