Charles Dawson, of Newton, wore a Marine Corps hat Tuesday in honor of his veteran father and a Marine uncle who died on Okinawa. On the top of the red hat was a vintage pin with an picture of a young Oliver North and the words Lieut. Colonel North. All American Hero.
Though North was two hours late for a book signing at Macons Bass Pro Shops, Dawson took the hat off only when North said he was willing to sign it.
Now Im going to have trouble washing it, said Dawson, a high school carpentry teacher. Dawson also got a copy of Norths new book, American Heroes On the Homefront, signed to honor his family.
Hes a conservative, and were in need of conservative leadership, Dawson said.
Bass Pro employees said North was running late after a crowd at a Fort Benning book signing hit 400 people, rather than the expected 200 people.
For Macons signing, about 75 people were waiting in line around the expected 7 p.m. start, but 64 people ultimately took tickets to mark their places in line. Their faith in North hasnt wavered over the years.
Dave Hattan, of Gray, said hed served on the same military base in Honduras where North had once been.
Hes always done great stuff for the soldiers, said Hattan, a retired U.S. Army staff sergeant.
Kyle Jackson, of Cochran, a former U.S. Army infantryman, said hed been impressed with Norths composure during the Iran-Contra hearings.
What got me was his honesty at the hearings. He didnt hem and haw, Jackson said. He owned it.
North had helped set up arms deals with Iran, which funded soldiers in Central America.
Jay Hunnicutt said he became a Marine at age 17, with the help of both parents signatures.
The Desert Storm veteran clutched a book and wore clothes with the Marine Corps motto as he reflected on seeing North testifying about the Iran-Contra scandal while Hunnicutt was a junior at Mount de Sales Academy.
I thought he got (mistreated) then, Hunnicutt said. He came because, Fellow Marine, former Marine in town, you got to see him, right?
Darlene Albertson, of Macon, carried three of the $30 books as she waited.
She said every time she sees North she gains respect for him and his love of his country. She planned the books as gifts for her two sons and a brother-in-law.
But, she said with a smile, shell read a copy before sending them on.