News - Entertainment

AAFES teams with America Supports You to Offer Free Music for Troops

DALLAS – From the brass bands of the civil war to the portable MP3 players of today, music never goes out of style for American troops. Recognizing that tunes have always been integral to morale, more than a dozen of the biggest names in country, rock, pop and R&B are teaming up with the Army & Air Force Exchange Service and America Supports You to deliver a special gift to troops this holiday season--a free compilation of songs produced exclusively for Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors and Marines.

“Grammy-nominated, platinum-selling singer/songwriter John Ondrasik of Five for Fighting approached us about this project a few months back after learning of AAFES’ extensive presence in Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom,” said AAFES’ Chief of Communications Lt. Col. Dean Thurmond. “While initial conversations focused on delivering a physical CD to PXs and BXs in the contingency theater, we quickly came to the conclusion that offering the songs through AAFES’ secure website was probably the best way to ensure everyone in uniform had an opportunity to receive this special gift.”

After examining all available delivery options, Ondrasik, America Supports You and AAFES decided to offer the songs from “CD For The Troops” to active-duty military members and veterans with valid military IDs through for free beginning Nov. 17.

“The timing couldn’t be better,” said AAFES’ Commander Brig. Gen. Keith Thurgood. “While is heavily trafficked throughout the year, the number of troops logging on goes way up in November and December. I’m excited about the prospect of a Soldier, Airman, Sailor or Marine going to the site to get a present for someone else and finding this terrific gift that has been created just for them.  This project also represents how much the nation, and specifically these artists, appreciates the service of their military.”

The complete track list of free songs available at as part of the “CD For the Troops” project are as follows:

* Billy Joel - Scenes from an Italian Restaurant
* Brooks & Dunn - Keep on Swingin'
* Five for Fighting - 100 Years
* The Fray - How to Save a Life (acoustic)
* Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band - Sweet Home Chicago
* Goo Goo Dolls - Feel the Silence (remix)
* Jewel - Hands
* Josh Groban - February Song
* Los Lonely Boys - Heaven
* Melissa Etheridge - Come to my Window
* Montgomery Gentry - My Town
* The Neville Brothers - Brothers
* Sarah McLachlan - Wintersong

“Ever since I played the concert for New York City in 2001, I’ve continued to build relationships with our servicemen and women,” said Ondrasik. “These experiences have left me humbled by the integrity, humility and courage of the men and women in uniform. Furthermore, their families, who are without loved ones for years at a time, have dignity that is only eclipsed by their sacrifice. I’d like to thank the artists, labels and publishers who have joined me in this gesture. Music can be a powerful aid to the morale and mental well being of our military and their loved ones. It is, in my opinion, the least we can do. There would be no songs of consequence without Soldiers whose sacrifice secures our freedom.”


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Entertainment News

DVD Technology Brings the Theater to Your Home


(ARA) - Your next movie-viewing experience doesn't need to include overpriced tickets, sticky seats and talkative neighbors. With a new DVD player, you can enjoy all the sounds and visuals of a big-screen flick in the comfort of your own home. Digital video disc (DVD) technology is the future of home entertainment. In fact, no electronic component delivers more home entertainment bang for your buck than a DVD player.

Why is DVD Better?

DVD offers movie lovers many things the VHS videotape format cannot. The greatest benefit is picture quality that's twice as sharp as standard VHS. Movies on VHS videotapes often have a noticeable graininess to them -- particularly if they've been viewed multiple times. With DVD, the colors are rich, and the picture is crisp and clear -- each and every viewing.

The audio quality of DVD is equally impressive. The sound is typically CD-quality or better. By connecting your DVD and television to a home audio system capable of Dolby Digital surround sound, you'll get an audio experience as clear and distinctive as you would get in a movie theater.

Other extras offered by DVDs that enhance the movie-watching experience include on-screen menus. These menus provide viewers access to features such as original movie trailers, interviews with directors and actors, biographies of movie personalities, as well as scenes that may have been deleted from the title's original release.

With a DVD movie, you are in control of the action. Unlike videotape, which can only move ahead or reverse from one point, a DVD movie allows you to search, scan and even jump to different parts of a movie.

Becoming Mainstream

DVD players are becoming increasingly popular in the average American home. According to the DVD Entertainment Group, consumers bought more than 9.8 million DVD video players in 2000, nearly three times as many as in 1999.

One reason DVDs are so popular is the fact that DVDs do not deteriorate over time or wear out from extended use like VHS tapes do. This makes them a good option for the movie collector, or anyone with children who watch videos over and over.

In addition, many DVD video players have parental control features that prevent children from watching movies with certain ratings. Some DVD titles come with an edited version of a film that may be more suitable for younger viewers.

Key Buying Considerations

As you assemble a home theater system, you might ask yourself whether you should invest in a DVD player or just get a new VCR. First, make sure your television can handle a DVD player before you make a purchase. To take full advantage of the superior sound and picture quality offered by DVD, you will need an S-video connection on your television. If your television is less than 5 years old, you probably have S-video capability.

DVD players are ideally designed for surround-sound systems which typically have five speakers: three in front and two in back, plus a subwoofer. However, even if you don't have a multiple-speaker sound system, you can still benefit from the format's superior audio capabilities when compared to the audio delivered by VHS.

In fact, according to John Damrow, vice president of merchandising for Fingerhut, a leading general merchandise catalog company, customers looking to replace their audio CD player might be better served by buying a DVD player, which can also play audio CDs. "A DVD player can provide all the functions of an audio CD player while opening up a new world of high-quality video programming with features VHS cannot provide," Damrow says.

As with any technology, increased popularity means lower prices and better features. For the avid movie-watcher looking toward the future, the advantages of a DVD player provide a good investment choice -- and a great way to skip waiting in line for a $5 tub of popcorn!

For more information on DVD players, visit the Fingerhut Web site at

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