Muskogee turns out for a rally in support of US troops in Iraq

Friday, April 4th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Communities across Oklahoma are hosting rallies of support for the war and the men and women taking part in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Muskogee rallied Friday and News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan says when Linda Hasler heard about the rally - she knew she needed to be there - to honor her son. "It's hard to think about my son fighting but my grandfather fought in World War I, my father fought in World War 2 and I guess it's my son’s job to fight in this one for us."

She and her family came to wave their flags and hear inspiring words. Some held pictures of their loved ones - others had no personal connection - just a patriotic feeling. Ruth Ann Ticoulat, "I'm here because my dad served in World War 2 and I'm very proud of him and I've always been patriotic and I always support the troops, always."

There are dozens of young people from Muskogee fighting in the war. Their friends and family came here to sign a community letter of support - and drop off supplies for a mass mailing. Lila Bell has already mailed a box to her nephew. "We've sent him a box, I got completely carried away it weighed 22 lbs, it cost $34 dollars so it had everything under the sun in it."

One speaker said rallies like this one help more than just the families. Major General Harry Wyatt, Oklahoma National Guard: "It's extremely important that we as Americans do this because the word and support does get over the troops in theatre and it does make a difference."

These families are far from their loved ones - but things like this - help them feel a little closer.