Social website for service members brings soldiers home for the holidays

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by Christine LaCroix

azfamily.com

Posted on December 5, 2012 at 7:46 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 5 at 8:00 PM

PHOENIX -- The founders of AlphaStripe.com describe their website as a Facebook meets Ancestry.com for veterans and current members of the United States military.

It is the brainchild of two Arizona State University students who wanted to give back to the people who are giving so much to the United States.
“It allows military members and their families to connect and archive their stories about their military experiences,” said CEO Eli Chmouni.
The free site allows members of the military past and present to upload pictures and videos, as well as reconnect with friends from their unit.
AlphaStripe.com launched on Veteran’s Day of this year, and now Chmouni is hoping the site can help facilitate even more for service men and women.
“We’re actually buying round trip tickets for military members to go home for the holidays,” he said.
Anyone serving overseas can upload stories and pictures or video about their service and why they want to come home for the holiday season. Friends and family can also post stories on behalf of their loved ones in the military.
“You upload a story and it can be about anything from your military experience,” Chmouni said.
Members of the public can go to the website and vote for their favorite story by clicking the “salute” button.
The four service members with the most votes will be given round-trip airfare to be home for this holiday season.
“We wanted to re-unite military families,” said Chmouni.
The voting continues until Dec. 20. The winners will be announced on Dec. 21.
If a winner is unable to get time off before Christmas, they can use the airline tickets in 2013.

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