Few people are as committed to a cause as Jack Barnes. He has been the driving force behind the America Supports You Texas group, a 501 (c) 3 which supports and recognizes current military personnel and veterans throughout the year. Barnes, a native of Perryton, is retired Navy.
Among the activities during the year are cookouts for send-offs for local troops, Welcome Home Troops gathering for those who come home, and financial assistance for emergency needs for families of those serving in Iraql.
Last fall, Barnes and others from ASYT raised enough money to take about 50 World War II veterans to Washington, D.C. to see the World War II memorial. He plans another trip again later in the year.
This weekend represents the highlight of the year for the group. Tonight is the American Fallen Heroes Reception at Sunset Center in which artist Phil Taylor will present portraits of seven who died in Iraq and Afghanistan to their families.
Saturday night at the Civic Center, the "Celebrating Freedom and Honoring Service" banquet will conclude the weekend. Saturday is also Armed Forces Day. Guest speaker is Lt. Mike Thornton, who received the Congressional Medal of Honor while in Vietnam.