While the war in Iraq continues, people here at home gather in large numbers to support the troops. For the first time since the war started, hundreds came together here in Lubbock to rally for the men and women fighting overseas.
The College Republicans of Tech held the rally on Memorial Circle today. They organized the event because their have been so many anti war protests across the country, they wanted to rally to support our troops. It wasn't a rally for the war but it was a chance for people of all ages to get together and say we're behind you.
American flags, signs of support and a patriotic spirit filled memorial circle on Friday.
"I'm here to tell our troops, particularly the ones from Texas we're very proud of them all of them especially the Commander and Chief and the troops that are over there fighting for us," Alan Wuensche, a local supporter said.
"I think it's awesome that we can express our feelings and support our troops and it feels great to see all the people holding up the American flag, fighting for our country," said 12-year-old Sean Compton.
Words of encouragement from veterans, along with powerful patriotic songs made the event emotional for many.
"For all of us it's very emotional to see people that actually support us instead of watching the news and see people that are so anti war and anti everything right now it's great to come here and see people who supports us," says Betsy Stiles, the fiance' of a Marine overseas.
During the rally hundreds gathered in support of the troops but over on the sides of Memorial Circle about 20 protesters gathered. They were quite the entire time, just holding signs of anti-war, exercising their freedom of speech.
"I was in desert storm and this is the kind of thing that keeps us going over there, is our families back home, we need to support our families too their sacrificing also we need to support our families and we need to support our troops," said Lee Savell, a Desert Storm Veteran.
"If you were in those fellows shoes over there and I have been, it makes you feel that you're worthwhile and that your doing something that means something to people that love and care about you more than anything else in the country," John Zahn, war veteran said.
Organizers of Friday's event felt it was a huge success, and according to the tech police department, there was no problem or confrontation with the protestors.