accessAtlanta

City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Michelle Obama thanks the Bert Show for military letter-writing campaign

Nov. 9, 2012 - Atlanta - Volunteers, including Hillary Shields (center) address labels for the boxes to be sent to the troops. The Bert Show on Q100 has a campaign called "The Big Thank you", whose goal was to get 400,000 hand written thank you letters to deliver to troops overseas on Thanksgiving. The number of letters has reached 650,000, and prompted a phone call from Michelle Obama and Bill Clinton. Bob Andres bandres@ajc.com

Nov. 9, 2011 - Atlanta - Volunteers, including Hillary Shields (center) address labels for the boxes to be sent to the troops. The Bert Show on Q100 has a campaign called "The Big Thank you", whose goal was to get 400,000 hand written thank you letters to deliver to troops overseas on Thanksgiving. The number of letters has reached 650,000, and prompted a phone call from Michelle Obama and Bill Clinton. Bob Andres bandres@ajc.com

Q100’s the Bert Show tackles a similar melange of topics as the now defunct Oprah Winfrey show: cheating spouses one moment, Kim Kardashian’s whereabouts the next. But every so often, it hits upon an issue that resonates far beyond the strictures of just a morning show.

For the past few weeks, the show has been promoting a letter-writing campaign called The Big Thank You. The goal: get listeners to send 400,000 letters, one for every U.S. military man and woman who is overseas during Thanksgiving.

The result: a whopping 650,000 letters and counting, as of Thursday afternoon. First Lady Michelle Obama, who is active in a support-the-troops initiative called Joining Forces, called the radio program Thursday afternoon to thank them.

“This is exactly the kind of outreach and activity we love to see,” said Obama, in an interview that aired Friday morning. The letter total “is truly amazing…I’ve had the privilege to meet with so many men and women in uniform and their families. It really means so much to them.”

“This validates what I know about our country,” the First Lady continued. “We are just full of individuals who are ready to step up when called to act.”

Kristin Klingshirn, a Bert Show cast member, has a younger brother Morgan whose been a U.S. Marine for the past 12 years and is currently deployed in Afghanistan. Her father Jim is a Vietnam vet. So for her, this campaign touches close to home.

“You know as a military kid how much sacrifice and stress you undergo just having loved ones in harm’s way,” Obama said to Klingshirn. “We have to lift people like you up.”

Michelle Obama talks to the Bert Show Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011. CREDIT: Official White House photograph

Michelle Obama talks to the Bert Show Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011. CREDIT: Official White House photograph

“People don’t understand how hard it is,” Klingshirn said, choking up after the interview. “To hear her reaction, it makes me feel appreciated.”

She said her brother has been overseas four times. “Every time he comes back, he’s a little bit changed,” she said. “They see unspeakable things. They do unspeakable things. To have a little piece of home, this handwritten letter tells them they are not doing this in vain. He has kept every single letter he’s received.”

For the past month, more than 200 volunteers have taken 600,000-plus letters out of envelopes and sorted them into boxes. More than 400,000 were shipped out of Q100’s building Thursday, ready to go overseas via the U.S. Postal Service in time for Thanksgiving.

The Bert Show did a similar campaign in 2007, sending out 375,000 letters.

Bert Weiss now leads the No. 2 morning show in town, behind only Frank and Wanda at V-103. CREDIT: Bob Andres/bandres@ajc.com

Bert Weiss now leads the No. 2 morning show in town, behind only Frank and Wanda at V-103. CREDIT: Bob Andres/bandres@ajc.com

Why do it again? A few weeks ago, show host Bert Weiss had seen a story about veterans coming home and feeling disconnected from civilians. “It felt like the right thing to do at the right time again,” he said. “The military wasn’t on the front page anymore.”

Tommy Owen, the Bert Show operations manager who oversaw the campaign, said they received letters not just in the three markets where the show airs but all over the country: “I’d say social media really helped get the word out.”

Greg Uryc, a sales manager with Pitney Bowes who helped with logistics for the 2007 campaign, said it was much easier this time since they found ways to streamline the process and worked out of an air-conditioned room in an office building as opposed to a warehouse. “We created an assembly line,” he said. His company paid for postage, which totaled $5,000.

