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Lawrenceville honors troop supporters

LAWRENCEVILLE - American flags lined the railings of the steps at Lawrenceville City Hall on Saturday as the city's mayor, police department and a fire station were recognized for their support of U.S. troops.

Military personnel gathered under gray skies threatening rain as Barbara "Bebop" Swenson, founder of Troop Bebop USA, presented plaques and items of recognition to Mayor Rex Millsaps and the firefighters of Gwinnett County Fire Station No. 15.

"Out of all the cities I've worked with, all the communities I've been in, I can't believe how patriotic this city is," Swenson said. "This has nothing to do with politics. This is pure patriotism."

The Patriot Guard Riders of Georgia, a group made up primarily of motorcycle riders who attend the funeral services of fallen soldiers as invited guests of the family to show their support, presented a plaque to Maj. Paul King and Lt. Jeff Smith, who accepted the recognition on behalf of the Lawrenceville Police Department.

"From the city of Lawrenceville and all of Gwinnett County, any time we're called out to honor any of our fallen servicemen, the city of Lawrenceville, by far, shows more support than any other agency that we have had the opportunity to ride with throughout the entire Southeast," said Michael "Nano" Louviere, state captain for the Patriot Guard Riders of Georgia.