Do Car Magnets Really "Support Our Troops"? - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/13/05

Do Car Magnets Really "Support Our Troops"?

The magnets come in a variety of colors and prices. Whether the message is "Support Our Troops" or "God Bless the USA," it's getting East Texans to shell out anywhere from $.99 to $5 to show their support.

"Just let them know how much we think of them and how much we appreciate the freedoms that we have," Brenda Ellis, a Tylerite who has two magnets on the back of her car, said.

"I am a Korean War veteran," Lloyd Pollard, a Flint resident, said. "So I always supported the troops. And I will always support the troops."

But is their money going to support the troops?

"You know, I should've asked and I didn't," Ellis said.

Pep Boys sells magnets and stick-on decals. The magnet's manufacturer says a portion of the proceeds does go to the military. But there's no indication of that on the stick-on decal. That doesn't mean the money isn't going to the troops, but it makes some people wonder.

"I don't want anyone getting rich off of that kind of a scam," Pollard said.

The Hallmark store in South Tyler isn't sure if the magnets they sell are benefiting the troops or just the manufacturer. But Food Fast is donating part of its sales. Bed, Bath and Beyond is also donating part of its proceeds to help the military, through the USO (United Service Organizations).

Wherever the money is going, the magnets are still selling.

"I don't think it's a trend that's just going to stop anytime soon," Jennifer Rhodes, assistant manager of the Hallmark store, said. "I think it's something that people are going to be wanting for a long time."

"They still seem very relevant, so I'll just leave them on there, probably indefinitely," Ellis said.

Whether the message translates into dollars, it's still an encouraging one, at least for some veterans and active service men and women.

Julie Tam, reporting.

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