The letters came in slowly at first. As of October 24, the program had only 40,000 letters. Then they flooded in. “People waited until the last second, but they came through,” Owen said.

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

26 comments Add your comment

Moooo....

November 11th, 2011
9:19 am

Wow.

As if we didn’t already have reasons to AVOID this lame morning “show” already !

[...] more Michelle Obama thanks the Bert Show for military letter-writing campaign at Radio & TV Talk… You Might Also Like…Paula Deen vs. Michelle Obama? [...]

Ellen

November 11th, 2011
11:55 am

It’s these small acts of kindness that lift the human spirit. Whether you like the Bert Show or not, this was a commendable effort.

Chix

November 11th, 2011
12:21 pm

For those that served and those that continue to protect our nation – How can we thank them?
Operation Miles is helping active Troops get back to their families by gifting them airline miles. Join in a quest to reunite and rebuild families across America by sharing this link on your wall today. Salute our troops and honor our Vets this Veterans Day! http://wp.me/P1UtPa-1l

Moo

November 11th, 2011
12:34 pm

Mooo, you have something against telling soldiers we care? This show is using their power to help others and is setting a great example for all of us. I listen every day and it is the best morning show I’ve ever heard.

TheLazyComic

November 11th, 2011
1:00 pm

This doesn’t’ happen often… but this whole article has made me……. speechless.

Moo is LOSER

November 11th, 2011
1:16 pm

Really that is what you have to say after that article on Veteran’s Day? You must not have been around on September 11 or ever known anyone who has given their lives so you can stay something so ignorant. Sometimes I wonder why people like you ever open your ignorant mouths.

Melissa

November 11th, 2011
1:21 pm

Well, I’m glad that I am part of the effort to tell our troops thank you. My daughter drew some awesome little kid art and we said “Thanks!” The Bert Show is silly and says some pretty asinine things from time to time, but this was a good effort, well executed, and very much worth the time of the listeners (and readers of this article). Our country is not perfect – obviously – and our government can be really bone-headed… but the people who risk their lives for our freedom- they deserve our respect, our gratitude, and our time. Thank you, United States Military.

Funnygrlga

November 11th, 2011
1:48 pm

On the last Friday, of the campaign, my office wrote letters to the soldiers. When I picked up my kids from school, that afternoon, my 4 year old told me he had written a letter to a soldier, too. It really warmed my heart that we both did the same thing, unknowingly, that helped make a difference. I’m looking forward to the day these people can be home, with their families, for the holidays and every day!!! Happy Veteran’s Day!

snottrocket

November 11th, 2011
1:57 pm

Sounds to me like Mooo’s just vexed because it was an Obama that called in to congratulate Bert on his effort at lifting up the troops and not someone like Palin or Bachman.

Joe DeMorett

November 11th, 2011
2:28 pm

Why did she call a radio morning show? Because it’s election season. Clear cut.

While I am proud of the show and their efforts for the troops, let’s be realistic about the motive of the call.

Bhosra

November 11th, 2011
2:45 pm

Bert is gay for sure

Think

November 11th, 2011
2:46 pm

You don’t have to support war to support the soldiers. Kudos, Bert.

DB

November 11th, 2011
2:52 pm

Very nice! I am a military brat and a simple act of kindness can go a long way. Whether you are a democrat or republican it is nice to actually hear from the First Lady. Happy Veteran’s Day. My father is serving now!

Moooo....

November 11th, 2011
2:54 pm

If you think “The Bert Show” cares more about American Veterans than the rating$$ and publicity for “The Bert Show,” you are probably uneducated & gullible enough to be in their target demographic.

Moooo....

November 11th, 2011
2:57 pm

If think “Moooochelle” cares more about American Veterans than free publicity and the success of her jive-turkey husband’s re-election campaign, you are probably uneducated & gullible enough to vote for those disingenuous, modern-day grifters TWICE.

I'm Just Saying...

