Dan and Hazel Shallcross were tired of seeing their television screen filled with anti-war protesters outside the White House.
The Glen Burnie couple say they don't like war, but they support President Bush's actions in the Persian Gulf and want the troops in the Middle East to know it. That is why, until the war ends, they say, you will see them near the Fairlanes Bowl on Jumpers Hole Road, leading a rallyin support of the soldiers.
"We're good Americans," said Dan Shallcross, a Vietnam veteran. "It's as simple as that. None of us advocate war. But it's a lonely feeling when you are out lying in a desert foxhole and everyone back home is against you."
The couple, like many others in the county, have a personal stake in the gulf war. Two of their children are serving in the armed forces. They didn't want to identify them because of their sensitive missions; one is in the Air Force and could be flying missions into Iraq.
Two of their other sons are reservists and could be called up."I'm not doing this because my kids are over there," Dan Shallcross said. "I'm doing this because America's kids are over there."
About eight people joined the Shallcrosses Saturday afternoon on Jumpers Hole Road near Fairlanes Bowl, close to the intersection of Ritchie Highway. All either had family members or friends serving in the Middle East.
Most were dressed in Army fatigues. All carried signs asking people driving by to honk in support of the soldiers. Most drivers obliged.
"(The troops) have to go out and do a job," said Janice Snukis, who joined her husband, Mike, at the rally. "We have got to show them we care."
The Snukis' 19-year-old son, Chris, is scheduled for gulf duty next month, when he ships out from a Virginia Beach naval base on board a mine sweeper. "I'm not looking forward to him going over," said Janice Snukis, of Millersville.
Herhusband said they had a long talk about war with Chris before he joined the Navy last February, about 60 days before Iraq invaded Kuwait on Aug. 2. "Sure enough, two months later . ."
But Mike Snukis said he supports Bush's decision to go to war. "We gave Saddam Hussein every opportunity to pull out."
The Shallcrosses said they will be back every Saturday to the same spot until the war ends. Dan Shallcross said it is important for America to stick up for other countries when they are invaded, especially Kuwait and Israel, and protect the country's overseas interests.
"That's what America is about, to protect people," he said, adding that he has little use for war protesters who shout slogans like, "No blood for oil."
"How would they feel if the government came out and said, 'We agree with you, now give us all your car keys?' They would be the first ones screaming."