Dave at The Paladin Blog has a post that must be read. It is the comments of two veterans. One a Vietnam vet, General Louis C. Wagner, and the other an Afghanistan vet, Sgt. Mark Seavey. They are confronting two congressmen in a Town Hall meeting. The congressmen? Jack Murtha (D-PA) and Jim Moran (D-VA). Did they make a difference with these guys? No probably not, but had I been there, I would have at the very least, shook their hands, but more likely I would have hugged them both! Here is a bit of both of their statements, but you can see more at Dave's blog.
From General Wagner, "I have faith in our military leaders and believe that they are making the necessary steps to train the Iraqi forces and provide for our eventual withdrawal. I also have faith in our executive branch, that they are taking the necessary steps to help the new Iraqi government to get a democratic style government in place and to give them at least a chance of success. Although mistakes were made in the execution of the war and its aftermath, the goal itself is worthy, and in spite of all the negativity that we are constantly bombarded with I believe that there have been some remarkable successes..."He also reads a letter from a woman who is pleading for these men to stop saying what they are because it's putting the troops at risk. How their words are encouraging the insurgents. Her son was there...he died the day of the Town Hall meeting.
"...It is a difficult struggle and will require patience and fortitude both on and off the battlefield. If we lose our will at home, it makes the task for our soldiers all the more difficult. I believe your comments were irresponsible and are contributing to the loss of national will. If they were made to obtain political advantages I would find that abhorrent and unworthy of a former Marine."
And Sgt. Seavey's statement: "Like yourself I dropped out of college two years ago to volunteer to go to Afghanistan, and I went and I came back. If I didn't have a herniated disk now I would volunteer to go to Iraq in a second with my troops, three of which have already volunteered to go to Iraq. I keep hearing you say how you talk to the troops and the troops are demoralized, and I really resent that characterization. (applause) The morale of the troops that I talk to is phenomenal, which is why my troops are volunteering to go back, despite the hardships they had to endure in Afghanistan.The answers from Moran and Murtha were sputterings of the usual liberal talking points. They never actual addressed these men or their comments. I just don't know how they could sit there and not be moved.
"And Congressman Moran, 200 of your constituents just returned from Afghanistan. We never got a letter from you; we never got a visit from you. You didn't come to our homecoming. The only thing we got from any of our elected officials was one letter from the governor of this state thanking us for our service in Iraq, when we were in Afghanistan. That's reprehensible. I don't know who you two are talking to but the morale of the troops is very high."