Troops get holiday salute at airport

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ATLANTA —

For many of the men and women in the armed services, this was another day in uniform but those traveling through the Atlanta airport found a nice surprise waiting for them.

Channel 2’s Jeff Dore found plenty of excited travelers hoping to reunite with family for the holiday, and lots of people in uniform, traveling alone, some to new posts.

However, thanks to the airport USO, soldiers who get no cookout and no fireworks got a little barbecue.

Bare Knuckles BBQ donated free barbecue for all of the troops passing through.

“I’m not going to be over there in the sand fighting, but I can do this. This is the least I can do. It makes me happy. I hope it makes them happier too,” said Jim Stancil with Bare Knuckles.

Some soldiers are brand new, headed home from training.

“I'm just waiting to go to my duty stations so it's kind of a last chance to see my family before I go into the new life I've chosen,” said Pvt. James Lopez.

Lopez told Dore that wearing a uniform has completely changed the Fourth of July for him.

“An honor, I guess, in a way, to be part of a group that's been keeping the Fourth of July special for hundreds of years,” Lopez said.

Eric Ferguson is a veteran who knows that feeling.

"I also want to say thanks to all the veterans who've served, past and present," Ferguson said.