About 60 people rallied in support of American troops in Iraq Monday night on the west side of the State Capitol. They gathered to be part of the "Fight for Victory Tour," which made Des Moines the 20th stop on a 27-city tour. One of the organizers is Deborah Johns, whose son has completed three tours in Iraq and has volunteered for a fourth. Johns says she decided to begin the group Move America Forward in response to the anti-war voices she heard.
Johns says: "We don’t want to see 9-11 happen here again. We do support our troops and this isn’t 1972. We’re not going to let the anti- crowd dishonor our veterans, our monuments or our military ever again." Johns says the general is right when he says progress is being made.
Johns says: "There’s more good things going on than negative things. My son has even said, from his first tour and second tour of duty to his third tour, it’s night and day different." The son of Lynn Hayden of Ankeny served with Johns’ son in Iraq. Hayden says the U.S. needs to complete the mission of defeating the terrorists.
Hayden says: "The troops don’t feel supported if we don’t support their mission. It’s such an important mission to be honest, a lot of America just isn’t understanding because a lot of the politicians have turned it into a political thing."
Another person at the rally was Stephanie Roseland of the Marshall County town of Melbourne. She says she knows no one who has served in Iraq, but wanted to demonstrate support anyway. Roseland says: "This morning, when it was raining, I was thinking of not coming down because it was cold and icky and I thought, ‘My gosh. Look at what they’re putting up with.’ It’s the least I can do to come and show some support."
The tour stops over the noon hour today at Veterans Memorial Park in Cedar Rapids. It ends September 15th with a rally in Washington, D.C.