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This speech was given by a young lady who is finishing her second year at Miami University in Oxford OH.  It is a "persuasive speech" for her speech communications class.  Her teacher was so impressed with her amazing speech he taped it to send to his brother who had just returned from Baghdad.


It is heart warming to know there are still members of the younger generation that place concern for the troops at the forefront.  During these times when so many are protesting something, it is refreshing to see  young adults showing passion and concern for those young men and women this country places in harms way.  These individuals are true Patriots.


This brilliant young lady is a fine example of the young men and women this country produces.  I believe that more and more examples such as this is becoming the norm with the younger generation.


Early in March of 2006 I received an email from Jessica informing me of her college project and what kind of information she was looking for.  I responded to her with various DoD websites that would hopefully provide the information she desired.  Jessica searched the various sites and extracted the information she required to put her speech together.  The speech below is the result of her hard work and dedication to a project that is dear to her heart.


Here is her response to me after she gave her speech: Well, I gave my speech on "Appreciation to the Troops" in my speech class...and it went great! I was nervous at first but once I got up there, I realized I was speaking from my heart rather than the speech that I had originally planned. As I was talking I could see the look in the audience's eyes of sadness and shock in some statistics that I gave them and I even had a few people ask me after class for the website where you could send a message directly to the troops because after they heard me talk they really wanted to show their support.


When she finished classes this year she was very proud of the "A" she received in her speech class.


I am extremely proud to have Jessica as my niece! (Jim Moore)

Outline for Speech—Persuasive Speech

Name of Speaker:  Jessica Nickels

Topic:  Showing Appreciation to Our Soldiers

General Purpose:   To persuade the audience

Specific Purpose: To persuade the audience that we need not only be patriotic in our everyday actions and life, but to take our actions a step further and support our soldiers by sending them an email, a package or making a donation, even if it’s just to say thank you.

Visual Aid: PowerPoint presentation, Red, White & Blue video online

Organizational Pattern: Monroe’s Motivated Sequence


Attention getter:  How many of you are really stressed out right now? You just came back from Spring Break and all your professors are informing you of all the quizzes, tests, papers and speeches that you have to do in the next six weeks? I know I’m stressed right now just thinking about it. But on top of all that it doesn’t help when you overslept, they were out of your favorite coffee this morning and you stepped on a piece of gum on your way here…the day isn’t looking so good right now and all you want to do is crawl back into bed and forget the day even existed. Well, thousands of miles away there is a soldier fighting for you to be able to walk to class, get your coffee, or sit in this speech class. They are fighting for your freedom!

Thesis/Subject: We are now all old enough to watch the news and pay attention to what is going on in the world, especially when it comes to the wars we are fighting. But when you hear on the news that there were 2 more U.S. casualties today, how many of us really stop to think about what that means? Yes, for a brief second I’m sure in the back of your mind you think that’s sad…but do you really consider to yourself, that those people that just died were someone’s Father? Mother? Fiancé? Sister or Brother? I don’t think many of us can say that we do, I know I can’t always say that.

Relevance to audience/Reason audience should listen: All of us in this room are citizens of the United States of America so the soldiers and troops fighting for our freedom directly affects us. All these brave souls are overseas fighting for us, so we can go to college, get our dream job and live a happy and freedom filled life.

Preview (Main Ideas/Points): In my speech today, I am going to tell you why we need to show our support for the soldiers, what you can do to help and finally I will tell you the future benefits that will come if we all help out.

Transition: Each of us throughout the course of the day sees the American flag flying in the wind on our walk to or from class. What does that represent to you? Freedom? America? What about the bloodshed and tears that countless men and women endured to keep this great land of freedom?



Up until this point during Operation Iraqi Freedom 2322 troops have died. During Operation Enduring Freedom 278 have died, according the Department of Defense Website last updated on March 20, 2006. That is a total of 2600 men and women who have died thus far during the battles we have fought. These deceased men will never be able to walk their daughter down the aisle; and these young women will never be able to get married and have children.

According to, last updated on ­­­­­March 24, 2006, in Ohio there is only 2.97% of the population sending letters/mail to the troops.  2.97%. That is close to every 3 out of 100 hundred people writing a letter or an email to a soldier overseas. That statistic should be extremely higher. These men and women fighting across the land are giving up seeing their son hit a home run in his baseball game or seeing their daughter born, just so they can fight for our country-- the land of the free. These soldiers are not only missing out on their family and friend’s lives but they are risking and even losing their own life in the process.

Transition: Think about this scenario for a second. When something exciting or even upsetting happens in your life, who do you call? Email? Or write? A parent, grandparent, best friend, a girlfriend or boyfriend even. Each of us in this room has someone we turn to for guidance and support.


When we are close to one another it’s easy to turn and get help, guidance and support. But when you are miles, thousands of miles apart, it’s a little harder to receive that support. So what can you do to show our support and thanks to the soldiers?

There is a multitude of activities you can participate in. For example:

You can donate frequent flyer miles (so the loved ones of hurt soldiers can fly and be closer to them)

Phone cards (making it easier for the troops to call their loved ones)

Send packages (with books, magazines, deodorant, cough drops and travel size games)

Make donations (to a unit, soldier or program)

But the most important thing we can all do is send a letter!

In a matter of a few minutes you can get on the Internet, right here and send an email directly to a soldier, unit or area and they will receive it within a matter of hours. And if you were really anxious to help you could even become a pen pal to a soldier.

Transition: It is one thing to talk about our appreciation for everything that our military and armed services do for us, but it’s a whole other story to take action and make a change.


Now that you have heard me talk about why we need to start expressing our gratitude and thanks and how it can be done, I’m going to show you how it will benefit everyone in the future.

A simple note of appreciation and thanks is all it takes to make our soldiers keep on forging and pushing ahead.

One note of encouragement can provide enough strength for them to survive, making them strong enough to make it home to see their friends and family to go to their daughter’s wedding or even to see their son being born. You can provide that comfort for them.

Transition: We are very lucky to live in such a bountiful and wonderful land where our freedom doesn’t restrict our lives. But it came at a price. A price for thousands of men and women. It is now our time to take a few minutes and say thank you.


Summary: Let’s be the generation that changes the statistics and sends more letters to the troops! You can donate phone cards, send packages and send a message. The possibilities are endless. If Ohio can start to double the number of people sending messages or packages of support, others will notice and it could become a ripple effect that could make the whole United States population start to help out more!

Creative Closing thought or memorable conclusion:  JFK said it appropriately when he said, “ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” Let us all take those words to heart and show our support to the men and women fighting for our country.


U.S. Department of Defense. (n.d.). Retrieved Mar. 21, 2006, from America Supports You Web site:

U.S. Department of Defense. (2006). Retrieved Mar. 21, 2006, from Casualties Web site: