By Diana Bowley, Of the NEWS Staff - DEXTER - When Town Manager Robert Simpson returned to the United States after a stint as a military fighter pilot in the Vietnam War, his thanks was a wad of spit aimed in his direction.The full colonel had devoted 25 years to the Air Force to help serve his country and protect the freedom of his countrymen and women only to return home to be degraded by an individual whose freedom Simpson had fought to defend.
"I'll remember that to my dying days," Simpson told about 100 people who attended a downtown rally Sunday in support of the military.
That greeting is one that Simpson hopes will not be extended to the young men and women who return from the Iraqi conflict. Regardless of what people see and think about the conflict, the coalition is doing the right thing and history will bear this out, he said Wednesday.
Simpson said those who are engaged in the conflict should all be hailed as heroes upon their return because they have unselfishly put the country first in their lives. Sunday's rally, he said, was intended to remind the men and women that they are supported back home.
Cathy Bogdanski, one of the local supporters, said the rally was a community effort. Sen. Paul Davis, R-Sangerville, participated, as did the local American Legion.
"We just wanted it for the troops," Bogdanski said. Motorists honked their car horns affirming their support as they passed the rally, she said. Girl Scout Troop 414 made small red, white and blue ribbons for participants to wear and Main Street was dressed in yellow ribbons. Most participants carried American flags or posters bearing words of support.
Bogdanski said pictures were taken of the rally and copies will be sent to those associated with the Dexter area who are serving abroad.
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