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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Veterans on the Hill

[Update]9/18/07-More accounts from Tanker Brothers.

(Picture from Townhall, Mary Katherine Ham)

First accounts of Veterans on the Hill are in. (Vets For Freedom joined with other organizations and veterans to organize this)

I am starting with Snooper from Take Our Country Back and a contributor here at Wake up America.

Breakfast With The President:

We assaulted The Hill today, 250+ Vets For Freedom in alliance with nearly 600 of Families United. We spoke with our Representatives and our Senators. Most of them were completely on our side and some of them were receptive. The others were flat-out losers.

We had a press conference around 1430 hours. Naturally, the moonbats just felt it a requirement to break the laws...again...and were arrested. I believe 4 or 5 were arrested because we ignored them. However, all 250+ of us diligently observed the Code Wacko Pinko Moonbat Fruit Loops as they unlawfully unfurled their banners....


I find it curious that we, professional warriors, do not feel the need to disrupt moonbat rallies. Yet, the Moonbats in the Fruit Loop Brigades, feel it needful to disrupt ours. Why is that? Oh. Wait. Fruit Loops have no respect for anyone or anything but themselves. I forgot.

As we were getting on stage and waiting for many Congress Critters to arrive, the moonbats began to chant something retarded like "healthcare not warfare." They were drowned out by Kansas:

Carry on my wayward son
There'll be peace when you are done
Lay your weary head to rest
Don't you cry no more

Go read the rest and see his pictures and keep your eye out at Right in a Left World also, Pastor Ed will be posting his accounts also.

Then from TownHall, Mary Katherine Ham was there and she also has some great photos, the one above is from her set.

In an event planned this summer to coincide with the Petraeus Report, Vets for Freedom brought about 250 pro-war vets to the Hill to meet with representatives and senators and talk about the importance of finishing the mission. Here's a group with Sen. Saxby Chambliss, one of whom had three Purple Hearts pinned to his chest and several of whom were Vietnam vets who don't want to make what they call the "same mistake" in Iraq by leaving precipitously. Pete Hegseth, Vets for Freedom director, called the turnout "more than expected," and the crowd absolutely overwhelmed the counter-protest from mouthy anti-war folks nearby.

Mccain and Liberman got a wonderful reception and Lieberman stuck it to MoveOn.or by all accounts.

"Just because you're for someone else's freedom of speech doesn't mean you take a vow of silence when they say something stupid or despicable," Lieberman said, in reference to the MoveOn ad. MoveOn, of course, came in for the biggest boos of the day.

Needless to say, MoveOn isn't very popular among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, their families, all veterans from any timeframe or the Families United crowd.

Of course, as usual, the protesters just had to get themselves arrested.

Go see the rest of the wonderful photos from Mary Katherine Ham.

The AP reports:

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Bush, cheered on by Iraq war veterans and their families on the White House's South Lawn, urged lawmakers Tuesday to back his plan to withdraw some troops from Iraq but keep at least 130,000 through next summer or longer.

"I ask the United States Congress to support the troop levels and the strategies I have embraced," Bush said, to loud cheers and chants of "USA! USA!"

The president briefly addressed about 850 members of military support organizations who were invited to the White House for coffee, juice and pastries. With almost everyone wearing red shirts, people from several organizations gathered at picnic tables set up on the South Lawn in the morning sun.

Among the groups gathered at picnic tables set up on the South Lawn were Families United for Our Troops and Their Mission, Vets for Freedom, the American Legion, and Veterans of Foreign Wars organizations. Along with the president and his wife, Laura, other top administration officials also attended the event, including Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Bush offered sympathy to those in the crowd who lost a loved one in the war, and he thanked war veterans as well as active-duty military members.

"On this beautiful morning, we thank you for your steadfast resolve," he said, before lingering to shake hands and mingle with the crowd.

The president's remarks were greeted with full-throated support from the crowd, including occasional shouts of "We love you."

The President's speech:

THE PRESIDENT: Thanks for coming. Laura and I are honored to welcome you here to the South Lawn. Welcome to the people's house. (Applause.) First, I'd like to thank Katy Benko for singing the national anthem. It's not only a beautiful morning to sing the national anthem, it's a beautiful setting in which to sing the national anthem. Katy's husband, Ryan, is deployed to Iraq. Katy, make sure you email him and tell him how appreciative we are of your service, and tell him how appreciative all of us are of your voice. (Applause.)

