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truthpusher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 01:41 PM
Original message
Iraq hero joins hallowed group (First Medal of Honor award of the war)
http://www.sptimes.com/2005/02/02/Tampabay/Iraq_hero_jo...

Iraq hero joins hallowed group
President Bush will present America's top award for bravery to the family of the sergeant who died defending his soldiers.

By ALEX LEARY, Times Staff Writer
Published February 2, 2005


(Times photo: Brendan Fitterer)
Birgit Smith sits with her children David, 10, and Jessica, 18, at her home in Holiday after learning her husband will receive the Medal of Honor.


Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith, who spent his boyhood in Tampa, became a man in the Army and died outside Baghdad defending his outnumbered soldiers from an Iraqi attack, will receive America's highest award for bravery.

President Bush will present the Medal of Honor to Smith's wife, Birgit, and their children Jessica, 18, and David, 10, at a ceremony at the White House, possibly in March.

The official announcement will come soon, but the Pentagon called Mrs. Smith with the news Tuesday afternoon.

"We had faith he was going to get it," Mrs. Smith said from her home in Holiday, "but the phone call was shocking. It was overwhelming. My heart was racing, and I got sweaty hands. I yelled, "Oh, yes!' ... I'm still all shaky.

more:
http://www.sptimes.com/2005/02/02/Tampabay/Iraq_hero_jo...
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Mikimouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 01:46 PM
Response to Original message
1. Why does that picture strangely disturb me?
n/t
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DrWeird Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Because he's dead, and they're happy?
This is some sick, sick shit.
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commander bunnypants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I dont think it is that
He is being honored with the highest medal the military can give. I think it is more pride

CB
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DrWeird Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Alright, because of the propaganda?
Smiling happy faces surrounded by eagles, and the notion that for some reason dying in Iraq has some point to it and is some how honorable?
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candle_bright Donating Member (584 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. Exactly
I can't believe some people think his family is glad he is dead. :eyes:
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Mikimouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. I understand what you mean, but...
If it were my spouse who was killed (never mind the looks on the childrens' faces), the awarding of a medal, even the MoH would only serve to make me more reflective of the loss I had suffered, and of course the loss the 'winner' had suffered. I could not be as gleeful as they seem to be, because the loss would be uppermost in my mind, and the medal will not replace the memories. Maybe I am just naive, wouldn't be the first time.
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fryguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. they clearly drank the kool-aid!
being all smiles because their loved one was killed.....
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VegasWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 03:40 PM
Response to Reply #2
45. It is wierd, they almost appear joyus. I'd keep my son and throw
the medal in bush's face.
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BadGimp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #2
47. uh huh
sure nuff is
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DoNotRefill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #2
59. Ummm, not really....
His actions and the Medal of Honor coming through earned both kids appointment to the USMA of their choice, without having to go through the standard appointment process. Considering their financial situation, that's got to be a HUGE relief.

Imagine that your husband/father was killed in Iraq last year, and you found out that your financial situation had been drastically eased. Wouldn't you be happy? They can't get their husband/father back, but their lives just got a bit easier.

Or should they never have another moment of happiness in their lives because he's dead? Didn't they wear the ashes and sack-cloth long enough for you?
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Or those TACKY eagle knick knacks? nt
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candle_bright Donating Member (584 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. They lost a husband and father
and you're criticizing their home decor? There's something tacky here, and it isn't their knick-knacks...
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Mikimouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Let's start with this...
My opinion, for what its worth. That picture is clearly set-up. The picture is crooked, and the whole thing looks like it was just put up and arranged. How's that for starters. There is really no need to get hostile to anyone here. I simply asked a question and Dr Weird responded with his opinion. No need to attack.
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VegasWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #11
46. The tacky thing here is a pretzeldent sending people off to die for
no good reason.
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truthpusher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #5
16. Bad decor knows no bounds! no matter what the situation! n/t
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truthpusher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #1
12. me too........all I can think about ....
Edited on Wed Feb-02-05 02:01 PM by truthpusher
...is the family sitting down for dinner with the 'medal of honor' seated at the head of the table....or how about the 'medal of honor' giving away the daughter at her first wedding....and finally the 'medal of honor' sitting on the sons bed while the 'medal of honor' explains the facts of life.


I grew up without a father too...it sucks.
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Mikimouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #12
17. Thanks...that pretty much summarizes it...but the other part...
that disturbs me is that the people in the picture don't seem to be consistent with what I would expect in the situation. My bad maybe.
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ClayZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #1
20. How much different is it than
Edited on Wed Feb-02-05 02:22 PM by ClayZ
Paying the family's of suicide bombers? I may be getting crazy but most of this kind of stuff is beginning to look like the same product in a different package.

