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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Crowd gathers in support of American troops

Students and residents of the Bryan-College Station area gathered in the Academic Plaza Monday to express their support for troops in Iraq.
The “Patriots for America,” organized by sophomores Justin Decker and Lindsey Arms, planned the event after hearing students say that they wanted a rally showing support for U.S. troops. The rally was partly in response to antiwar rallies held on campus.
The protesters were not necessarily supportive of the war or President George W. Bush. Instead, the emphasis was on the troops, Decker said.
The Patriots passed out yellow ribbons to students and had poster boards that students could write on to send to troops based in Kuwait.
Protesters also held American flags and spoke with students who stopped by the free speech area, while children sang patriotic tunes.
Decker said because of the rise in the number of antiwar protests, he wanted to give students an opportunity to show their support of the troops even if they do not agree with the war.
Lindsey Arms, a political science major and co-organizer of the rally, said the rally intended to send a message of support. She said the recent war protests around the country give the wrong idea of patriotism.
“I feel it’s great to show freedom of speech, but I know of some (protests) around the country that are less patriotic, like jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge and smashing in windows,” Arms said. “I feel there is a more peaceful way.”
Michelle Aucoin, a resident of College Station, said she is not in favor of war, but was at the rally because she supports removing Saddam Hussein and his regime.
“People have been disrespectful to our troops,” she said, “and I wanted to neutralize that effort that has been highly publicized.”

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