In 2005, Enid became the first city in the nation to partner with the Department of Defense’s America Supports You program, showing community support for U.S. armed forces.
The program was initiated by April Danahy, of Security National Bank, and Brian Hayden, of Advance Food Co. Ernie Currier, also of Security National Bank, was mayor of Enid at the time and led the charge for the city. On March 15, 2005, Currier and the city commission approved a proclamation making March 31, 2005, Enid America Supports You Day.
“It was an initiative from (Secretary of Defense) Donald Rumsfeld. America Supports You. People e-mailed troops greetings and Enid was the first to do that,” Danahy said.
The idea was brought to Enid by Greg Allen, son of Advance Food founder Paul Allen, who heard a suggestion during a discussion with Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, and Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Enid has been home to Vance Air Force Base since 1941.
Greater Enid Chamber of Commerce, city of Enid and Enid Development Alliance all cooperated to set up the community rally to show support for troops. The event was held in a packed Mark Price Arena.
The event featured numerous patriotic speakers, uplifting songs and a video showing the people of Afghanistan voting for the first time. Supporters also handed out 10,000 bumper and window stickers, which Danahy, who was on the chamber board, said occasionally still can be seen in Enid.
“It was packed. There were chairs on the floor and both tiers were full of people in the arena,” Danahy said. “It was very well attended and much supported, which you would expect from Enid, which supports our military personnel so much. There was flag-waving, patriotic songs and it was a great evening.”
The event was recognized in the Armed Forces Press Service, which carried a story of the rally.