I wish it was spring and I could loose myself in the garden.

I am so ashamed of our country!
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Mikimouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. I don't know...I still think that the picture is bothersome...
I would not expect the familes of suicide bombers to be filled with is apparently a degree of glee, even upon receiving monetary compensatino for their loss. I don't understand.
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ClayZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #22
32. Gold Star Familes for Peace
http://www.gsfp.org /

Perhaps this is other side of the equation.

They can't even get a hearing with Donald Rum$feld.
http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0124-20.htm

My son served as a Navy Firefighter. He is a liberal lefty!




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Torque67 Donating Member (32 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #20
24. Maybe the difference
Is in that this man died while saving the lives of his comrades, and suicide bombers die killing families on buses? Thats just a wild guess though.
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ClayZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #24
34. We are all on the same BUS!
I do not mean to be argumentative. I simply wonder if he died after many Iraqis and their children had been killed with OUR bullets and bombs. How is that differrent?

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leftchick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 03:16 PM
Response to Reply #24
36. I think that happens in the west bank...
We are talking Iraq here. The suicide bombers and resistance forces are targeting the US Occupying forces and Iraqi collaborators. I have not seen any civilians directly targeted yet. They seem to be "collateral damage" like when the US bombs the fuck out of a city say, Fallujah, and says all of the dead are "insurgents".
War sucks.
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raggedcompany Donating Member (399 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #1
23. The 18 year old sure looks like she got gussied up for the photo op.
Edited on Wed Feb-02-05 02:31 PM by raggedcompany
Not to mention that she's showing more skin than befits the occasion. (but maybe I'm just a prude and there's nothing wrong with it.) And everyone in the picture is smiling.

Strange.



edit: brackets make stuff vanish. must use parentheses.
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OldLeftieLawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #1
25. Because it's the kind of propaganda
you associate with the mad fundamentalists whose families are rewarded with cash after the commit suicide while killing innocents, all in the name of Allah. All you need is a picture of the Ayatollah on the back wall, and you're set.

With all due respect to the poor dead soldier, this awarding of the Medal of Honor (and my uncle won the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously in WWII) in an invasion and occupation undertaken by us, with no provocation by Iraq, smacks of the German army giving each other medals after the invasion of Poland.

It stinks, the family's been robbed of their father and husband, and the government is nothing but a lie machine.
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hector459 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 02:59 PM
Original message
Does a medal really mean that much to anyone after losing a loved one?
I wouldn't give a damn if they gave my family the Noble Peace Prize, it could never take the place of my dad. And I wouldn't want to take any medal from Bush.
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alexisfree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 01:56 PM
Response to Original message
8. only one family being honored????
what about the rest, 1399 soldiers? :grr:
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Cocoa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 01:56 PM
Response to Original message
9. they must mean first since Jessica Lynch
surely Jess deserved something for her exploits:

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/04/03/1048962871...

<snip>

Jessica Lynch, the US soldier seized from an Iraqi hospital in a dramatic rescue by special operations forces, fought off Iraqi troops before her capture, shooting several until her ammunition ran out, the Washington Post reported today.

Lynch "continued firing at the Iraqis even after she sustained multiple gunshot wounds and watched several other soldiers in her unit die around her in fighting March 23," the Post reported, citing a US official.

The 19-year-old supply clerk rescued late Tuesday from a hospital in southern Iraq after US authorities received a tipoff she was being held there, "fought fiercely and shot several enemy soldiers ... firing her weapon until she ran out of ammunition," the Post said, citing US officials.
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ZR2 Donating Member (345 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #9
19. That story was completely dubunked on here as soon as it came out
as nothing but a right-wing feel good story. it never really happened.
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OldLeftieLawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #19
27. You guys are the reason I love DU
As soon as I saw this, I thought "Germany invading Poland," and then I thought, "Jessica Lynch."

Is there no shame in this so-called administration? And exactly how fucking stupid are these citizens who are letting the wool be pulled over their eyes?

Will no one ever be held accountable for the thousands of deaths we've caused?
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One_Life_To_Give Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #9
35. Isn't this the Sargent who actually was the
person who "continued firing at the Iraqis even after she sustained multiple gunshot wounds and watched several other soldiers in her unit die around her in fighting March 23,"

But somebody decided it sounded better if it was Lynch?
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DoNotRefill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 04:48 PM
Response to Reply #9
60. What did she do to earn a CMOH???
Bronze star? Maybe. CMOH???? No Way in Hell.
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daleo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 02:03 PM
Response to Original message
14. They do look happier than you would expect.
I suppose the medal is some kind of consolation, but the husband and father is still dead. I guess you can't blame her - it is hard to accept that your husband and your children's father died for a lie and a liar.

