Tribute to soldiers in Steeleville

By Arnold Wyrick - bio | email

STEELEVILLE, IL - (KFVS) -The 4th of July holiday reminds all of us that sometimes freedom, isn't free.

Many throughout the community of Steeleville wanted to let those men and women in uniform know how much they appreciate their service.

"We just feel like we would like to support our troops," said Alexandra Pokrzywinski, co-owner of The Firehouse Brew Company.

"My family has been in the military. My boyfriend is currently serving in Afghanistan.  And we just feel like it's a great way to let our troops know how much we appreciate them."

The tribute in Steeleville was for all soldiers, those who made it home and those who did not.

"What they're having to put up with, they're over there in 117 degree heat, maybe they don't get to eat decently or take a bath daily, and we've got it made over here. And they're doing it for us," said Wayne Ludeman of Steeleville.

A couple of the Saint Louis Rams cheerleaders showed up to support the troops and to give a few proud dads a photo to share with their sons.

It's a call to duty that we know, but sometimes don't hear.

"A lot of them aren't here they're in Afghanistan and in Iraq. So it's important for us to not only recognize them once a year, but also every day," said Janice Barbour of Steeleville.

That's what an organization know as A Soldier's Wish List has been doing for thousands of soldiers around the world.

"At Christmas time we send out 5,000-gifts and the wishes can consist of anything," said Julie Ann Najar.

"They can be a gift for a soldier's daughter, or his wife on an anniversary. We've even sent 125-pizzas over to Lt. Colonel Kahn's troops in Afghanistan."

To learn more about the programs just go to

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