November 11th, 2011
3:41 pm

It is awfully funny that when other people were running this country and people were losing jobs this kind of total disrepect never happened. I’ve never heard such a hatred for the Bush family, the Clintons, or the Reagans. This is absurd. Whether you like the Obamas or not he is in a postion of authority and should be respected as such. I’m pretty sure you guys don’t disrespect your managers in such a manner. Why? Because they are in a position of authority. GROW UP!!!!!

Real American

November 11th, 2011
3:44 pm

Rodney, you should really monitor these comments and ban idiots like Mooo that do nothing to contribute to the conversation and trolls the AJC boards just looking to spout its demonic idiocy.

To Just Saying...

November 11th, 2011
3:46 pm

Really Just Saying?? I heard plenty of Hatred for the Bushes.
People in this country have a right to speak their mind on the president and his wife.
This is not North Korea.

Yoda

November 11th, 2011
4:22 pm

Real American @ 3:44 pm wants to censor you if your opinions for his/hers.

“Real North Korean” would be more appropriate.

snottrocket

November 11th, 2011
6:21 pm

I agree…people have the right to say what they want…they have the right to say what you agree with, they have the right to say what you disagree with..they have the right to disagree with you verbally…and, of course, they have the right to be a$$holes and because of that, those who don’t like what the a$$holes have to say, have the right to call them a$$holes.

These folks chime in with quiffs and phrases, snarky one-liners and efforts to start arguments. You can choose to be fished in, or not…you can even choose to challenge them to go deep and see what they have behind those snazzy comments. Chances are, there’s nothing…but it’s fun to dream about having a discussion.

LOL @ the idea that she called the radio station because it’s election season. Yeah…that’s a year from now. And really, what average radio listener is going to actually remember she was on their favorite radio program commending them on their work as if it’s going to influence the vote? even if that was the motive, at least she made an effort. How often does Sarah Palin call in TRG?

On another note. I personally thank the veterans of our armed forces for fighting the good fight including defending your everyone’s right to be an a$$hole.

I'M PIMPIN' 4 RON PAUL!

November 11th, 2011
7:32 pm

January 20, 2013:

End of an ERROR

My Name

November 12th, 2011
8:34 am

“I’M PIMPIN’ 4 RON PAUL!” Really? You’re supporting a candidate who has implied that if you don’t have health insurance and have a life-threatening issue and cannot pay, you should just die? And that will be better for our country. Greeeeaaat choice. Carry on with the other little sheep.

Capt. Kirk

November 12th, 2011
1:40 pm

My Name,

It is NOT our responsibility to pay for your lazy, worthless, behind, especially when you made the CHOICE to spend all your money on vices that made you ill in the first place and other wasteful endeavors instead of health insurance in preparation for the future.

Since you asked, yes, our society would indeed improve by by subtracting parasites like you.

To everyone else, Live Long & Prosper.

My Name

November 13th, 2011
12:31 am

Capt. Kirk,

You’ve made this infinitely easier than I thought it would be. Please put down your unhealthy vice that is your energy drink and step away from your computer. “Tis a great big world outside, and you’re probably too busy eating Hot Pockets and playing World of Warcraft. Unlike your Vulcan existence (yes, I get Star Trek references as well) who is apparently completely emotionless and void of feelings (except anger of course), I can display the basic human emotion that is empathy. I understand that not everyone who falls ill becomes ill because of his or her poor choices. I’m willing to help those groups in need and I believe our government has a certain amount of responsibility to help its people in need. I’m sure you can’t wrap your hopelessly conservative mind around what I just said, so I’ll try to phrase it in a way to which you can relate.

When you don’t have socialized healthcare, you end up like Capt. Pike, living in a futuristic world where almost anything is possible, but alas you’re stuck in an iron lung where one beep means yes and two beeps mean no.

Picard rules, so suck it.

Troll it up everyone! (Why not? I am.)

USA#1

November 13th, 2011
12:40 am

OMG!!! What a bunch of nerds! This is a post about soldiers and their sacrifice and our efforts to thank them…and you’re talking about characters from a science fiction show from the 1960s?