Tue, Aug 13, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Pro-military event proving popular with netizens

Staff writer, with CNA

More than 5,300 people have expressed an interest in an event being promoted on Facebook, to honor Taiwan’s armed forces in the wake of an incident seen as highly damaging to the military’s image.

As of 9:30pm on Sunday, 5,370 Facebook users said they would join the event, while another 1,102 said they would probably take part.

The campaign’s organizer, Peng Shao-kang, is asking participants to upload photographs of themselves in dress uniform, camouflage fatigues or wearing military paraphernalia such as medals or arm patches on Sept. 3, Armed Forces Day.

The purpose of the event is to “let all those servicemen and servicewomen who work hard in their posts know that we have not forgotten them,” Peng said in a Facebook posting.

His goal is to collect photographs from 50,000 participants with their real names, he said.

If that is achieved, he will do 1,000 jumping jacks in front of the Presidential Office, he said.

Peng said he is not in the military, but organizes outdoor activities such as rock climbing.

He initiated the “cheering our troops” campaign late last week amid controversy over the death of army corporal Hung Chung-chiu (洪仲丘), who collapsed and died on July 4 after being subjected to strenuous exercises.

Hung’s death sparked a public outcry, led one minister of defense to step down, forced the government to turn over the trial of military personnel to civil courts during peacetime and did significant damage to the military’s image and morale.

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