As the war builds in Iraq, people in the Coastal Empire are showing their support for American troops. More than 500 people turned out for a pro-America rally at Fort Stewart. Wives, husbands, children, parents and friends of the Third Infantry Division waved flags, held signs and carried pictures of loved ones serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
"I'm very proud to be an American," said Theresa Putzig, who's husband is fighting in Iraq, "and I'm very proud that my husband is serving in the U.S. Army." She says even though she sees thousands of people protesting the war in other parts of the country, loyalty at Fort Stewart is stronger than ever. "This is for our country, for our soldiers," she says.
Unfortunately, say some veterans, soldiers who fought in previous wars never saw support like this.
"Somebody with long hair spat on me, started calling me all kinds of names and everything. I felt bad, but this is great," explains Butch Hemingway, a Vietnam Veteran, who also came out to show his support. "I just hope we can get this over with and get our troops home save and God Bless America."
It's also a chance for families to take their minds off of the stress of war. "I think it keeps up the morale for the wives," says Paula Foerstel, the rally's organizer, "They get out and show everybody that they support their husbands and loved ones."