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You know, John Kerry and Pat Tillman have a lot in common.

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VolcanoJen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 03:19 AM
Original message
You know, John Kerry and Pat Tillman have a lot in common.
Please indulge me this rant.

It might make some of us here uncomfortable, and it certainly will make the Republican leadership uncomfortable, not to mention DU lurkers who have been waiting on eggshells for us to try to turn this into a political issue.

I've been thinking about Pat Tillman all day long, and yes, I've shed many tears over his passing. His story has touched me since the first time I heard it, when he first enlisted, and I've often pondered and wondered about the fate of him, and his brother. Not much was made of their service after it happened, and I took that as a "no news, good news" signal. I was heartbroken when the news of his death greeted me, along with my New York Times, bearing photos of flag-draped coffins on its front page.

Republicans will surely seize Tillman's tragic passing as a call to arms, a signal to America that real patriots serve. Our message is the same. When called upon, leaders ache to serve, and they march to battle. Just like Pat Tillman, and just like John Kerry, in his day.

John Kerry didn't need to volunteer for Vietnam service. He sacrificed his young adult life of privilege and relaxed, detached affluence. His choices were not unlike those of Pat Tillman. When your time comes, and your country calls upon you, some answer, while the rest twist and sway in the wind, forcing policy and false notions of patriotism upon the rest of us.

Pat Tillman's death touched me, and as I've said before, if I were a school kid, I'd hang his photo in my locker. He's an example of what we should aspire to be, what a real role model looks like, what sacrifice entails and honestly looks like. He was not unlike John Kerry in his time. He was not unlike many other privileged gentlemen who made the choice of country before comfort, for decades. For decades more, this pattern repeated, before Pat Tillman heard the calling.

Please pay respect to Tillman's sacrifice, outside of what the media is calling for. Please reach into your hearts and understand that Tillman did not ask for this, and in fact, rejected it, by enlisting in the United States Army like many of our sons and daughters. Criticize the media, but avoid criticizing Tillman's choice. A simple cross in a field of grass and dandelions, next to his fallen brothers and sisters, is likely what he would have wanted.

And the next time one of your Republican buddies fawns over all that Tillman represents, remind them of a young John Kerry, who made a similar choice between privilege and service, in a different time, in a different war.

Rest in peace, Pat Tillman. My only hope is that your message never rests. We all have much to learn from it.
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Direckshun Donating Member (303 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 03:25 AM
Response to Original message
1. VolcanoJen
That was one of the most inspiring, touching things I've read this political season. Both, about the brilliance behind our country's heros and about our candidate, Senator Kerry.

I am going to copy and paste much of this, but I will link here. I wish for others to read this like I have.
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VolcanoJen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 04:06 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. That was very sweet, Direckshun.
And a belated welcome to DU from me!

It's been a very emotional day. Hell, it's been a very emotional month, year, three years...
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 08:41 AM
Response to Reply #2
19. We totally agree on the Pat/John comparison - a very nice thread
:toast:

:-)
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central scrutinizer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 10:33 AM
Response to Reply #1
21. very nicely put
I had very similar thoughts but my rants aren't as well written.

John Kerry: "Request assignment to Vietnam, sir!"

Pat Tillman:"Request assignment to Afghanistan, sir!"

George W. Bush:"Request assignment to Alabama, sir!"
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abbyhoffman Donating Member (289 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 04:31 AM
Response to Original message
3. uummm
"John Kerry didn't need to volunteer for Vietnam service" Yes he did he was about to get drafted! he asked for a one year delay the draft board said no.
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VolcanoJen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 04:40 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. What was Chimpy's excuse?
And, I'm sorry, but the record shows that John Kerry volunteered for military service, as an officer, and requested duty in Vietnam.
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notbush Donating Member (616 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 04:42 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. My understanding, you're right
The draft board did kinda help JK volunteer.
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comsymp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 05:43 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Yeah, and since no rich white boys were able to avoid the draft
Edited on Sat Apr-24-04 05:44 AM by comsymp
it's obvious that his only option was to request a dangerous post...


Jen- good post, and an interesting position which I hadn't considered. Thanks~
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JI7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 06:30 AM
Response to Reply #3
12. Kerry never asked for a deferment
none of that changes the fact that kerry himself volunteered and did not ask for a deferment and he volunteered for vietnam at one of the most dangerous times and places.
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 08:42 AM
Response to Reply #3
20. nope - there was no draft problem - he volunteered -then asked for
a one year delay.
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Kahuna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 05:54 AM
Response to Original message
7. Tillman enlisted for Afghanistan. Not Iraq. Of course..
that won't stop the repukes from obscuring that small fact.
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VolcanoJen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 05:58 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. When they bring up Tillman, and heroes, and role-models...
... bring up John Kerry.

