MOUNT AIRY -- Marie Sanbower doesn't have any relatives in the Persian Gulf war, but she does have a lot of friends who do and who want to show their support for the military.
So she was very surprised when, within three days, she sold 248 "Support Our Troops" sweat shirts at the MountAiry Bowling Center where she bowls two nights a week and subs two other nights.
"I have a day care, and one of my children came in one day wearing one of these shirts. So I called her grandmother to find out where she got it," Sanbower said.
The source of the shirts is Diane Shepard of R & S Co. in Glen Burnie, Anne Arundel County. She has been kept busy in the last two weeks just filling orders for Sanbower.
"By the second week, I had orders for 250 more," Sanbower said. "Then Itook them to the rally last Saturday and sold 115 sweat shirts and nine T-shirts."
When people find out that $1.50 from each shirt sale is going to a special fund to support the troops in the war, "they go crazy, if that's the right word," Sanbower said.
As of last Wednesday, she said, almost $1,000 had been raised from the sales for the troops.
Both sweat shirts and T-shirts are available from Sanbower and the Mount Airy Town Office. Adult sweat shirts come in red, white, blue and black and cost $15.75 for sizes small, medium, large and extra large; $17.75 for double extra large and $19.75 for triple extra large.
The adult T-shirts, also in the four colors, are $10.50for sizes small, medium, large and extra large, and $11.50 for double extra large.
Children's sweat shirts come in red and blue only and cost $14.75 for small, medium and large sizes. T-shirts are $9.50 for extra small, small, medium and large sizes.
Money from the sale of the shirts will go to make tapes of last week's rally for those with relatives and friends in the gulf, Sanbower said.
Any additional money will go to a local florist shop that has been sending baked goods to the troops on a regular basis.
Information: 795-6012, 831-5768 or 829-1424.
COUNTIAN IS CRACK SHOOTER
Jody Ament joined the Army in 1988 because she was bored with her teaching career and a safe civilian lifestyle.
The Army did not disappoint.
The 27-year-old Finksburg resident now carries a weapon and gas mask to work. She is stationed in Frankfurt, Germany, where American bases are on full alert against terrorism. And she may yet be deployed to the Persian Gulf.
Ament joined up long before Iraq invaded Kuwait. The eight-year Iran-Iraq war was ending and the Cold War appeared over.
It seemed like a safe time to enter the military. Nonetheless, she stands by her decision to volunteer.
Ament is a crack marksman with the M-16 rifle. She earned her sharpshooter badge with a weapon she named "Pig" because it was always muddy in basic training.
She said she has no regrets about joining up.
"I'm glad I did it and, given the chance, I would do it again," Ament said. "I appreciate Americamore. But I'm not going to re-enlist."
Eventually, she hopes to work for the National Security Agency or the FBI.
"I could never goback to a humdrum 9-to-5 job after this," she said.
The graduate of Villa Julie College in Baltimore was to have returned to the United States last week for her final 18 months of duty. But her transfer has been postponed indefinitely.
Her workplace, a post office at the huge U.S. military complex on the outskirts of Frankfurt, is guarded by Marines. Ament, whose rank is specialist, dispatches mail to personnel serving in Operation Desert Storm.
"My job is OK. I mean, I feel like I have a mission to accomplish," Ament wrote in a recent letter to her parents. "At work we wear our equipment and carry our weapons. Frankfurt is the No. 1 terrorist target. Lucky me.
"Who would have thought, when I joined, that this (war) would happen. But we'll keep kicking butt."
DOCTOR REPORTS FOR DUTY
WESTMINSTER -- One of Carroll's surgeons, a member of the U.S. Army Reserve, has reported for duty at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
Donald D. Coker, a general surgeon who practices at Carroll CountyGeneral Hospital, said before he left that he is unsure whether being activated means he will end up in the Persian Gulf.
The 47-year-old father of two lives in Westminster with his wife, Pauline. A military reservist for 22 years, Coker received his medical training in the Army treating casualties of the Vietnam War.
A member of the 2290th U.S. Army Hospital Unit, Coker recently completed a 14-day course in Texas covering all aspects of desert combat, including compass reading, camouflage tactics, medical triage, and treating wounds from chemical and biological weapons.
Coker's patients will be treated by his medical partners, he said.
Officials at CCGH said Coker is one of at least five county medical professionals who have been called into service, but would not confirm specific names.
GROUP SMILES FOR TROOPS