Wednesday, September 22, 2004

This Ain't Your Daddy's War

I was ready to post my next little ramble through the "divide and conquer: propaganda" sphere when I found a story about a soldier being beat up at a Toby Keith concert of all places. When I read that, I was so angry, I wanted to beat on something myself.

As friends or readers of one sort or another, you may know that I am a family member of an armed service person. In short, my brother is a 16 year veteran of the Air Force and Air National Guard. Without a doubt, the most disturbing thing to me is the behavior of some in America today, acting as if this was 1971 and either, reliving their past scumbag activist life or wishing they had been born back then so they could get their "peace" on.


Hopefully, that does not offend any Vietnam Vets or family there of. I just had to say it because I cannot believe the ignorance and sheer cowardly behavior of some people in this country. Most of it by people who wouldn't dane to put on a uniform, carry a gun into battle and face their enemy head on. They can't even face one soldier head on without sucker punching him in the back of the head.

I've started a letter writing campaign on behalf of this soldier. I do not have direct contact information, but I forwarded my letter to the news director at the channel: I am hoping that all of my friends or anyone else who is interested will write a similar letter and ask it to be forwarded to the soldier and his family.

For details of the story and another recent incident, please go to the inner sanctum. And thank you in advance for your help in this matter.

Decorated Soldier Reportedly Attacked At Concert

If I ever catch anyone doing this, they will find out how redneck we can get here in the state of Missouri.

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A local soldier back from the war in Iraq said he was beaten at an area concert because of what was printed on his T-shirt, NBC 4's Nancy Burton reported.

Foster Barton, 19, of Grove City, received a Purple Heart for his military service in Iraq. He almost lost his leg last month after a Humvee he was riding in ran over a landmine.

Barton said he was injured again Friday night in a crowded parking lot as he was leaving the Toby Keith concert at Germain Amphitheatre. The solider was injured so badly that he can't go back to Iraq as scheduled.

"I don't remember getting hit at all, really," said Barton, a member of the 1st Calvary Division. "He hit me in the back of the head. I fell and hit the ground. I was knocked unconscious and he continued to punch and kick me on the ground."

Barton and his family said he was beat up because he was wearing an Iraqi freedom T-shirt.

"It's not our fault," Barton said. "I'm just doing a job."

According to a Columbus police report, six witnesses who didn't know Barton said the person who beat him up was screaming profanities and making crude remarks about U.S. soldiers, Burton reported.

One witness, a friend of the alleged attacker, said Barton hit first. Police said they do not think that witness is credible since the six other witnesses said Barton was hit from behind.

Barton's mother said she has a message for her son's alleged attacker, who police said ran into the crowd after the incident and was not arrested.

"He needs our prayers, just like the insurgents, because he's a coward," Cindy Barton said.

After a two-week leave, Barton was supposed to return to Iraq Tuesday. But his broken nose will delay his return.

Barton is waiting for doctors to tell him when he can return to active duty. He said wants to go back as soon as possible because his unit was just attacked. Eleven soldiers were wounded and two were killed, he said.

There is no end to the stupid behavior of some people. According to the news reel, the perpetrator was able to run off into the crowd. That irks me as well that no one at this concert actually helped this soldier. There were plenty of witnesses, but no one to help. What kind of world do we live in? I know it's a fucked up world, but it's hardly a world completely without civility and compassion. No one in the city of Columbus, Ohio could help this guy? At a Toby Keith concert where he probably sang "Angry American" and threatened to put a boot up the ass of the terrorists or even "American Soldier" which talks about their sacrifice? Was this some sort of left over hippy asshole who just listens to country music because he can't dig rap or grunge or metal or pop? Did he have LSD in his pipe?

Probably not. Probably just your normal everyday asshole that hasn't had his ass handed to him in awhile. I hope they get this guy. I hope that he is bragging it up somewhere and somebody gives him a little quid pro quo. Or, just send him to jail one night and hope the the police remind the inmates what kind of asshole he is. I'll bet you he won't be such an asshole anymore.

On a similar note, Blogs of War brings up an incident that occured Sept 9 to the family of Chad Drake at an alleged peace rally in Dallas.

DALLAS -- A candlelight vigil took place Wednesday night to remember U.S. war dead in Iraq during the week of the 1,000th casualty. One North Texas family whose relative -- Chad Drake -- was killed outside Baghdad on Monday, was among the mourners at Dallas City Hall Plaza.

A family friend said the vigil turned abrasive toward the family members. The friend sent an e-mail message to NBC 5 News that described the alleged treatment some vigil attendees directed at the family.

