Americans Rally Support for Troops

Americans across the country are fed up with anti-war sentiments hogging the headlines, so they're putting out a message of their own: Support American troops and the United States of America.

When anti-war posters began showing up on lawns around Detroit, Mike Ballard decided to make some of his own in support of U.S. troops fighting in Iraq.

"We just felt that this was an opinion that wasn't expressed," Ballard said.

And Illinois businessman Mark Batinick decided to fund his own pro-troops radio campaign.

"I'm sick of the anti-Americanism," Batinick said.

Along with two other friends, Batinick forked over $2,500 for a radio ad supporting the U.S. and coalition mission overseas. He said he's tired of hearing the anti-war cries voices by what he says is a minority of Americans.

"Unlike many people protesting American policy towards Iraq, I live in the real world," Batinick said. "I was talking to two of my buddies and we were really ticked about the support some people are giving Saddam Hussein."

Nationwide, with the war now underway, more Americans are coming forward to support their troops.

In Wisconsin, half of the town of New Auburn lined a highway overpass to cheer on deploying soldiers.

They quickly organized the rally after learning a convoy was coming through town.

And in South Dakota, one dad is putting up a flag each day, for each day his son is away on active duty.

"One flag every day until he comes home," said dad Fred Keifer.

"I'm proud of my son," Keifer said. "He's doing his duty. That's what he's in the service for. And I'm doing something for him."

For Kevin Henson, it's the service of his brother, Scott, that motivated him to put up Scott's picture at a Sam's Club in Brandon, Fla., to join photos of all service members in that community.

It's all part of a campaign called Neighborhood Heroes, which was founded by Sam's Club employees.

As part of the project, Sam's Club displays the pictures of local troops in the front of the store to serve as a patriotic reminder. The store is also donating care packages to the featured troops.

"A couple of us came together and said, 'hey we need to do something for the troops heading overseas,' to let the people in the neighborhood realize and our members here realize that we care about them," Henson said. "And whenever they come back, we have open arms waiting for them."

That very need continued to galvanize Americans of all stripes as they step forward with pro-American messages of all kinds.

Local news stations around the country, such as WJXT in Chicago, are inviting area resident to send in names of people serving in the military or civilians working to support the war effort here at home so that the station can profile them on the air.

About 5,000 people rallied in downtown Bellevue, Wash., Saturday in the biggest pro-troops demonstration yet in western Washington. Participants lined the streets while holding American flags and pro-troops signs. It was sponsored and organized by radio station 570 KVI.

"I mean we love our country and we know what our good president is doing," participant Carol Cassidy told KOMO TV.

Bob Riggins told KOMO TV that he's supporting the sons and daughters of America, including his own.

"He called me last night and says all he sees is the protests and the demonstrations against the war," Riggins said of his son stationed in Korea. "And he doesn't see any of the support and I told him we're out here."

Last Saturday, residents of Saco, Maine, lined Main Street with yellow ribbons, hanging them on utility poles from the war monument at the top of downtown to the Amtrak station, to show support for the troops despite the anti-war sentiment there. The ribbons were paid for by Owen Davis Post 96 of the American Legion.

"It's a great idea," post Commander David Walker, who was in Vietnam, told the Portland Press. "(Soldiers) are doing a service for this country. They deserve the respect and support of the American people regardless of how you feel about (the war)."

"It's a great, patriotic thing to do," Debbie Davis, the owner of the store making the ribbons, told the Press. "I don't totally support war, but I totally support the troops."

Fox News' Jeff Goldblatt and Liza Porteus contributed to this report.