Jamie Oberg, News 9
OKLAHOMA -- The Obama administration says the United States will continue to support Iraq even though all 40,000 U.S. troops will return home by the end of the year
Before they get back to Oklahoma, many soldiers are overseas without necessities they need.
Saturday, local bands held a benefit concert in Edmond to help the Hugs Project get supplies for soldiers overseas.
"While we're over here doing our thing, playing music, our troops are over there suffering and they've put their hind ends on the line so it's the least we could do to help an organization that supports that," Local artist Ron Black said.
Black decided to use his guitar skills and call upon some friends for a musical mission to help drum up donations for 5,000 Oklahoma troops by Christmas.
"We know how big-hearted Oklahomans are and we know how much they support our troops this is their chance to get in on it," Project Hugs organizer, Karen Stark said.
It's the little thing, Karen says, that matter most for those away from home. The Hugs project collects things like socks, canned goods and soap to send to soldiers every month.
Solo artists and singers, along with local bands like Organized Chaos, Wildheart and Shotgun Rebellion, joined in to help the Hugs project. They all have close ties with those who fought and still fighting overseas.
"We know what it was like and what it meant for our fathers and forefathers to go and fight for our freedom," Shotgun Rebellion band member Rick Davis said.
Playing at the Oklahoma National Guard Armory in Edmond added a special emotional touch for band members where many soldiers have been called off to fight for our freedom.
"It means a lot to us to support our troops especially when one of our band members is that and all the band members are military kids," Davis said.
Hugs says many of those serving overseas were just kids when the war began. Hugs is thrilled with more being called home, but until they're all back, Stark's mission will be to let them open gifts on Christmas and know Oklahoma cares.
You can donate to the Hugs Project online, or go to their headquarters at Crossroads Mall.