Many soldiers will spend the Fourth of July away from home. They're in Iraq, Afghanistan and in support positions all over the world.
The community of Pryor is working hard here at home to make things easier for their families.
News on 6 anchor Craig Day says in Pryor, there are yellow ribbons on lamp posts, American Flags waving in the wind, and plenty of patriotism. And you'll find a great example of support for military families. It's called the military families support train.
Theatre owner Gene Oliver: "I've seen the care packages sent to soldiers, but I thought, what about the families? The families have reduced incomes. They have reduced entertainment opportunities, their expenses are greater, and I thought what can a community do to support that family?"
More than 30 businesses have hopped aboard the support train to provide discounts to military families. 10 percent off at Sharpes Department Store, a free meal once a month at Steve's Conoco, discounts on books, even dog grooming at Marde's, you name it. Pryor Daily Times publisher Amy Johns: "We have cleaners and florists, and floor covering people. Car dealers, oil changes. Just pretty much the businesses here in Pryor who want to support these families."
The program is very simple. Military family members just go to the Pryor Daily Times office downtown. They need to bring a military ID and deployment orders. Then they get a special card that enables them to get discounts.
So far a couple of dozen local families are signed up. Organizers say the deals will last as long as soldiers are in Iraq and Afghanistan. Gene Oliver: "We do have at least some understanding of the hardships they are going through by their spouses being in the military and we want to let them know the community supports them and cares about their needs."
There are also discounts for Legal service, carpet cleaning, computer repair, all kinds of stuff. Organizers hope even more businesses will sign up to help military families.