By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Scott Burns will see to it that troops overseas will be able to call loved ones at home.
The professional DJ and former Marine is so serious about it, he’ll spend nine days on a 15-foot high platform at the food court inside The Mall at Barnes Crossing. Burns hopes to raise $30,000 to buy calling cards for troops stationed overseas. He kicked off the fundraiser with a Support the Troops rally at the mall on Sunday, and he’ll come down from the platform on July 4.
“People always ask me why I do this,” Burns said. “My question is, why not?”
This is the fifth Support the Troops rally Burns has hosted. In the past, he’s raised about $4,000 to $5,000, but he upped his goal this year. With $30,000, he can buy about 14,000 calling cards to send to men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“A 60-minute card allows them to speak for about 12 to13 minutes from Afghanistan,” Burns said.
Sen. Roger Wicker spoke at the rally and commended the many veterans in the audience.
“If you want to see a hero, young people, they’re sitting right here,” he said. “We have the greatest country on the face of the Earth, and we’re represented by the greatest troops on the face of the Earth.”
Rep. Alan Nunnelee echoed Wicker’s sentiment and praised the families of service members.
“A group that gets overlooked are the parents, the spouses, the children, who, every night before they go to bed, say a prayer, and every morning when they wake up, they say a prayer. We remember you and we’re grateful for your sacrifice,” he said.
While Burns is on the platform, he’ll raffle off items such as furniture and grills, as well as host open mic nights and giveaways.
The rally also included performances by the Dixie Strings and members of the West Jackson Street Baptist Choir.
Shane Corley, of Saltillo, who is currently serving his second tour of duty in Iraq, came home for a visit in May and brought home a flag he flew while on a mission. His wife, Lakeisha, presented the flag to Burns to fly during his nine-day stay.