The family friend's message alleges Drake's mother was "harassed and yelled at, booed and hissed, told her son died for nothing."

Drake's mother reportedly left the event in tears.

The family attended the vigil because they thought it was meant to honor U.S. casualties. The event was organized by the Dallas Peace Center, which opposes the war.

The Drake family says they were upset about the antiwar tenor of the assembled crowd. The director of the Dallas Peace Center said the event was not intended to be an antiwar rally, but said e-mail notifications of the vigil were sent to a broad audience. Because the venue is a public place, he said, a variety of people with various views on the war in Iraq attended.

He also said the event was planned to include political overtones, but the Drake family should have been informed.

The center, however, did issue an apology to the Drake family.

"I want to be clear in issuing an apology to the mother of the recent victim of that war," Lon Burnam, of the Dallas Peace Center, said. "I can certainly understand why she would not feel comfortable in that particular venue with that particular group of people."

Peace Center officials said they believe the Drake family left before the scheduled events started, and the family might not have seen the planned ceremony.

Drake's sister told NBC 5 News that the family thought some of the crowd was hostile, so the family departed the vigil.

From the Blogs of War:

Spc. Chad H. Drake, 23, of Garland, Texas, died Sept. 7 in Baghdad, Iraq, when his patrol vehicle came under attack by enemy forces using small arms fire. Drake was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

Just another little reminder why I don't vote Democrat. Wouldn't support Kerry if my life depended on it and think that people like Michael Moore should be drafted and tied to the front of a stryker unit as RPG deflectors (probably bounce off his fat ass and fly back at the enemy; new secret weapon).

Fortunately, I know that there are people like me in this world who truly appreciate the sacrifices of our soldiers and their families. Comments from soldiers and others at Blogs of War:

Two days ago I posted a story about the family of fallen soldier SPC Chad Drake. They were harassed by anti-war protesters at a memorial service in Dallas. Two soldiers, both claiming to have served with Chad, have responded to the post:

SPC Drake was my soldier, he fought and died, and I continue to fight here in Iraq not just for the new found freedoms of this Country, but to preserve the rights and freedoms of all Americans. One freedom you all should cherish..your freedom of speach. Your welcome! Drake died for it, and I would too. To the Dallas Peace Center- You should meet Drak’s daughter..what a cutie. She lost her daddy and it wasn’t for nothing.
- SSG Lazzari

I am another soldier here in Baghdad, Iraq. SPC Chad Drake was in my platoon and I new him well. I grew up as a child watching the demonstrations again Vietnam and their Vets. I thought that the lesson had been learned and burned into our memories. I listen to my father talk about his treatment when he returned and thought that cannot happen to us. I was wrong! SPC Drake was a soldier, husband, and a father. The man was a hero having received 1 Purple Heart during this deployment. The actions of this medal are of a far more noble action then a current Presidental Canidate. This man who was driving a Hummer that was hit by a bomb. He was wounded and bleeding but didn’t leave his friends when the front passenger couldn’t open his door. The soldiers legs had been burned by ammuntion going off in the truck so SPC Drake broke the steering column and pulled the man through the drivers side. He then returned for the gunner who was seriously wounded and rendered first aid. SPC Drake then returned to the mission rescuing downed pilots without getting looked at…But you are free to offer your opinion because of soldiers like him. To his family Randi and Kaylee I am so sorry for your loss and pray for you everyday. We are doing the job that most people don’t want to do but we are proud to do it! We are American Soldiers!
- SFC Mault

His sister posted a comment on Blogs of War on 9/15...

would like to say to all the soldiers in Iraq that I am proud of all that you are doing for our country and for the people of Iraq. I am SPC Chad Drake’s Sister. I can tell you that the past few days have been verry hard for me and my family. When we heard of my brothers death it was the saddest days of my life. We just new that Chad was going to come home and tell us all the stories and all the good things that had happend. I will tell you that I am proud to say that Chad Drake was my brother and that he died for you and for me. I know that if he was writting this that he would want me to tell you “Cowboys” to RIDE or Die and be strong for eachother. My brother did not die in vain, he died as a hero. When he would e-mail home he always was proud of what he was doing and he never took it lightly. He never complained and he was always positive. So I would just like you to kow that we suport you 100% makes us proud and come home safe. We “THE GIRLS” are praying for all of you daily. From the Heart Of A Fallen Soldier Jennifer Ott

Comment by jennifer ott — 9/15/2004 @

Let that be a lesson to all that would defame a soldier or insult their family. Not on my watch. Not in my town. Not anywhere I can see it. They will suffer extreme prejudice at the hands of a very pissed off Missourian.

