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Young supporters revive old tradition

SUQUAMISH — A yellow glow in Suquamish should be visible from space this week after a group of young troop supporters brought back an old tradition.

The kids in Debra Robison’s Buddies and Pals Daycare spent nearly four hours Tuesday morning decorating the neighborhood with yellow ribbons, showing support of the armed forces overseas.

“I thought it would be a learning experience for the kids,” Robison said. “I asked about how they felt about war and they said they are out there fighting for us.”

When the war in Iraq started last month, Robison suggested tying one ribbon a day on a tree in her yard for each day the troops were overseas, but she then decided to take it a step further.

“We planted a garden for the troops,” said 5-year-old Kelsey Johnson.

Robison, Johnson and other pre-schoolers planted flowers and built a fence around their new garden.

“It was their way of supporting the troops,” Robison said.

The group upped their spirit another level on April 1 by marching around the neighborhood with yellow and blue ribbons and tying them on street poles, mailboxes and bushes.

“A lot of people appreciated it, saying thank you,” Robison said. “There were no yellow ribbons up — none.”

Robison said she and the kids came across numerous neighbors who were grateful for what they were doing. A father of a pilot who is currently fighting overseas said he hadn’t seen any yellow ribbons up and thanked the kids.

“Another woman said, ‘God bless you, thank you for thinking of them,’” Robison explained. “A lot of people were all for it, because they are our troops and our people and we should support them. I don’t believe in the war, but I believe we should support troops.”

The ribbon used was whatever they could find at stores in Poulsbo and Silverdale, Robison said.

But after the yellow ribbon ran out, the group decided to make bows by cutting up blue and yellow plastic table cloths into strips.

By engaging the kids in this type of activity, Robison said she hopes it helps teach them something positive about the world.

“I see kids playing war, but they need to see a positive side besides pretending to play war,” Robison said. “They need to see other ways to support. Parents need to talk to their kids about war. A lot of them understand what’s going on — they talk about it at school.”

Kelsey Morgan, 12, was concerned about the troops and helped the younger kids make the blue and yellow bows.

“My best friend’s dad is out in Iraq and I want to let him know that I care,” she said as she fiddled with a blue bow.

All the kids’ goal and motivation was to do their part for their country, 10-year-old Nick Marshall summed up.

“To help our troops get home safe,” he said.

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