Four screws, two pins, two steel rods and four inches of removed bone later, my son still had his leg and thank god, his life.
So, I do have an understanding of the fear a parent feels, the helplessness and having lost family members, the pain of losing a loved one.
With that said, each person deals with their grief in their own way.
What I cannot stomach is a parent that "uses" their childs death for a purpose that goes against what the child stood for. Goes against what the child fought for.
Goes against what that child died for.
To me, that is a betrayal. Disrespect.
Casey Sheehan's sister made a statement:
“That’s all he wanted to do was serve God and his country his whole life,” Carly Sheehan said. “He was a boy scout from age 6 or 7 and an Eagle Scout. It was kind of a natural progression to go into the military from that. He said he was enjoying the military because it was just like the boy scouts but they got guns.”
In May 2000, Sheehan enlisted in the United States Army as a light-wheeled vehicle mechanic, MOS 63B. It has been reported that he had originally considered enlisting as a Chaplain's assistant MOS 56M. (Sheehan had acted as an altar server during the Palm Sunday mass on the morning of his death).
Near the end of his tour of duty, the US invasion of Iraq began. Sheehan re-enlisted, knowing that his unit would be sent to Iraq. Sheehan's division, the First Cavalry Division, was sent to Iraq. On March 19, 2004, Sheehan's unit, Charlie Battery, 1st Battalion , 82nd Field Artillery Regiment arrived at FOB War Eagle in Sadr City. Just a few weeks later, on April 4, 2004, Sheehan was killed in action after volunteering as part of a Quick Reaction Force to rescue American troops.
Casey Sheehan was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star Medal with V for Valor posthumously for actions in Iraq April 4, 2004.
The chapel at Fort Hood started a new Knights of Columbus chapter that was named the Specialist Casey Austin Sheehan Council.
Sheehan is buried in Vacaville-Elmira Cemetery in Vacaville, California. As of May 2006, his mother had provided a tombstone at his grave following criticism that Casey, who died in 2004, lacked a gravestone. Cindy paid for the tombstone herself, stating "It is important for the rest of Casey's family to have one... I guess the pain of seeing it etched in marble that he is dead is another pain I will have to deal with." Cindy maintains that the United States "government should have paid for it because of its responsibility for his death." The Department of Veterans Affairs does provide such monuments upon request. (Source)
What this source did not note was the circumstances that proceeded Cindy Sheehan providing a gravestone for her sons grave.
One prop used by Cindy Sheehan at “Camp Casey” (named in honor of her fallen son, Casey Sheehan) was a fake cemetery filled with 2,000 crosses representing all of those American military service members killed in the line of duty up to that time in the Global War on Terrorism. One of those crosses bore the name of Casey Sheehan, who was killed in action on April 4, 2004. There’s even video of her tending to his fake grave surrounded by representatives of the mainstream media. (It should be noted that at least one Gold Star family didn’t appreciate their son’s death being part of Sheehan’s “Camp Casey” media circus. Gary Qualls of Temple, Texas drove to the location and removed the prop wooden cross bearing his son’s name from Sheehan’s faux cemetery, saying, “I don’t believe in some of the things happening here. I find it disrespectful.”)
But at Casey Sheehan’s real grave in Vacaville-Elmira Cemetery in Vacaville, California, the Peace Mom couldn’t bother with having a headstone or even a wooden cross to mark his passing. Until recently, that is, when critics began to take notice of Casey Sheehan’s lonely unmarked grave. (Source)
Gary Qualls is right, it IS totally disrespectful and to spend so much time and effort on a "prop" to further her agenda which completely disrespects her own son's ideals and what he stood for, and at the same time, leaving her son's real grave unmarked, to me, says quite a bit about this women and her complete lack of honor for her own son.
Then this line:
Cindy maintains that the United States "government should have paid for it because of its responsibility for his death.
What Cindy Sheehan does not mention is that she was reimbursed generously.
