ANNVILLE TOWNSHIP, LEBANON COUNTY—The lines painted in the parking lot of Clift Auto Sales might not look like much up close, but if you are flying a few hundred feet above the car dealership you get the message easily.
Four words are written on the back parking lot of the business off East Main Street. "God Bless Our Troops" is painted on the asphalt in large, white block letters.
Auto dealer Eric Clift wanted service members at nearby Fort Indiantown Gap to know he is thinking of them every time they take to the air.
"If they're flying by, they should just know that somebody loves them, and somebody's supporting them," Clift said.
One of Clift's employees knows exactly how important that support is. Robert Hubbard served in the military for five years until he was injured during a parachute jump in 1960.
"To see him (Clift) lay it out and do it with all the forms he made, it was just a major undertaking," Hubbard said. "I was very impressed."
It took Clift about two days to lay out the message and paint it. His son, who serves in the Air Force in California, said you can see the message behind Clift's business on satellite images.
"He just smiles when he shows his buddies," Clift said. "It just brings a little bit of home to where he's at in California."
Clift said plenty of military aircraft have passed overhead since he painted the message in 2007. He said he's seen everything from a Coast Guard chopper to a pair of A-10 Warthog attack airplanes circling above.
Clift and Hubbard agree the sign is the least they can do for those who serve.
"With today's young people it's a major sacrifice," Hubbard said. "There's a lot of activities out there they can be doing, but to serve and go into the countries where they are, it's a real honor."
"I come into contact with some of the nicest young men and women," Clift said. "I'm so proud they are in our military."