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Americans to bond with military via new ad campaign

NEW YORK - In the wake of the war in Iraq, the US Department of Defence has launched an advertising campaign that encourages Americans to bond with their military and features veterans including a former NFL Dallas Cowboy player.

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The print and TV advertising campaign will break in national magazines this week and run throughout the summer. Different branches of the military will be featured, and the ads will focus on individuals who have served in the military and their other careers.

There will also be a television public service announcement featuring musician Valerie Vigoda, who served in the US Army National Guard. She talks about perseverance, saying: "The fact that I've decided to go for my music career and succeed or die trying is I think a function of the confidence I got from being in the military."

Other veterans include the former Dallas Cowboy Chad Hennings, who served as an officer in the US Air Force and continues to serve in the US Air Force Reserves.

According to the US Department of Defence, the campaign is designed to strengthen the personal bond between adult Americans and their military.

The campaign is being run to encourage people to consider careers in the military by showing how those who have served benefited from their military careers.

David Chu, under-secretary of defence for personnel and readiness, said: "For the long-term future security of our country it is important that we educate American adults about the values and competencies that can be gained through service, thereby increasing their propensity to recommend the military as a career path to the youth they influence."

It is a new approach to recruitment for the US armed forces, which have traditionally gone more directly for the young men and women who are likely to sign up.

The campaign also sees the website redesigned.

The ad campaign, new website, media buying and a direct marketing and public relations campaign were all created by Mullen of Wenham, Massachusetts.

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