What she apparently forgot to tell the world in her bitter defense of her son’s unmarked grave was that the funeral reimbursement from the Defense Department wasn’t the only money she received from the government for Casey’s death. At least one former military official noted last month before Casey’s tombstone was installed that Sheehan was the beneficiary of a $250,000 Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) policy. And legal documents filed in the divorce case of Patrick and Cindy Sheehan show that there was another Prudential Life Insurance policy (no. 43520001432577) paid at the time of his decease.
What has not been discussed (and Sheehan would be likely never to admit to) is that in addition to having actual funeral expenses reimbursed by the Defense Department and the SGLI and Prudential life insurance policies, Sheehan also received a $100,000 death gratuity from the government to cover miscellaneous expenses not covered by the DoD reimbursement. The $100,000 death gratuity is paid to all deaths in the line of duty retroactive to October 7, 2001, the beginning of post-9/11 military operations in Afghanistan.
While the description of Casey’s headstone described by the Vacaville Reporter sounds as if it is a fitting marker for a fallen hero killed in the defense of his country and that also reflects his personal interests, clearly the cost of it isn’t near the $100,000 Cindy Sheehan received from taxpayers to cover such expenses.
From all accounts, Casey Sheehan was the kind of guy that you would enjoy knowing. His commitment to his country and the Global War on Terror that it is prosecuting was seen in the heroic actions that led to his death in Sadr City and in his voluntary reenlistment in 2004 knowing he would probably be sent back to Iraq. His death, like the deaths of all members of the military who die in service to their country, was tragic and a loss to all Americans.
But perhaps even more tragic is how Casey Sheehan’s mother has taken to politically trafficking in her son’s death advancing a cause that many close to him have said he would never have agreed with. His mother’s lack of concern about caring for and appropriately honoring her son’s remains while using her son’s unmarked grave as a photo prop for Vanity Fair and also erecting fake grave markers at her media events should tell us all we need to know about Cindy Sheehan. (Source)
Casey Sheehan was a hero, no doubt about that.
What his mother has done since then, supposedly in his name, has been a disgrace.
Out of the mouth of babes: (14 yr old Lane Owen Sampley, a member of the Palmetto Sea Cadets.)
"My dad has told me stuff, but I'm old enough to form my own opinion," Sampley said. "I think it's wrong to be protesting against our people in Iraq. We should be supporting them. If their country isn't behind them, who is? We might not have wanted to get in (the war), but we're there now and we might as well get the job done. If [terrorists] hadn't gone after the Twin Towers, they would have done something else. We would never have been safe if we hadn't gone in. Imagine sitting in Iraq and having hundreds of thousands of people protesting. It destroys morale."
17 yr old Justin Higgins:
"I knew I had to attend," he said. "Some people doubt America's bravery is intact. I'll be standing up for the soldiers and the vets. I hope people will see this isn't just dominated by war protesters, but also by people who want to stand up for something. What's right is right."
Sometimes children can phrase things so simply, yet so elequently, it belies their age.
In July of 2006, Gold Star Mom, Sharon Serio shows honor and respect to her son and his decision to join the marines.
Sharon Serio said her son, Matt, was a lot like her. Both middle children, they liked to go out and have a good time.
"We got along great together, him and I," the Rhode Island woman said. "(I'll miss) his phone calls."
Assigned to 3rd Platoon, Company C, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Division, Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Kenneth Serio's last contact with his mother was April 4, 2004. He was killed the next day while on patrol in Fallujah. His Humvee hit a roadside bomb, and insurgents ambushed the Marines inside. "There were four of them killed," Serio said. "(Matt) got off half his rounds. Two (Marines) didn't get any rounds off."
Sharon Serio is an American Gold Star Mother, part of a group of mothers who have lost a child in service to the United States.
Sharon said she takes comfort in knowing Matt was doing what he wanted to do. He enlisted in the Marine Corps as a high school senior and was sworn in right after graduation. Boot camp at Parris Island, S.C., was delayed a few days by the events of Sept. 11, 2001. But 13 weeks after checking in, he emerged a newly minted Marine "grunt."
"He always wanted to be a Marine," Serio said. "If you were going to be a serviceman, there was nothing else but a Marine, and it had to be a grunt."