Laura and I want to thank the members of our -- my administration for joining us. Mr. Vice President, we're really thrilled you're here. Thank you for coming, sir. (Applause.) Secretary of State Condi Rice is with us today. Madam Secretary, appreciate you being here. (Applause.) Secretary Jim Nicholson of the Veterans Affairs Administration; thanks for coming, Jim. (Applause.)

For you veterans who are here, there is no more solemn obligation by your government to make sure you have all it takes to -- for your health care, and for your support. I feel a very strong obligation, since it was my decision that committed young men and women into combat, to make sure our veterans who are coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan get all the help this government can possibly provide. (Applause.)

I appreciate the Secretary of the Army, Pete Geren, for joining us; the Secretary of the Navy, Don Winter; General "Hoss" Cartwright, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his wife Sandee. By the way, General Cartwright is a Marine. (Applause.) I'm not playing to the crowd or anything. (Laughter.)

I want to welcome members of this crowd who have lost a loved one in this war against terror. Our hearts go out to you. We love you. The best way to honor the sacrifices that your loved one made, as well as the sacrifice you have made, is to accomplish the mission, is to achieve the peace. (Applause.)

Laura and I welcome the families who have got a loved one overseas, whether it be in Iraq or Afghanistan, fighting these extremists and terrorists. The best way to honor your loved one is to make sure that he or she has the full support of the United States government as you accomplish the mission that we have set. (Applause.) By the way, for the loved ones here, I fully understand the best way to sustain a volunteer army is to make sure you're happy -- (laughter) -- is to make sure you've got good housing; to make sure that you've got good health care; to make sure that you understand that we know that you're in this fight along with your husband or wife or son or daughter. And that's exactly how this administration feels. (Applause.)

For the veterans who are here, for those of you who are veterans in Iraq and Afghanistan, thank you for volunteering in the face of danger. (Applause.) And for the people who aren't veterans yet, still remain on active duty, thanks for wearing the uniform of the greatest country on the face of the Earth. We're proud of you. (Applause.)

I want to thank the service organizations and those who have come together to support our families and our troops. I can't tell you how important it is for organizations like the Vets for Freedom or the VFW or the American Legion and other groups to -- Gold Star Mothers, got you, okay, thank you -- Blue Star Mothers, Gold Star Mothers, all the mothers, yes. (Applause.) Every day is Mother's Day as far as your concerned, isn't it? (Laughter.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Don't forget the dads.

THE PRESIDENT: And the dads, yes. I knew this was going to happen. (Laughter.) Yes, the wives; okay, fine. (Laughter.) Everybody is supporting our troops. I want to thank you for doing it. (Applause.)

It's important people hear from you. It's important people hear your voice. And I want to thank you for organizing. I want to thank you not only for the grassroots support of our families, I want to thank you for going up to Capitol Hill. And here's a message I hope you deliver: The Commander-in-Chief wants to succeed -- (applause) -- and the Commander-in-Chief takes seriously the recommendations of our military commanders. General Petraeus came back to the United States to deliver the recommendations he made to me. Inherent in his recommendations is, one, his belief we're succeeding, his belief we will succeed, and I ask the United States Congress to support the troop levels and the strategies I have embraced. (Applause.)


THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. When the history books are finally written about this chapter in the war against extremists and radicals, they will recognize certain truths: one, that we recognize that if we were to retreat from the Middle East the enemy would not be content to remain where they are, but they would follow us here. We recognize that the best way to protect our homeland is to defeat an enemy overseas so we do not have to face them here on the streets of America. And we recognize that liberty is powerful, that liberty will yield the peace that we want for generations to come; that will recognize that this generation of Americans did the hard work now, so that future generations could live in security and peace.

And so on this beautiful morning we thank you for your steadfast resolve, we appreciate your support of those brave souls who have volunteered in the face of the danger. We ask for God's blessings on the families and our troop in harm's way. And we thank you from the bottom of our collective hearts. God bless you all. (Applause.)

There is the difference between the anti-war crowd and these fine veterans and their families, supporters and friends.

(THESE folks love the USA and they are not ashamed to show it.)

(These folks don't)

Could the contrast BE any more stark?