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ARLINGTON, Va. — More than 48,000 people have sent text messages since Saturday as part of an effort to show their support for U.S. troops this Thanksgiving, said Allison Barber, deputy assistant secretary of Defense for internal communications and public liaison.

The effort is run by America Supports You, a Defense Department program that gives publicity to nonprofit groups that support U.S. troops, which falls under Barber’s purview.

Under the “Giving Thanks” campaign, people can send their text messages thanking the troops by texting 89279, she said.

The messages will be tallied on the America Supports You Web site and shown on a crawl on the Pentagon Channel on Thanksgiving, Barber said.

Beginning on Thanksgiving and running through the Monday football games, American Forces Network also will run commercials saying how many text messages have been sent, she said.

The program is not a joint effort with Stars and Stripes, but it is covered under an America Supports You contract that is held by Stars and Stripes.

The Defense Department Inspector General’s Office is conducting an audit of Stripes expenditures for America Supports You.

The newspaper was not involved with funding the “Giving Thanks” campaign, Barber said Tuesday.

For more information on the "Giving Thanks" campaign, go to: www.americasupportsyou.mil.

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