Oliver North finds loyal fans in Macon

mstucka@macon.comNovember 19, 2013 

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 Macon’s Bass Pro Shops, Dawson took the hat off only when North said he was willing to sign it.

“Now I’m going to have trouble washing it,” said Dawson, a high school carpentry teacher. Dawson also got a copy of North’s new book, “American Heroes On the Homefront,” signed to honor his family.

“He’s a conservative, and we’re 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 Macon’s 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 hasn’t wavered over the years.

Dave Hattan, of Gray, said he’d served on the same military base in Honduras where North had once been.

“He’s 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 he’d been impressed with North’s composure during the Iran-Contra hearings.

“What got me was his honesty at the hearings. He didn’t 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, she’ll read a copy before sending them on.

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