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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 02:04 PM
Response to Original message
15. But will Cody get a purple heart for being brave when captured?
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NewYorkerfromMass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 02:09 PM
Response to Original message
18. John Kerry's mistake is he didn't die
but lived to earn the wrath of the demented hypocrites of an opposing political party in the same country he defended.
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tkmorris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 02:23 PM
Response to Original message
21. Propaganda
This whole thing is nothing more than pro-pa-gan-da. Determining which soldier to give it to, when to do it for maximum effectiveness, the staged photos, all of it. See also: pure, unadulterated, bullshit. The sort being discussed in this thread here.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #21
29. If you want to talk about bullshit, start with your post.
The guy has to be nominated to get this by someone that was there. Then it has to go through an intense review. This sometimes takes years. Clinton was handing out Medals of honor for Vietnam. It's truly a special award.
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commander bunnypants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. Amen brother
MOH aint nothing to sneeze at

CB
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Journeyman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #29
49. The Medal of Honor is given, in the main, to those . . .
who risked all, or gave 'the last full measure,' in sacrifice and service to their fellow soldiers. It has rarely been given for politically motivated reasons. Since the Great War, it has been given sparingly, and as you point out, always after extensive peer review. So yes, it is truly a special honor, the highest we give to our military, and Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith deserves -- at the least -- our respect.
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OldLeftieLawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 02:49 PM
Response to Original message
26. "... became a man in the Army...."?
Who wrote this crap?
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 02:57 PM
Response to Original message
28. Congratulations to his family.
That really is something special. He is one of the many lost over a lie.
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Xenotime Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 03:00 PM
Response to Original message
30. You choose...
Oh, they look sooo happy to receive the medal of honor....<geez>

"President Bush will present the Medal of Honor to Smith's wife..." because he took her husband away.

The more I write the more PO'ed I am getting.

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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 03:07 PM
Response to Original message
33. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
mudderfudder77 Donating Member (188 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 03:37 PM
Response to Reply #33
42. Wow
They got what they deserved huh? Unfortunate. Thats all I can say to that.
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saigon68 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 03:52 PM
Response to Reply #33
48. "I'm just doing MY JOB", said Capt Schultz
As he blew the Rabbi's brains out on the GROUND

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Richard Steele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 03:22 PM
Response to Original message
37. Cut these folks a break
Their husband and father is frigging DEAD...that's a loss that most of us will never have to feel.

They are desperate for anything to help them make some sense of this loss, and this award is a STRAW in an ocean of grief. So they grasp at it.....

And some photog comes over, they get dressed up for the photo (maybe in the only NICE clothes they own) and some editor chooses THIS photo out of the dozens on the roll.

And some of us, being so 'enlightened', take this as an opportunity to MOCK them for their choice of home decor. Very nice.

There is an element here at DU which is NO DIFFERENT than any Freeper; an element which has simply chosen a different side to toss its TURDS from.
And all of you who get a warm feeling form mocking the "trailer trash" folks need to realize something:

A lot of those 'trailer-trash' folks did not vote _FOR_ B*sh....
...they voted AGAINST arrogant elitists who go online and make snide comments about their choice of kitsch.
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mudderfudder77 Donating Member (188 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 03:34 PM
Response to Reply #37
40. Well said...
Regardless of their feelings for the WAR, they are proud of their Father and Husband. They are smiling because now his name will go on a roll call, a short one at that, of the bravest and the finest to ever serve their country. I'm sure they would trade the medal for his life back, but seeing as that is an impossibility they have to take solace knowing that their loved one will forever be remembered as a hero who sacrificed his life to save the lifes of his men. For all of you sneering at the award, you might want to take a minute and google the MOH and read some of the stories of them men who have been awarded this most prestigous of medals.
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Journeyman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #40
52. Here's my favorite MOH account, an award given to one of my neighbors. . .
Theres a park around the corner from me, a real nice place; kids playground and picnic area, a small lake for fishing. Its a pleasant spot to spend an afternoon, one where Ive spent many an hour with my children.