A Marine wrote a comment after attending Chad Drake's funeral:

I attended a funeral today for a Chad Drake. I did not have the wonderful pleasure of getting to know Chad. But, from what I heard about him I felt I could have easily been a friend to him. I went on behalf of the United States Marine Corps. Myself and two other Marines were present. See Chad Drake was a Specialist in the United States Army. He was killed in action in Iraq. I felt a new since of pride when it comes to family… See, Chad also had a wife and a daughter about the same age as Kaitlyn. I thought about how I come home each night and see my daughter and wife greet me with a hug and a kiss and love. I thought about how sometimes we all take that for granted. And how Chad’s wife Randi is going to miss getting to do that… along with his daughter Kaylee.

His Company Commanders who served with him in combat in Iraq were there and spoke… but even more so… a fellow Soldier whom was wonunded along side Chad… Chad wounded himself still made sure that this Soldiers life was safe once this happend… Chad took his final breaths. See Chad I think is what is in all of us. A person whom is willing to lay his life on the line not just for a fellow Soldier but for a country and people that will never know the sacrifice that Chad made in the simple hope that they too will be FREE.

Riding to the grave site where Chad would be layed to rest I could not help but think of the song that was sang during the service. Butterfly Kisses… how his daughter will grow up and not be able to have her Dad walk her down the isle or see her complete school… or the simple pleasure of a smile that could make the darkest days bright again. Sadly but Chad saw his daughter grow up through video and pictures considering he was serving his country in Iraq.

At the grave site the volley of gun fire was shot in the air and Taps was played… what a honor it was to feel for a brief moment Chad’s life. Again, I did not know Chad but I ask that each of you tonight say a prayer for Chad and think of his family and think that there is a little Chad in us all. For we all love the simple pleasures of love and I think that is what Chad lived for…

For all who get this… love is sent with it… and remember that For those who have fought for it… FREEDOM has a flavor the protected will never know. God Bless Chad Drake and his family and may God Bless America.


Comment by Bryan McNeal — 9/17/2004

If you are like me and realize that there are men and women sacrificing every day, living in the heat and the sand and in constant danger of their lives so that I can sit here and write on this stupid blog, you will write a letter to Foster Barton and his family in care of the: and thank him for his service. Then, pop over to Blogs of War and write a note of appreciation for the Drake family.

Let our troops know we love them and appreciate them, regardless of the stupid jackass behavior of the Michael Moron crowd.

Because, when the soldiers are gone, who will they come for next?


Anonymous said...

Kat, The disrespect of the fallen soldier's family is a horrid story. I thought through Vietnam we had learned to protest the action of war while honoring those willing to fight for our country's policy.
I hate this war! My son spent 16 months there in a humvee. He also was decorated and brought all eight of his guys home. He'll probably go again after Jan 1. But he hates this war! He will fight it, but believes its pointless and is weakening the U.S. in the world. Disagreement with our government is our perogative, no OUR DUTY, as Americans. Patriotism is not determined by political party. Michael Moore's radical film does not represent all or even a majority, of democrats. I would not believe that a single Republican radical making nonsensical charges, such as Ann Coulter or Tucker Carlson, represents the entire party.
We should be able to disagree respectfully in America. Those of both parties serve. Those of both parties love our country and way of life.
BTW: As a lifelong Democrat, I would (and have) vote Republican, if a thoughtful, tolerant, moderate candidate a John McCain or Colin Powell. But four more years of lies like WMDs and imminent threats, followed by proclamations of false victory, rationalization and fear mongering, scares the hell out of me!
Peace to you

Tom said...

So terrible to read about these incidents. The family of Chad Drake, and Foster Barton, are in my prayers. And God help the perpetrators, because they'd need it if I ever found them too.

What sad pathetic people who would do such a thing. If you want to oppose the war fine. We'll debate it like rational people. But those who insult or attack our soldiers or their families are beyond the pale.

Experience shows me that any organization that has "peace" in it's name is left wing almost by definition. Like you, I suspect, I can spot these leftie groups a mile away.

91ghost said...

To the coward that attacked Foster Barton: I promise you that if fate ever delivers you across my path, I will split your skull.

To the "peace" protesters who essentially mocked the death of Chad Drake: You are foul, infantile, and the very worse this nation has to offer. Look into the fetid, stinking depths of your bitter and childish souls and note just how violent and unpeace-like you truly are.