Troop Appreciation

3/20/2008 Fresno Camilla Fox says people call her home Selma's "patriotic house." "Patriotism to us is a natural borne instinct, "said Fox.

Yellow ribbons are displayed on her front door, her mailbox, and her fence. And a large American flag waves year round, flown in honor of her grandson who is currently serving his second tour of duty in Iraq.

"This flag has flown since he went over, and it will continue to fly until it's over."

Wednesday marks the five-year anniversary of the war in Iraq and as this solemn day passes, Fox is working to make sure Selma's troops are welcomed back home with open arms when their duty is done.

Fox also envisions a downtown that looks like her front lawn. She's gotten the approval of city officials to decorate downtown Selma with ribbons and flags each time a serviceman or woman returns home. She's also formed an organization called Selma's hometown heroes to make it happen. "We just want to get it off and rolling so the next servicemen or women they know that they're coming home to their small town with the recognition they deserve," said Fox.

Fox has enlisted the help of local businesses who have donated flags and ribbons. Her nephew, Tim, a Gulf War veteran, is also contributing the organization which will function as a support group for troops and their families.

You can't explain what it's like. You can't explain what it looks like, what it smells like. It doesn't translate. But these kids that are coming home, if they need to talk to someone, we've got people for them to talk to," said Tim Fox.

The organization is very young but Camilla Fox is dedicating all of her energy to showing troops their hometown cares about them. As the anniversary of the war passes, her only thoughts are with them, "You can hate the war, but support our troops. Our troops are over there giving us our freedom to be able to say what you want, for or against," said Fox.

Selma's Hometown Heroes is also putting care packages together to send to the troops. There is already one drop off location in town; at Nita's Beauty Cottage.

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