Family shows support for troops and their siblings

Published 12:22 am Friday, April 18, 2003

By By MARCIA STEFFENS / Cassopolis Vigilant
CASSOPOLIS -- Dressed in red, white and blue, members of the Mckay family go to work with their parents at the Sign of the Unicorn in Cassopolis, just over the tracks near the Ross Beatty High School where they all attended.
Outside fly the American flag, one for the POWs and on the bottom but first in their hearts, is the yellow flag for the 101st Airborne, in which their brother Don, 26, is a Captain, now a few miles south of Baghdad in Iraq.
He was commissioned on the July day that John F. Kennedy Jr. died, Don's mother Lynn remembers.
The only communication she or her husband Philip have had is a letter dated March 15 saying he was in Kuwait. Since they can't get ABC, she added, having an embedded ABC reporter with the division hasn't helped them see pictures or learn any more information.
Lynn has had to call down to Kentucky.
The patriotic showing of yellow ribbons, a large Airborne sign and red white and blue decorations, which surrounds the business she started 20 years ago comes from a family background of patriotism.
They have visited the Pentagon and Ground Zero together and thanked the firefighters in New York, one of which lost his son in the attacks on the World Trade Center.
Of the eight children, which includes a set of triplets and twins, two are now serving in the military.
Jacquelyn has been a teacher in Edwardsburg for ninth grade English and is the varsity volleyball coach for Cassopolis. Brother Dave coaches baseball in Cassopolis.
Joanne, one of the triplets and a former Miss Cassopolis, was in the 428 Military Police Army Reserves in South Bend, Ind., when she was called up for a year's duty.
A singer and actor, she decided to use her talent to entertain the troops and after a series of auditions she was chosen to join the show which will be traveling to Cuba and Korea soon, like the USO shows did in previous years.
They are all looking forward to the Support the Troops Rally at the Cass County Fairgrounds Sunday, April 27 At 2 p.m. They also attended a rally recently in South Bend, Ind.
Protesters "should support the troops, no matter what they think of the war," Lynn said.
The Sign of the Unicorn employs most of the family in planning and supplying the decorating of manufactured houses and RVs for shows and displays.
When she first started, it was all single wide trailers, Lynn remembers, now they decorate two story houses.