Send GMail Account Invites to Troops

by Ming Chow

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If you are fortunate to have a GMail account, then chances are, you have the ability to invite friends, family members, and even strangers to join GMail.

Here is a consideration: send GMail invitation(s) to our brave men and women, our armed forces overseas.

It is a way to support our troops. It is a tremendous token of support and gratitude for those sacrificing their time and lives abroad.

Technology is not only critical on the battlefield, but also critical in order to communicate with friends, family, and loved ones back home. There is hardly any technical donation or support to those serving overseas. There are two websites that allow you to send GMail invites to our troops: and

A service such as GMail is valuable for our troops. In fact, some men and women need GMail. Here are some reasons:

  • Sure, some men and women overseas have other webmail accounts such as Yahoo! and Hotmail. However, Yahoo! and Hotmail accounts have a limited storage capacity. Chances are, some accounts are already filled with media (images and videos) from home, or even infested with spam. GMail has a storage capacity of 1 GB --that is 10-100 times more than the capacity of Yahoo! and Hotmail mail accounts.

  • Soldiers have extremely limited time to be on the Internet or to communicate with loved ones back home. GMail is incredibly well-designed (and exceptionally fast), especially its user interface.

  • Not only is GMail well-designed, it is also revolutionary. The key of GMail is organization. Messages and replies are organized in a conversation-like manner. GMail also introduces the idea of labeling messages (similar to color-labeling of files in the old Mac OS), which is "an increasingly important method of data management" (see Crawford's past post on GMail). It is a different approach to e-mail management than what people are used to.

  • So far, no major issues with spam in GMail. That is always a good thing.

  • E-mail searching in Google. Enough said.

If you are a member of the technical community with GMail invitations available, and looking for a way to support our troops, consider sending GMail invites to them. It is not only a token of support and gratitude for our brave men and women serving overseas, but it is also a good cause for the technical community. It would be even more rewarding if you keep in touch with the soliders (the invitee's new GMail address is automatically entered in your contact list).


2004-09-06 14:14:27
Re:: Send GMail Acccount Invites to Troops
Most Army soldiers already have "Army Knowledge Online" accounts which includes decent webmail, along with many other features. That's probably why gmail4troops says "We currently have a lot more donation offers for invites than we do requests." The other site, gmailforthetroops, asks for a $5 Paypal donation.

Always watch out for people claiming to do things for the troops. There is usually some self-interest involved.

2004-09-06 20:05:54
Nice gesture, but...
You're heart is in the right place, but a lot of the "support our troops" fervor can be used to support less than honest people. From the guy from out of state selling "support our troops" ribbon car magnets for the local national guard to all sorts of other similar things. If you want to really support our troops, go to your local post office (in some places) or national guard station and find the name of a family that has a member currently employed.

Write them a personal letter of support. Ask if you can lend them a hand with yard work, or invite them to dinner. Then send a letter to their troop overseas, complement them on their family and thank them for their service.

That is a better show of real support.

Or attend the funeral of a soldier that died overseas. Funerals, especially of the young, are under-attended.

The army facilities for communication are actually quite good.

2004-09-06 20:06:43
Nice gesture, but...


2004-09-07 07:30:34
Nice gesture, but...

sheesh, what's wrong with me?

2004-09-16 07:55:18
Re:: Send GMail Acccount Invites to Troops
Also think this is a nice gesture but has some flaws that people might be aware of. As a soon to be retiring Air Force military member, I've had the pleasure of being deployed a few times, twice to Saudi Arabia. While there we had issues with accessing free web-based email accounts and certain websites. There is a bandwidth issue on all military bases, because of potential bandwidth abuse, the military restricts Yahoo,Hotmail and other web-based email services. This might not be an issue with Gmail, because of the nature of it, but it could still be restricted.
Another issue is restrictions on sights that can be accessed from a .mil domain. While internet service is provided for business use and moral purposes on bases, it is restricted by host nation sensitivity. Most host nations have a different view on what pornography is to them, compared to what we believe and see on a daily bases on the web. A lot of the troops that need our support are stationed in the Middle East or Southwest Asia, and as people know a lot of these nations are governed by Islamic rules/faith. Some of these nations consider pornography bared skin above the waist on men and women.
This can get a fairly innocent web site such as sports illustrated band because of a picture of boxers or advertisement about their swimsuit issue.
One last thing, sites that a related to the topic of guns or hunting are usually restricted on .mil domains (go figure huh?). Sites such as forums can also be restricted because of the discusses and the politic section or nature of these.
This is only my two cents worth, I speak on prior knowledge on the Air Force side of the house. Things could have changed since I was deployed to the Middle Ease/Southwest Asia. but I kinda doubt it.
2006-03-10 06:28:58