'Cheer up the troops' man gets busy
By Joseph Yeh ,The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- A former paratrooper yesterday did 1,000 jumping jacks in front of the Presidential Office in Taipei as part of an online campaign he launched to raise the morale of military personnel on Armed Forces Day.
September 4, 2013, 2:20 am TWN
Hunter Peng (彭少康), currently an outdoor activity planner, served as a paratrooper during his compulsory military service.
He was accompanied by dozens of people, who joined him in doing the jumping jacks. It took the group about half an hour to finish the 1,000 jumps.
“We just want to show our support to all military personnel on Armed Forces Day,” Peng told local media.
Peng initiated the Cheer Up Our Troops campaign last month amid controversy over the death of Army Corporal Hung Chung-chiu (洪仲丘), who was thrown into a military brig and died on July 4 after being ordered to perform strenuous exercises in extreme heat.
The Hung incident sparked a public outcry, brought down a defense minister and forced the government to launch a series of reforms to the military judicial system to have military personnel tried in civilian courts during peacetime.
The incident also seriously marred the image of the armed forces and has reportedly had a negative impact on the military's volunteer recruitment drive.
Peng noted yesterday that the majority of armed forces personnel are responsible and law-abiding people. The Hung case is an isolated incident, Peng said, adding that it should not tarnish the reputation of the armed forces as a whole.
In an effort to boost the morale of Taiwanese troops, Peng launched his campaign in early August, asking participants to upload photos of themselves in dress uniform before Sept. 3, which is Taiwan's Armed Forces Day.
His goal was to collect photos from 50,000 participants in the campaign, and he promised that if that goal was achieved, he would do 1,000 jumping jacks in front of the Presidential Office.
Peng said yesterday that although he only managed to collect photos of around 40,000 participants, he still wished to make good on the pledge.