Blake Hall is a man on a mission: to help U.S. military personnel use "Web 2.0" Internet technologies to help one another and themselves. Hall's no stranger to demanding missions. A decorated former U.S. Army Captain and Airborne Ranger who led a scout platoon in Iraq, he relates how the first time he ever led a combat mission, his battalion commander laid his hand on his shoulder and said ominously, "Hall, don't screw it up." And based on the overwhelmingly positive, initial response to his and his co-founders' new, veteran-owned web venture, TroopSwap.com, an online community and marketplace for active duty U.S. military, reservists, veterans and their families, that battalion commander would be more than proud.
Resources for Troops
Deployed forces can increase their knowledge of the language and culture in Iraq and Afghanistan with the click of a button, according to Vcom3D, the developer of the iPhone app Vcommunicator Mobile Language & Culture.
Finding the right sales and discounts becomes a priority when budgets are tight. This site features discounts on groceries, furniture and jewelry. It also includes tools to locate sales at base commissaries, online coupons and a list of base yard sales. Additional links lead to dieting and fitness sites, charities and online contests.
Families of deployed members of the National Guard, Reserve and active duty service members on independent duty and their families are eligible for free family memberships at participating YMCAs in their local communities. The free memberships for Guard and Reserve families are available when service members are deployed for at least six months, and the deploying family member is eligible for a three-month pre- and post-deployment membership.