It was a massive display of support.
"Thank you troops for freedom! We love you!" said one supporter.
Troops driving to Camp Murray or Fort Lewis Saturday had not doubt of that love.
Supporters packed four different overpasses on I-5, waving American flags and carrying sings of support.
"This is what patriotism is all about man, " said one man
The biggest crowds gathered at the Berkely street entrance to Camp Murray.
Claudia Gaska handed each soldier a flower as they drove past.
"It lifts my heart. It makes me feel like I'm giving them a little bit of peace and hope and faith," said Gaska.
National Guardsman Justin Lee from Algona got two of those flowers.
"Thank god they're here to support us," said Lee. It surprises me how many are actually out here. I wasn't expecting this kind of a surprise!"
Anti-war protesters might not have been expecting this surprise either.
The ranks of the pro-troop forces swelled even larger when they learned war protesters might rally on the overpass too.
Misty Robinson is married to a soldier. "They need to know that this war has to go on for a reason and that we as a people need to stick together," she said. "This anti war stuff is just not gonna happen around here."
Actually it did happen, but very briefly. Maybe a dozen anti-war protesters showed up. They were quickly surrounded and although they tried to shout their message, they were shouted down.
All of the shouted and chanting went on as Chris Hilstad quietly held up a sign for her nephew PFC Duane Longstreth of the 82nd airborne. He was killed in a non-combat incident in Iraq in August. She lost a soldier in her family. She supported Longstreth's cause and she wanted the ones leaving Saturday to know, despite her loss, she supports them too.
"We're here we're here for all of them," she said. "This is what I can do for my country is support the troops that are over there (in the Middle East)."