Different war, different time. Same heroism. Equally worthy role-model.
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 06:00 AM
Response to Original message
9. And John Kerry afterward showed the country how soldiers protest war
Beautiful piece VolcanoJen. Hope your day gets better! :)
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VolcanoJen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 06:02 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. Damn, bigtree. April has been one emotional roller-coaster.
I spent the end of the day relaxing to 90's alterna-rock, remembering days of peace, and hope, and wonder.
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JI7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 06:27 AM
Response to Original message
11. John Kerry: i request duty to serve in Vietnam
also, remember that those highly praised records of john kerry's were kept out of the public for all these years until just now. all these years we have heard lies about kerry's service and he could easily called for release of those records to prove everyone wrong, yet he didn't. he knew those who knew him loved him. those who served with him have always stood by him. i loved it when clinton said at the democratic unity dinner how bush, cheney, and himself(clinton) COULD have served yet they chose not yet, but john kerry said "send me".

only after the right wing started attacking him and demanding their release based on mtp appearances did he release them. and that story of his saving the life of that man james rassman had never been told by kerry himself. kerry never asked him to go out and do it either. rassman by himself wanted to come out and tell the story. of course the disgusting right wingers are still attacking his record.

i don't pay attention to football and knew nothing about tillman but you still have to admire what he did.

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trumad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 06:36 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. That's why I have a new sig line
I think it's that important to show everyone that JK did indeed request Viet Nam...just like Tillman requested Afghanistan....

BTW: Sure JK was going to get drafted...but so would have Bush and the other Chickenhawk if they didn't fight awfully hard to get deferments, etc.....JK didn't do that now did he?
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VolcanoJen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 06:50 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. Nice sig, trumad!
Edited on Sat Apr-24-04 06:51 AM by VolcanoJen
Kerry's delayed release of his stellar military record was the political play of the year, thus far. It's likely that the Kerry team still released those records earlier than they had initially hoped. We'll see how it plays out, but this story is far from over.
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JI7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 06:50 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. that would look great in an ad
in an ad which is intended to be part biography of kerry's public service. to start off with images of that transcript and a voice over saying how kerry begin his public service with a "request for duty in vietnam". or something similar.
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Kukesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 06:56 AM
Response to Original message
16. Beautifully written, Jen.
I'm so very proud of you.

Now, CALL YOUR MOTHER! (That's me.)


Kukesa

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dogman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 07:00 AM
Response to Original message
17. I had similar thoughts.
Kerry made the mistake of surviving and bringing the war home. You have expressed this idea well. Thank you.
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Kukesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 07:57 AM
Response to Original message
18. KICK!
Sounds like a good letter to the editor piece.

Kukesa
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Tatiana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 10:43 AM
Response to Original message
22. OK, now I'm balling again.
Thanks Jen!

Seriously, it just makes me so angry, so frustrated to the point of tears that we have young men and women (these people are so damn YOUNG!) who exhibit more patriotism than Bush/Cheney and that entire misadministration combined -- yet they are the ones who will suffer. It hurts, because these people have paid the ultimate price to protect you and me (or so they think).

They deserve so much better. They don't deserve to be lied to. They don't deserve to have to dip into their retirement to sustain their families. They don't deserve to have to wait MONTHS in order to see a doctor. Yet we've got private contractors making more in a week than these poor soldiers make all month.

It's not fair.
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VolcanoJen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. Sorry, Tatiana.
I know the feeling... :-(

And you're right to be angry. Don't ever stop being angry, and don't ever stop fighting the patriot police, ok?

:grouphug:
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Zomby Woof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 12:18 PM
Response to Original message
23. A ZombyKick for Jen
You are a star. Thank you for shining some much needed light where it needed to be shined.

You know well the cathartic power of writing, and this one is a keeper.
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Kukesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #23
25. Sent to John Kerry
I copied your message and sent it to the Kerry Campaign. Let's hope they use it.

Kukesa
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VolcanoJen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. Amazing sig line!
Good one, mom. :-) Hey, check your email!
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VolcanoJen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 07:52 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. I don't know how I missed this earlier...
... but ZW, you nailed it. I wrote that as a catharsis, because I was feeling so saddened and angry and helpless.

I'm nowhere close to being out of tears. :-(

Thank you for your sweet words, and your sweetness. :grouphug:
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Kukesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 07:56 PM
Response to Reply #23
28. ZombyWoof,
You once told me that you're the only sane poster in DU (in jest, of course) but you certainly proved your sanity, compassion, and consideration in that wonderful compliment you just paid Jen.

I million hugs for you.

Kukesa
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-26-04 09:26 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. I'm late, but I concur.
The heart of a true poet.
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