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helderheid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 08:46 AM
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Journey across Utah: Iraq vet's 'stunt' turns to solace - Front Page Salt Lake Tribune

Journey across Utah: Iraq vet's 'stunt' turns to solace



Marshall Thompson: Protest walk from state's northern border to southern brings out hundreds of admirers in even 'reddest' area
By Matthew D. LaPlante
The Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

Article Last Updated:10/30/2006 03:23:46 AM MST

It was a stunt, he said. Just a way to get people to pay attention to a war many seemed content to brush aside.

Army journalist Marshall Thompson, recently returned from the Iraq war, publicized his trek across Utah as a means to encourage those in the nation's "reddest" state to talk about ways to bring his fellow service members home.

But for the 28-year-old veteran from Logan, it was a journey more personal than he'd ever admitted.
Even to himself.

He had always been a dove, albeit one in Army fatigues.
So as his nation lurched toward war in Iraq, Marshall Thompson was wary.
The Logan soldier had joined the Army Reserves, enlisting as a journalist, upon returning from a church mission in Europe during which he felt immense appreciation for his country. A member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Thompson had been raised to believe in the justness of military service.

He understood his church's scriptures to permit war - as a last resort. The son of a politician, Thompson believed his nation's leaders shared his values.

But as the Iraq invasion approached, Thompson concluded he had been wrong. As an invasion-sized legion of U.S. troops moved into Kuwait, he joined protesters in Logan to demonstrate against the attack. In doing so, he found it was not just political leaders who wanted to go to war.

"We were met by so many counter-protesters," Thompson said. "And they were so angry. The police had to come and stand between us, to protect us."

As the Army called him into active service, Thompson couldn't even convince his own father - then Logan's mayor - that war was a wrong course.

Leaving his new wife - pregnant with their first child - was tough enough. Doing so without his father's understanding was dispiriting.

"It broke my heart when we didn't see eye to eye," Thompson said.

Much more >>>

http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_4573237
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helderheid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 08:55 AM
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1. This is a really important story - I hope DUers take time to thank him
What a brave man in UTAH to do this! Please take a moment to share your support with him:

http://asoldierspeace.org/
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helderheid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 09:25 AM
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2. kick
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helderheid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 09:38 AM
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3. About the soldier
From August 2005 to August 2006, I was a military journalist for the U.S. Army in Iraq. Ive served in the same capacity in Kosovo, Macedonia and Korea. My military specialty allowed me to travel all over Iraq and interview thousands of soldiers, from private to general. I think since Ive seen so much of the war in Iraq that Im duty-bound to do what I can to make it right.

Ive been married for almost five years now to Kristen, the most beautiful and intelligent woman I know. Together we have a beautiful new daughter, Eliza, who was born on August 31, 2005. I want Eliza to know that her parents did all they could to make the world a better place.

Before I was deployed to Iraq, I was working on a masters degree at Ohio University. While I was gone, Kristen started and will soon finish a masters degree in second language teaching from our alma mater, Utah State University.


About the Goal:

The goal is to walk from the Utah/Idaho border to the Utah/Arizona border in 26 days, thats one day for every 100 soldiers who have died in Iraq. The trip will cover almost 500 miles and Ill have to average about 20 miles a day.

Walking, in and of itself, is worthless. In the end, its just a stunt to raise awareness of a problem and encourage rational people to make a change. I might also shed a few unwanted pounds, but you wont hear me complaining about that.

I chose to walk Utah in particular for two main reasons. One, its my home state and its one of the most beautiful places in the world. If, for some crazy reason, youve got to walk 500 miles, it would be nice to do it in the natural wonder of Utah. And two, Utah is often called the reddest state in the nation. It seems to be a stronghold for those who advocate simply staying the course. I hope the walk will soften hearts and open minds to the idea of a responsible and timely withdrawal of troops. Plus Id like the politicians to realize that even in good old Utah, people are demanding change.

I dont know if the walk will get the troops home. If nothing else, however, Ill know that I did everything I could to save the lives of my brothers and sisters in Iraq.

The video:

http://asoldierspeace.org/trailer.htm
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chelaque liberal Donating Member (981 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #3
9. Inspiring story. Thanks for sharing.
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Hamlette Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 09:48 AM
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4. K&R
I was out of town when he came through Salt Lake, I wanted to meet him and say "thanks".
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helderheid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. I was supposed to walk with him when he came through Sandy
but my candidate had an emergency and I had to travel to Park City that day. :(
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sutz12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 09:51 AM
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5. K & R #5 and in...
It's the returning warriors that really know the importance of peace.
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helderheid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 10:49 AM
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10. Thanks!
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cally Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 10:03 AM
Response to Original message
7. There's a lesson for all of us in his story
I know I tend to stereotype Utah mormans as RW types. Instead, this man shows courage, compassion, and is able to reach out and find allies in even the reddest of states. I admire him and his wife.
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helderheid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 10:05 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Thank you so much for saying this - I live in a very red area of the
reddest state.
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helderheid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 02:06 PM
Response to Original message
11. kick
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cally Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 03:14 PM
Response to Original message
12. kick
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lildreamer316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 09:08 PM
Response to Original message
13. Oh, I'm crying....
thank you.
And bless him and his family.
If you keep up with this when it will get lost later this week, please post about the little girl? It's killing me. If you hear anything.
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