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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Soldier's Family Asked Obama Not To Make Son's Death A Campaign Issue

YouTube URL of the video above found here.

There has been much said about Barack Obama's "I have a bracelet too" moment from the first presidential debate in Mississippi, but NewsBusters brings us yet more in showing people that according to the father of Sergeant Ryan David Jopek, the name of the fallen soldier on the bracelet that Barack Obama wore during the Mississippi debate, the soldier's mother, Tracy Jopek, had asked him to stop wearing the bracelet and using her son's name as a campaign issue.

On a Wisconsin Public Radio, Route 51, the host of the show, Glenn Moberg, asked Ryan's father Brian Jopek, what he and his ex-wife thought about Barack Obama wearing the bracelet the grieving mother had given to him, on the campaign trail.


Brian Jopek: Because of some of the negative feedback she's gotten on the Internet, you know Internet blogs, you know people accusing her of... or accusing Obama of trying to get votes doing it... and that sort of thing.

Radio Host Moberg: Yeah

Jopek: She has turned down any subsequent interviews with the media because she just didn't want it to get turned into something that it wasn't. She had told me in an email that she had asked, actually asked Mr. Obama to not wear the bracelet any more at any of his public appearances. Which I don't think he's...

Moberg: It has been a while since he's brought it up.

Jopek: Right. But, the other night I was watching the news and he was on, uh, speaking somewhere and he was still wearing it on his right wrist. I could see it on his right wrist. So, that's his own choice. I mean that's something Barack Obama, that's a choice that he continues to wear it despite Tracy asking him not to... Because she is a Barack Obama supporter and she didn't want to do anything to sabotage his campaign, so, if he's still wearing the bracelet then, uh, that of course is entirely up to him.

Moberg: Maybe there's a difference between wearing it and making a point to bring it up in your speeches?

That was back in March.

Many candidates speak to the parents and family members of fallen soldiers and receive gifts from them. I have seen Bush use a pen to veto a supplemental bill with it because the gold star father, Robert Derga, (parent that has lost a child) asked him to. I have seen the bracelet on John McCain's wrist and I have seen parents ask their story to be told and their child remembered publicly.

There is nothing wrong with honoring the fallen, just as there nothing wrong with Obama wearing a gift he was given by a supporter as Tracy Jopek is.....unless he is ignoring her request that it remain a private gift and to ignore her asking him to stop using her son as a campaign as disrespectful as one can get to family that has lost a loved one in service to America.

You can download and listen to the radio interview with Mr. Jopek here, it is at approximately the 10 minute mark.

Additional thought: Now the mother, Tracy, is in a spot, because people will be asking her about this. Since she is an Obama supporter, I wonder if she will give him some political cover and say she changed her mind in the last months?

Would he go as far as to ask her to do that?