Is Sharon's pain any less than Cindy Sheehan's? No.
The difference is Sharon Serio, even in mourning, respected her sons decision and honors him after his death.
Meet Mark Croley, his son, Lance Cpl. Kyle Croly was killed in Iraq in 2004: He was part of the Gathering of Eagles, the counter-protest gathered at the Vietnam War Memorial, to protect it and show our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan their support.
Mark Croley believes that his 18 yr old son has passed the torch of supporting the country on to him.
Speaking en route to Los Angeles Friday, Croly said America cannot back down from the effort in Iraq.
"This will never stop until we bring the fight to them," he said.
The pro-troop movement has gained momentum with the recent push in Congress to pull the armed forces out of Iraq by August of next year. The convoy participants dismissed the plan as a "cut and run" policy and said they continue to push for victory.
"If we pull out, we have failed, and all those who have died for it will have died in vain," Croly said. "I believe it is a grave mistake ... to pull out and not finish this job.
"These people don't seem to understand," he continued, in reference to anti-war campaigners. "This administration that we support may not be the best administration, but it's who's in office. Whether you're a Democrat or a Republican, you need to support your country.
"The cost of freedom is more than people know," Croly added.
Meet Deborah Jones, whose son is serving his third tour in Iraq:
"[House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi thought she had a mandate to cut and run in Iraq, but I think we are seeing that the American people want victory in Iraq, not surrender,"
The words of these parents are just as potent as the words of Cindy Sheehan, yet they get far less publicity... a shame.
Some may ask, why am I writing this now? Well, I got pissed when I was doing some research about an unrelated post and threw that away and started this one because my blood was boiling after I saw this.
Sad huh? Heartbreaking. My heart went out to her, even being on opposite ends of the spectrum on the Iraq issue..... until I found out, this was faked, not even her son's grave...it was a prop.
How dare her????
This is the actual picture and it is not Casey Sheehan's grave at all, it is Hilario Lopez, it was all a staged event, complete with props (crosses, flowers and American flags.)
To make matters even worse, this was done while her own son laid in his grave that still had no headstone.
I am sure Casey Sheehan loved his mother and I have no doubt at all that his mother loved him.
It does not change the fact that even though she grieves and I do not doubt that she does, she uses her son's death for political purposes, she dishonors what her son stood for and she disrespects the decisions he made before he died.
How do you betray your own child like that?
I find it unfathomable and utterly contemptable.
White House Website with the President's words on the fourth anniversary of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
(NOTE: Gone for the rest of the day, link and ping and I will put them on the front page when I return)
Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, Blog @ MoreWhat.com, Perri Nelson's Website, Mark My Words, basil's blog, DragonLady's World, The Amboy Times, The Bullwinkle Blog, Conservative Cat, Conservative Thoughts, third world county, Faultline USA, Walls of the City, Pirate's Cove, The Pink Flamingo, Dumb Ox Daily News, and High Desert Wanderer, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.
Tracked back by:
Nuts Fruits & Flakes of the Anti-War Rally from Amy Proctor: Bottom Line Up Front...
Europe's Struggle with Islam from Maggie's Notebook...
Kalisto89's Never Again: Message to Iran from Maggie's Notebook...
GermanY..still HaterS after all these YearS from Woman Honor Thyself...
It's About Manipulation: Lost Parental Rights from Faultline USA...
Minnesota Muslims Refuse to Sell Pork at Target St from Blue Star Chronicles...
Fred Thompson Speaks out on Nancy Pelosi, Gandhi a from Blue Star Chronicles...
Main Stream Media Ignores A Gathering of Eagles from Blue Star Chronicles...
MySpace queen Tila Tequila from planck's constant...
In Good Company from 123beta...
Truth and Hope Report; Hope from the Past from Adam's Blog...
The Knucklehead of the Day award from The Florida Masochist...
Infanticide Bombers from The Amboy Times...
Kurds Rise in Power in Iraq from Blue Star Chronicles...
Rudy Giuliani and the Second Amendment from Blue Star Chronicles...