The Oberlin Review
<< Front page News March 10, 2006

OC Republicans Support U.S. Troops
Support Our Box: Oberlin Republicanís box at Gibson’s awaits donations from shop patrons.

Forget the yellow ribbon magnets. The Oberlin College Republicans are offering college and community members alike a new and substantial way to “Support Our Troops.”

This past Monday, the CRs launched a community-wide drive intended to collect donations for service men and women stationed abroad. Working through the United Service Organizations of Northern Ohio, the CRs will collect items to be shipped in care packages to various overseas locations.

“I think that our troops out there in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere are making huge sacrifices, and in most cases they don’t get the recognition they deserve,” said Jonathan Bruno, college junior and president of the OC Republicans.

The items to be collected are intended to boost both comfort and morale. The list of items includes a wide assortment of products, ranging from dried fruit and PowerBars to magazines and tobacco. It was compiled through discussions between the USO and family members of military personnel who have heard firsthand about some of the small luxuries their family members miss abroad.

Bruno said that he believes this drive is a good opportunity to bring together conservatives and their opponents for a good cause.

“While the CRs may take a different approach about what the response is [to the war],” he said, “it’s clear that [other campus groups] also really care about what’s happening to our troops over there, so that’s why I thought it would get a great reception, not just from conservatives, but also from liberals and opponents of the war.”

The CRs will be accepting donations March 11 and the following Saturday, March 18, from 2-4 p.m. in the lobby of Wilder. Those wishing to make donations at other times can travel downtown to three designated drop-off locations at Gibson’s, Ben Franklin and Missler’s Super Valu.

These downtown businesses seem happy to open their doors to the cause.

“I’m not a supporter of the war that’s going on over there,” explained MindFair and Ben Franklin owner Krista Long. Long has agreed to house a drop-off location at her store. “But I do know people who have kids that are over there and there are a lot of families in this community that are affected by it. I think the idea of helping the individual troops that are over there and helping them get a little bit of comfort and a little bit of home is a reasonably good project.”

Dave Gibson, owner of the store that bears his name, gave similar reasons for his store’s support.

“Getting into the philosophy of the war and so forth, hey, these are our guys and gals, and if they can get any help or any comfort out of our support, I think they deserve it.”

The CRs will continue their campus involvement this semester through their on-going Ronald Reagan Lecture Series. The series is intended to raise student awareness of conservative viewpoints. They also intend to organize and carry out another community service activity before the end of the semester. Collaborative efforts with liberal campus groups to organize point-counterpoint lectures on controversial issues are also in the works.

Bruno hopes the drive, which ends March 19, will garner a sizeable response.

“The reason we’re doing this is just to try to bring attention to the fact that these men and women are extremely courageous,” he said. “They’ve made incredible sacrifices and we ought to be recognizing that.”


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