By Robert Barron Staff Writer



The city of Enid was honored recently for its support of American troops at the annual Keepers of the Flame dinner by the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C.

Mayor Ernie Currier attended the dinner.

"As they read the recognition, I felt such a sense of pride just being there from Enid, Okla., as they bragged on our community and the way we support the troops and our military base," Currier said.

He said it was an emotional time for him.

"I did feel like a duck out of water. This was obviously a room full of influential people, and I felt a little more pride because most of them probably had no clue where Enid is, but they took the time to honor us," he said.

The black tie dinner held at Union Station was attended by about 350 people.

Enid became the first city in America to officially join the America Supports You program, sponsored by the Department of Defense. The program recognizes the efforts of armed forces members.

Enid joined various entertainers, companies and individuals who have formed America Supports You partnerships.

As part of Enid's effort, the city adopted two military units, the 71st Security Forces Squadron of Vance Air Force Base and the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment from Fort Lewis, Wash., currently deployed in Mosul, Iraq.

The city also organized 20,000 residents to join the effort by sending e-mails, books, magazines, DVDs and other items to the members of these units.

This is the first year Keepers of the Flame has honored "Heroes of the Homefront." Also recognized were fire departments in New York City and Arlington, Va., for their efforts on Sept. 11, 2001.

The city was honored along with U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe. Inhofe, R-Okla., who also received the Keeper of the Flame Award. Past recipients of the award have included Ronald Reagan and Donald Rumsfeld.

Keepers of the Flame is a group associated with the Center for Security Policy, an independent group interested in America's security and military support.

Among the sponsors of the evening were Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics and Boone Pickens, among others.



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