The parks named for a Medal of Honor winner. He was an Army Sergeant, Second World War, who found himself and his squad pinned down on an Italian hillside one October morning in 1944 by heavy fire from emplaced German machineguns and mortars. Undeterred by the deadly fire that ricocheted off the barren rocks, he directed his squad to stay under cover while he climbed around the left flank and attacked the first machinegun emplacement. In a surprise assault of unexpected ferocity, he forced the surrender of 8 soldiers, whom he sent down to his men below. He was discovered as he crept towards the second emplacement, yet under withering fire he leapt to his feet and, bobbing and weaving, crouching then lunging, he charged ahead. He killed four and forced a fifth to surrender. He then went after the third machinegun, this time in the face of a thoroughly alerted enemy. So ferocious was his attack, so aggressive his shouts and bursts of gunfire, the four enemy gunners threw down their arms. The fourth emplacement was not so easily cowed. Situated on the crest of the hill, their backside protected by a fifth emplacement, these soldiers took a stand to stop this crazed man. Four died, three surrendered. And the fifth emplacement surrendered as well all six soldiers chose capture over death. In his one-man assault, Sergeant Chris Carr overran 5 machinegun emplacements, killed eight enemy soldiers, took 22 prisoners, and saved the lives of the men of his company. When his battalion moved in the next day, it found itself in possession of the neighborhoods commanding ground.

My family and I have lunch at the park some days. We talk about movies weve seen, books weve read, places wed like to go. We dont speak of troubles there, nor do we discuss the days events on those grassy slopes. We are content to know there are some things for which words are not necessary, that the grass and placid waters can tell us all we need to know.
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 03:31 PM
Response to Original message
38. To all of the asshats denigrating and criticizing the family...
Edited on Wed Feb-02-05 03:31 PM by Roland99
I have one thing to say to you all:


SHUT

THE

FUCK

UP


Are you the same people that rag on Freepers taking joy in Hillary's fainting spell yet criticize this family that lost a husband and father?

Did you not think that since it's been almost 2 years since his death that they can take joy in knowing he saved numerous lives with his heroism and they are proud of that? Or perhaps they were just thinking of a fond memory?

And criticizing the home's decor? Jesus Christ some of you people are fucking pathetic.
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commander bunnypants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #38
39. here here
You da man

CB
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mudderfudder77 Donating Member (188 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 03:35 PM
Response to Reply #39
41. Thank you
for taking the time to type that. It needed to be said.
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #41
43. I would typically say "my pleasure" in response but I can't say it is.
I am quite disgusted that I had to write that.


:(
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Richard Steele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #43
57. My THX to you also, R99
I took several paragraphs to say what YOU said in 25 words or less.

If I bury the schematics for a printing-press in my backyard tomorow, would you be willing to EDIT my biography after the B*shCo rapture? Say around january, 2013?
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DrWeird Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #38
50. His death was in vain.
It was absolutely meaningless. Nothing honorable about it.

If the family wants to grieve about it in bizarre ways, that's fine with me. But they can keep the Triumph of the Will crap at home.

Now, if they have a problem with me saying so, well, men once gave their lives for my right to free speach, and if they don't like it, they can get the hell out.
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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #38
51. Good for you. (nt)
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ernstbass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 03:39 PM
Response to Original message
44. Medal or no medal he's still dead!
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mudderfudder77 Donating Member (188 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 04:06 PM
Response to Original message
53. I suggest
that some of you take a look...

http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/moh1.htm
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jswordy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 04:12 PM
Response to Original message
54. I'm not much on the Medal of Honor...
...because of THIS.
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Emboldened Chimp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 04:14 PM
Response to Original message
55. There's that ubiquitous buzzword: faith.
"We had faith he was going to get it," she said. Well, I wonder if she had faith that her husband would come home safe and sound. I also wonder if she has (or had) faith that our Great Leader is doing right in the world. And notice how she has her hands clasped together as if in prayer. Guess that's what faith gets you these days: a dead husband and a hunk of metal wrapped in a pretty blue ribbon.

Faith ain't cheap.
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KansDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 04:14 PM
Response to Original message
56. But did he really earn it...?
Face it, the GOP's disgusting criticism of Kerry's awards this campaign season has made such questions possible. I can remember when this question would NEVER have been asked of ANY veteran who received a medal for valor or injury while in harm's way. Yet, the GOP used this strategy quite effectively in demonizing Kerry as a liar and slacker; choosing to support its AWOL-deserted Bush over Kerry, the recipient of five (5) such medals.

Having said that, it's about time that Bush acknowledged someone who died as a direct result of his lies...
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NNguyenMD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 04:30 PM
Response to Original message
58. A medal of honor is a cheap buy for the President who sent your father to
his death based on a bald faced lie.
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Rebel_blogger Donating Member (70 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 05:00 PM
Response to Reply #58
61. How many of you spouting off in here have lost a loved one in war?
Or for any other reason for that matter? Would you like to be told your loved one's death was meaningless?
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Moderator DU Moderator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 05:01 PM
Response to Original message
62. Lock
This thread is not providing productive dialog.
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