Citibus Dedicates Moving Symbol of Military Appreciation - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/13/03

Citibus Dedicates Moving Symbol of Military Appreciation

"I can't think of a better honor than to fight for our country and stand up for it and we thought we should show them our appreciation here in Lubbock and what better way than wrap a bus that represents the freedom for Iraq," says Citibus General Manager, John Wilson. 

Veterans, young and old, unveil Lubbock's newest Citibus. Complete with a military detail and a camouflaged uniform, the 'Freedom Bus' is a rolling symbol of appreciation for our troops.

"Citibus is doing a great thing and I'm very proud of what citibus is doing and I'm more proud of what our men are doing in Iraq," says Gulf War Veteran, Jackie Criddle. 

Pride for men like Marine Lance Corporal Alex Villapudua who just returned from fighting on the front lines in Iraq a couple of weeks ago. He says gestures like this from Lubbock continue to shock him. "I was thinking I was gonna have the opposite kind of attention. They told us about all the protests and stuff. I was like I can handle that and I came home and ya'll were at the airport and people I didn't know were there and I was like, wow!"

The Freedom Bus is making its way around the city for the first time as a symbol of support for our military both past and present. "It makes me feel proud that Lubbock would appreciate us Veterans enough to show it in such a manner that can be seen daily," says Criddle.

"This is probably the greatest gesture the city has done for any service member.  It's definitely an honor to be in the bus right now," says Juan Rivera of the U.S. Army National Guard. 

The bus serves as a reminder of those who fought for a priviledge many of us take for granted. "I am appreciative of the fact that I do have my freedom. Let's not forget the veterans and the guys that are still over there," says Veteran, Ben Jones.

"It's awesome to go over there and do what we did and then come back to a reception like this, it's really nice," says Alex.

"Everytime I see that bus on the Lubbock streets I will think of my son no matter where he is," says Sandra Perkins, Alex's mother.

The 'Freedom Bus' will make its way through Lubbock streets until all of our troops come home from Iraq.

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