Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Come to Hobart

Veterans and their families will flock to Hobart, Oklahoma this weekend to spend the time with retired, four-star Gen. Tommy Franks for the third, annual Celebration of Freedom.

The event has a host of sponsors dedicated to providing activities for parents, grand parents and children of all ages. The parade down Main Street will be led by a Native American color guard and will feature everything wonderful about small town, America, including Miss Oklahoma 2010, Emoly West, as Grand Marshall.

The Freedom Motorcycle Rumble parade through downtown Hobart will take place around 2:30. Onlookers will see Franks leading hundreds of motorcycle riders through town stopping at the Tommy Franks Leadership Institute and Museum.

Sunday night will host a concert featuring country-western singer Aaron Tippin.

Since Franks’ 2003 retirement Franks and wife Cathy have put together a stunning museum displaying scenes from Franks’ military career and much education about Middle East countries. In association with the museum, Franks has begun a leadership institute to bring together youth of varying countries to learn to debate, and discuss the tough issues of multiple cultures on the same planet.

The General Tommy Franks Leadership Institute and Museum has grown exponentially since its “soft” opening for Veterans Day weekend Nov. 8, 2008. Friend of the Franks have come from around the world at various times to attend a Celebration of Freedom and to tour the museum.

Franks is a leader revered by privates as well as colonels. He as wounded in Vietnam and led the Allied forces to Baghdad in 2003 before his retirement in July. When he autographs his book “American Soldier” for Vietnam veterans, he almost always writes “Welcome home” because a large number of Vietnam veterans did not have the experience of a joyful homecoming.

The small town of Hobart, Oklahoma will transform itself for the Memorial Day weekend to host thousands of folks who come to celebrate freedom with the general whose troops call him “a Soldier’s General.” Hobart will also be celebrating its heritage and honoring local veterans. It’s a place with patriotism is common and military individuals revered.

Hobart is located in the heart of southwest Oklahoma, 40 miles south of Interstate 40 on U.S. Highway 183 and about 40 miles north of Vernon, Texas.

For a schedule of events or more information about the festival, visit the Website at

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