August 21, 2005
I have written in this space before about our young men and
fighting the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and certainly the
my own Air Force Special Tactics Staff Sergeant Son who survived
multiple tours of Afghanistan and Iraq.
However, the current standoff in Crawford, Texas between
Sheehan, whose son died in combat, and President Bush, raises
serious issues we should examine.
No one can understand the pain she must feel for her loss.
us, who like so many other parents, including Cindy Sheehan,
sat on the
edge of our seats every time there was a report of a suicide
the streets of Baghdad, or a helicopter crash in Kabul, or
event that has killed or maimed our brave warriors, probably
closest to understanding her pain.
I never forget how lucky I am to only have to worry about
Son can handle what he has been through, in terms of his mental
capabilities, for all the ugliness of war that he witnessed.
that, the physical pain he had to deal with, before and after
was reconstructed from his unmentionable injury, is nothing
what Sheehan had to endure in dealing with the tragedy of
Yet, because her son and mine enlisted in the military and
full well the risk of dying either in combat or in training,
let us not
get wrapped up in the politics of death in war. I don't want
minimize in any way, Sheehan's loss, or the fact she is angry
At the same time, I think she is being selfish and she dishonors
own son and the many families who have accepted as heroic,
the death of
their loved ones in war. She is the one who minimizes the
service of her son by clamoring for an end to a war she disagrees
without regard for the fact her son, and mine, and those who
there, were and are the best-trained troops in the word and
they have a
mission they are committed to completing.
People who don't have military experience, like me, are
surprised at the importance our young warriors place on the
the "mission". It's why they are in the military,
it is their JOB, it
is why they trained, and why they exist.
The mission is to save lives, protect people, get rid of
the bad guys,
protect American soil, help people learn the precious notion
freedom, stop terrorism, and keeping terrorism from reaching
and killing our own people in our streets. It's utopian for
readily admit, but it is also the truth. And you don't have
that far from Iraq to see it.
In Afghanistan, little girls can now go to school, women
can now teach
and join the workplace, and they are not totally restrained
by the ugly
and repressive buhrkas. Cindy's son and mine, and thousands
are the reason freedom found a foothold in that part of the
Afghans held historic elections and while there are still
today, that in itself is ample proof that freedom isn't easy
There are days when I have serious doubts about whether
we should stay
in Iraq and Afghanistan or whether we should bail. No one
likes to hear
that another soldier, Marine, or Airman has been killed. It's
hard for me to hear that 30 civilians or policemen were wiped
the streets by a car bomb. But we are not quitters and we
French. We fight - we don't run and hide, or surrender.
Part of what makes us Americans is that we have the resilience
stand tall, in the face of overwhelming opposition from our
the anti-war protestors. If it weren't for our brave young
we would all be speaking Japanese or German today. As unpopular
today's war is for some, it should not diminish the brave
work of our
military and their efforts to keep the bad guys overseas instead
our back yards.
Cindy Sheehan's whining about President Bush not meeting
with her in
Texas, he HAS met with her before at the White House, seems
getting the majority of the media attention. When that anti-Sheehan
idiot in the pick-up truck ran over the 58 crosses with the
fallen soldiers, it got plenty of coverage. I hope some judge
the guy's cowboy hat and boots, gives him a good kick in the
sentences him to a highway chain gang picking up horse manure.
Another group of Americans tired of Sheehan's mouthings
are taking a
different approach and the media should track it.
This week we are seeing the debut of the "You Don't
Speak for Me,
Cindy" Tour. A group called "Move America Forward"
is leading a caravan of military families who
have loved ones serving in Iraq and Afghanistan to Crawford,
take on anti-war activist Sheehan and her campground friends.
Since the news media has been obsessed in reporting every
comment Sheehan has made, Move America Forward leaders decided
high time that "the other side" was heard and given
some air time.
Their caravan will culminate in a giant "We Support
Our Troops and
Their Mission" Rally in Crawford on Saturday, the 27th.
The group says
it wants the terrorists overseas to know full well that: "AMERICA
STANDS BEHIND ITS TROOPS AND THE MISSION IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN",
the group's press release amplified in capital letters.
The often vilified Fox News Channel is urging Americans
to head to
Crawford for the big patriotic pro-troop rally. Some will
that while ignoring that online media and political giant
backing Cindy Sheehan's vigil. The anti-war activities are
coordinated by Joe Trippi, the man who ran Howard Dean's campaign,
is now the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
like a modern day version of a political gunfight at the OK
CNN, the anti-Fox News Channel, is reporting on the pro-troop
and rally, proving that confrontation is a sure way to get
coverage. By the way, the Move America Forward event delegation
by Deborah Johns of a group called Northern California Marine
living proof that there is a leader for every cause and challenger
every person suffering from the over-exposure of the ubiquitous
minutes of fame.
May I suggest that we not let either protest leader, Sheehan
draw attention away from the hard work our troops are doing
repressed people from hell, and at the same time, try to keep
knocking at our front door.