Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Keep the media OUT of Dover!

YOUR mission. TODAY.

Seems that this new American administration is really into this whole "change" thing. I am sure most of you are aware that when our fallen heroes are brought home, they come through Dover. President George W Bush barred the media from documenting their arrival, to allow the families private moments with their precious loved ones.

Now President Obama is reviewing this policy. Other blogs have voiced their opposition to this far more eloquently than I. MY opposition is that this msm has proved that they have NO respect for the fallen or their families. Even as they bleat that showing the fallen heroes returning would show the "true cost of war," they completely ignore the many, MANY other stories that show the 'real' war. Rarely do we see stories in the msm showing the realities, the progress of what our military is accomplishing. Having said that, I do not trust the msm to be respectful of our newly grieving Gold Star Families.

I could go on and on, but - as always - our military families say it far better. One such Gold Star father is Robert Stokely. Father of Sgt. Mike Stokely, Mr Stokely stands on guard for the respect and honour for our fallen. He sent an email and I am going to post it in its entirety. Once you have read it, you will know what to do. Please, do this for Mike, Patrick, Kory, Don, John, Josh and for Sean. Our fallen, and their families, have more than earned this small gesture of respect:

Please read and help Keep the Media out of Dover when our Fallen arrive home

Senator John Kerry / Democrat of Massachusetts and Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, and if you take the statements of then Senator Biden (who stated the soldiers are snuck in under cover of darkness), want Dover to be open to media coverage of arriving and departing flag draped caskets of our fallen and their unashamed purpose is to "show the real cost of war...". During his speech on the economic crisis on Monday, Feb. 9, 2009, President Obama, in answering the question of Ed Henry of CNN, stated he was ordering a review of the policy. The links below cover the interview with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates wherein he alarmingly states he is open to the policy being changes, stating it might show "more honor" for the fallen.



I take the stand that Dover is to special a place for our fallen to be made a spectacle of for many reasons, but I will offer these as the most important:

1. Just as the families should be the first to get the "call" that their loved one has died, so should the first non-military required handling and view of the fallen be their's to have rather than having it splashed about in the media for a political statement of "showing the real cost of war."

2. Our military personnel do not decide when, where or how long war is waged; such decisions are for political leaders to make and constitutional duty of any military personnel is to carry out the lawful orders of the Commander in Chief / President. Thus, the only purpose of the media and the above stated politicians desire to "show the real cost of war" is for a political purpose. Just for settling the debate, the real cost of war is already known for it is a little hard to hide the impact of a fallen has on his / her family, community and entire country and they are not snuck back in under cover of darkness to hide their loss, but if any use of cover of darkness is had, it is to shield them from being used as a political photo op.

I urge your action to contact your U.S. Senator and U.S. Congressman to have them exercise their contacts and leverage to keep Dover a private place for the fallen and the families who are about to receive them home for burial. And it is important to contact President Obama, Defense Secretary Gates, and others on the list below. I know it is a long list, but think about the time you spend in writing a letter, sending a fax, sending an email, or making a call versus the lifetime of love the fallen and their families have given for America.

The White House

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Phone Numbers
Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414
FAX: 202-456-2461

Comments: 202-456-6213
Visitors Office: 202-456-2121

SCTY Defense Robert Gates:
Dr. Robert M. Gates
Secretary of Defense
1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1000
Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen:
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
9999 Joint Staff Pentagon
Washington, DC 20318-9999
General James E. Cartwright:
Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
9999 Joint Staff Pentagon
Washington, DC 20318-9999
General George W. Casey, Jr.:
Army Chief of Staff
200 Army Pentagon
Washington, DC 20310-0200
Admiral Gary Roughead:
Chief of Naval Operations
2000 Navy Pentagon
Washington, DC 20350-2000
General Norton A. Schwartz:
Air Force Chief of Staff
1670 Air Force Pentagon
Washington, DC 20330-1670
General James T. Conway:
Commandant of the Marine Corps
Headquarters USMC
2 Navy Annex (CMC)
Washington, DC 20380-1775
Senator John Kerry:

218 Russell Bldg.
Second Floor
Washington D.C. 20510
202-224-2742 - Phone
202-224-8525 - Fax

One Bowdoin Square
Tenth Floor
Boston, MA 02114
617-565-8519 - Phone
617-248-3870 - Fax

Springfield Federal Building
1550 Main Street
Suite 304
Springfield, MA 01101
413-785-4610 - Phone
413-736-1049 - Fax

Fall River
222 Milliken Place
Suite 312
Fall River, Ma 02721
508-677-0522 - Phone
508-677-0275 - Fax
Senator Frank R. Lautenberg:

Newark Office
One Gateway Center
Twenty-Third Floor
Newark, NJ 07102
Phone: 973-639-8700
Toll Free: 1-888-398-1642
Fax: 973-639-8723

Camden Office
One Port Center
Suite 505, Fifth Floor
2 Riverside Drive
Camden, NJ 08101
Phone: 856-338-8922
Fax: 856-338-8936

Washington, DC
Hart Senate Office Building
Suite 324
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-3224
TTY: 202-224-2087
Fax: 202-228-4054


Robert Stokely
proud dad SGT Mike Stokely
KIA 16 AUG 05 near Yusufiyah Iraq

THIS is the very least we can do. Get on it.


Poet Warrior said...

Gates, Kerry, et. al. Leave the dead alone. You have no respect for anything they do. Kerry started disrespecting his fellow veterans as soon as he came home from Vietnam. He does not even deserve to spit shine their boots. Gates--are you so desperate for a job that you would do this to our soldiers? Tell Obama "NO". In one month we have taken more steps toward socialism and disrepect of America's meaning than we have in the last 50 years.

Anonymous said...

I can easily see this argument.

However, I do disagree. I think that Soldiers do not want to be hidden away in death. We often and proudly show Soldiers in life... we should show them in death, as well.

The Brat said...

FRT...Thanks for your comment. While I agree that America SHOULD honour its heroes both in life and after their ultimate sacrifice, I also believe that the families - who in my opinion also serve - have also more than earned the right to have that private time with their precious returning loved one, if that is their choice.

My concern is that allowing media in at that time would give them carte blanche to a) intrude on a private moment, and b) use such images as propaganda. I don't hold much faith that the msm would be respectful enough.

There are plenty of opportunities after the family has left Dover for the media to record the hero's final journey home.

As always, Hoosier Poet: Thank YOU!

Anonymous said...

FRT, I agree with the fact that Soldier do want to be hidden in death, however it is my choice to share the death of my Son who died, and death is private and for his loved ones. We as Families (and I hope I speak for many)would like to have your support not your pity. You see some people believe that when the funeral is over we should be able and must move on. And that is not the case. The families should be able to tell or share their stories when they are able to on our time. For many of us it is part of our grieving process. But Let us do on our time not the media's or the government's.

Mickey Arnette Bryant
Proud Mom of a US Soldier
SSG Jason R Arnette KIA 4/1/07
Baghdad now deployed to Heaven