In commemoration of July 4th and our young veterans, MTV’s “Choose or Lose” will takeover MTV2 tomorrow with special programming, including a bloc of “True Life” episodes.  Exclusive messages from John McCain and Barack Obama that pay tribute to the young men and women who have served in the nation’s armed forces will air exclusively on MTV2 and www.ChooseorLose.com throughout the day.  You can take a sneak peak at the messages in their entirety at the following links:

John McCain – Choose or Lose July 4th Message: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAyR2qJtCqE
Barack Obama – Choose or Lose July 4th Message: http://youtube.com/watch?v=nC-pvn_tMfM

Here is the press release:

Coming off of a record breaking turnout of 6.5 million 18-29 year-olds who voted in the 2008 primaries, MTV continues its commitment to engage and inspire young Americans to vote in the 2008 Presidential Election. As part of its Emmy-winning “Choose or Lose” campaign, on Independence Day, MTV2 will present a special Choose or Lose day-long “takeover” in which short and long-form programming will engage millions of young adult voters to honor – and elevate the issues – of the more than one million young men and women who have served on the frontlines of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The MTV2 Choose or Lose takeover will include exclusive 60-second video messages from presumptive Presidential candidates, Republican Senator John McCain and Democratic Senator Barack Obama. The messages will air exclusively on MTV2 and www.ChooseorLose.com on July 4th. The dual 60-second video messages will pay tribute to the young men and women who have served in the nation’s armed forces. The 60-second messages form Obama and McCain, as well as the MTV News reports will also be made available on MTV Mobile through all of its wireless carrier distribution partners.

Recent MTV research reveals that nearly 70 percent of young people 18-29 personally know someone who has fought in Iraq. Through this special MTV2 takeover, Choose or Lose hopes to elevate the issues of young, new veterans; ensure Presidential candidates address these issues; and mobilize millions of young people to understand and take action in ways to help their peers who have served, who with the greatest honor, ensure that they register and vote.

To illuminate young veterans issues, throughout the day special reports will be aired from some of the 51 MTV / Knight Foundation Street Team ’08 citizen journalists across the country. These reports will highlight stories of young veterans in their communities, focusing on the challenges of post traumatic stress disorder, lack of educational benefits, and the myriad of challenges facing young veterans struggling to acclimate back into civilian life. All Street team reports can be accessed at www.ChooseorLose.com. In addition, you can receive weekly Street Team election updates on your mobile phone by texting ST to 84465. (Standard rates apply). MTV News will also feature two new reports, one on Ashwin Madia, an Iraq war veteran running for Congress from Minnesota’s 3rd district, and the recent passage of the 21st century GI Bill.

In addition to the Street Team and MTV News reports, MTV2 will present a special July 4th programming bloc centered around young veterans and issues they face as they live and return from life in the military including:

· 6:00pm – Iraq Uploaded

· 6:30pm – True Life: I Live in Iraq

· 8:30pm – True Life: Im Shipping Out

· 9:30pm – True Life: I’m Coming to America

· 10:30pm – True Life: I’m a Civilian Again

“Choose or Lose ’08” (www.ChooseorLose.com) is MTV’s Emmy-Award winning campaign to engage, inform and empower young voters on the political issues that matter to them most.  First launched in 1992, the campaign has helped fuel several of the largest youth voter turnouts in US history, including in 2004, when it helped inspire nearly 22 million 18-30 year olds to register and vote.

Other elements of “Choose or Lose ‘08” include the pioneering MTV / MySpace Presidential Dialogue Series, which has featured Senators McCain, Clinton, Obama, Edwards, Governor Huckabee and Representative Paul taking unfiltered questions – in person and online, in real time – from youth nationwide; “Choose or Lose Presents Clinton & Obama Answer Young Veterans”; and MTV “Street Team ’08,” 51 specially-recruited citizen journalists, one in each state and Washington, D.C., covering the 2008 elections from a youth perspective.  “Street Team” members file weekly multi-media reports, tailor their coverage for mobile devices and focus on the political issues that most impact young people in their respective states.  All “Choose or Lose” content, plus more information on the candidates, issues, registering to vote and a spirited debate, can be found on www.ChooseorLose.com.

For more information on youth-based activism, the upcoming election and young veterans log on to think.mtv.com. The Think Community is dynamic, multimedia driven and enables youth to easily learn more about the issues that matter to them most, share their opinions – via uploaded online videos, podcasts and blogs – and connect with others to make a difference.  The site is one of the only to reward members for positive actions taken online or off, serving up chances to hang out with socially conscious celebs, access to exclusive MTV events, exposure on MTV and other national media outlets, as well as grants, scholarships and more.  Think.MTV.com was founded in partnership with the Case Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Goldhirsh Foundation and MCJ Amelior Foundation.  For more information or to build a profile and become involved, visit Think.MTV.com.