Local residents in search of a way to express their backing for U.S. armed forces in Iraq streamed into Lucas County Republican Party headquarters yesterday to pick up red, white, and blue yard signs with a printed message of support for President Bush and the troops.
The GOP, part of a program organized by the Ohio Republican Party, distributed the signs to whomever wanted them.
“My family feels that the tyranny of Saddam Hussein should be taken down,” said Jennifer Walton, who took time during her son Danny's third birthday to drive from her Perrysburg home to the party's Central Avenue headquarters in Sylvania Township to get a sign.
“In the long run, I think there will be a lot more coming out about Saddam Hussein's tyranny. I think he is a global threat. I've stood by President Bush and our allied forces from the beginning,” Mrs. Walton said. “I want my neighbors to know that we support our troops.”
Mark Jacobson and his daughter Michelle, 8, of Sylvania, also packed a sign out of headquarters, leaving a $5 donation that will go to a fund that meets the needs of families of local reservists who are serving in the Persian Gulf region.
“I was just thinking this morning about what I could do to help support the troops. I was thinking of calling a recruiting office to see if they had any ideas, but then I heard about this,” he said.
“We've been looking for a sign,” said Wendy Obradovich of Holland. “I am kind of upset about the war protesters. Those soldiers are suffering over there.”
The 400 signs that the party had ordered were gone in two hours, said Cossette Woodward, executive director of the county GOP.
“Most of the people were contributing $5 to $10 per sign,” she said. The donations, minus the cost of the signs, will be forwarded to the local Family Assistance Center of the Ohio National Guard, said Bernadette Noe, chairman of the county Republicans.
“People have been asking for them for 10 days to two weeks,” Ms. Noe said. “I think once people see these in their neighbors' yards, they are going to want one too. We are going to get some more, fast.”
Paula Ross, chairman of the Lucas County Democrats, said her “party does not have any plans” to organize a similar effort. She noted that the Democrat-dominated Toledo council passed a resolution last week supporting U.S. forces in Iraq.