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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

For Immediate Release: February 15, 2007

Senator Tom Ivester explains the Vets for Victory Program at the State Capitol Thursday along with
(L-R) Rep. Paul Wesselhoft, Rep. Mike Reynolds and retired LTC Steve Russell.

Vets for Victory Project Encourages Support for Oklahoma Troops

State Senator Tom Ivester is no stranger to the sort of sacrifice and dedication required of Oklahoma’s military personnel serving in wartime. Ivester is a combat veteran of the Global War on Terror in Afghanistan, who proudly served in the 82nd Airborne Division and the 3rd Special Forces Group.

On Thursday, the Senator joined retired LTC Steve Russell in a press conference at the state Capitol to encourage participation in the Vets for Victory program. A national effort to show support for America’s troops, Vets for Victory will be holding its first Victory Rally on Saturday, February 17, on the south steps of the state Capitol. The rally will be the first of many throughout the nation.

“This is an effort to extend our support and appreciation to our troops – to show them and the state as a whole that we appreciate their sacrifice and that we will not abandon them in a time of war,” said Ivester, D-Elk City. “I believe participating in this rally is the least we can do to repay them for their tremendous sacrifice on our behalf. I encourage everyone to come out to the Capitol Saturday morning and show their support for our troops.”

The Senate on Thursday approved Senate Concurrent Resolution 8, authored by Ivester and Sen. Jim Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City, to pledge support to our troops. The measure also designates Feb. 17, 2007, as “Vets for Victory Day” in Oklahoma.

“I’m pleased that on Saturday, we’ll be able to come together to do something positive to honor the efforts of our troops,” said Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City. “This is a time of critical importance, and we need to let our troops, our veterans and our military know that we stand behind them as they face challenging missions in difficult circumstances.”

The Vets for Victory rally will begin Saturday at 10:30 a.m. on the south steps of the state Capitol. The rally will feature nationally known speaker and media analyst LTC Steve Russell, a central player in the hunt and capture of Saddam Hussein. LTC Russell and Senator Ivester are previously acquainted, having met on several occasions while in Afghanistan. Russell is a veteran of military efforts in Kosovo, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq.

“Having been in the Middle East I understand how important it is to have the support of everyone at home when you’re seeking to accomplish a mission,” Ivester said. “On Saturday, we have the opportunity to send them a message that we appreciate their efforts and are thankful for all our troops do to preserve our safety and freedoms.”

For more information on the rally of the Vets for Victory program, contact Sen. Ivester at (405) 521-5545 or Sen. Reynolds at (405) 521-5522.

For more information contact:
Senate Ivester's Office - (405) 521-5545

Inon: Horizontal Blue Band

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