Friend of the troops ties ribbons around Cassopolis

Published 12:02 am Monday, March 31, 2003

By By MARCIA STEFFENS / Edwardsburg Argus
CASSOPOLIS -- Yellow is the color of hope.
For Terrie Tabbert of Dutch Settlement Street, yellow ribbons signify support for our troops now fighting in Iraq.
A receptionist for 13 years in the Friend of the Court office in the Cass County courthouse, Tabbert heard about tying yellow ribbons around trees.
She didn't stop at just one.
After receiving permission from County Administrator Terry Proctor, Tabbert began her own campaign of putting ribbons on the tress, signs and posts surrounding the courthouse in Cassopolis.
And she has only just begun.
Her plan is to have ribbons at the four entrances to the Village of Cassopolis to show support for not only the service men and women, but also for her own Marine -- her son, Jeremie Weber.
A bit of a rebel as a boy, Tabbert used to threaten to send him to military school.
After dropping out of Ross Beatty High School, he returned to finish in the adult education program, just so he could enter the Marines.
A diploma was a requirement, as they wouldn't accept a GED, Tabbert said.
She accepted his certificate for him and gave a yellow rose to Weber's recruiter, who also attended the graduation ceremony which Jeremie had to miss as he went into the service in March 2000.
The Marines are "the hardest branch of the military," said Tabbert. "He had to prove he could do this. He is the only one in his platoon certified to drive the Humvee and transport explosives and ammo. He is also sniper certified."
The last time Tabbert saw her son was in August 2001, when he had been home for less than two weeks. She had back surgery and when she came to he was touching her hand. She went back to sleep and when she woke back up, he was gone back to his unit.
Weber, 24, had been stationed in Okinawa since June 2002 and now she doesn't know where he is stationed. But she does know Marines go into combat first.
With the war beginning last week she has been emotional, crying a lot. "I know I'm not the only parent with a child going," she added.
She watched the President of the United States making his speech Wednesday evening, telling the troops of our support. "I have the upmost respect for our President," she added.
Along with pictures of her son and many red, white and blue flags, Tabbert's desk is surrounded photos of Toby Keith. She especially likes Keith's new patriotic song.
Tabbert belongs to the Marine Corp Moms, who meet in Elkhart, ind. On Saturday, March 29 the group will meet in the afternoon, she said.
Tabbert herself at one time wanted to be a Marine, but the recruiter wouldn't accept a divorced mother with four children.
She has another son, 26, and two girls, 21 and 23, and two grandchildren.
Though the cost of the ribbons is mounting, and they are harder to find to purchase, she plans to continue tying them on during her breaks.