...I'm okay with being REALITY-based.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004
      ( 7:44 PM )
Oregon Vets Disrespected & More Oregon Guardsmen Killed

A group of Oregon vets showed up in Salem today to try and deliver a letter to Laura Bush, who was speaking to a crowd of Bush lovers. Of course, you could only get into the event if you signed your loyalty in blood... but even the delivery of the letter was rejected. The vets were shoved aside and not allowed anywhere near. After all, the Bush campaign isn't about hearing from Americans and being accountable to the citizens it is supposed to be representing - nope. The Bush campaign is about getting the faithful to ask nice questions and shout their "four more years!" droning.

Terry Kirsch, a Vietnam veteran from Canby, Ore., said he later tried to use a ticket to get into the event, but was told the fire marshal had closed the site.

"It was very disheartening to me as someone who fought in the war and was wounded in the war, and now I'm not allowed to hear my government speak," Kirsch said.

Kevin Mannix, chairman of the Oregon Republican Party, said the decision to close the event had to do with safety, not politics. He also dismissed complaints by Kirsch and other Kerry backers about access to the rally.

"This was a rally for Bush-Cheney supporters," Mannix said. "If people have already made up their minds to support John Kerry, then they are welcome to attend John Kerry's rallies."

How nice. That's what I call respect.

Oh, and we lost another Oregonian in Iraq this week.

It began with a haircut after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. David W. Johnson, a man with orange dreadlocks who had struggled to recover from drug addiction, chose to straighten up and give back to his country.

He joined the Oregon National Guard and was deployed to Baghdad as part of the 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry. In May -- adding to his transformation -- the cook-turned-gunner was baptized by a chaplain at the base in Taji, Iraq.

Saturday morning, Johnson, 37, was killed in a roadside bombing northwest of Baghdad. The specialist was riding in the turret of the last Humvee in a convoy to Taji during a supply run. He will be promoted posthumously to sergeant.

Rest in Peace, David.

Meanwhile, they're taking 60 more Oregon guardsmen, to fill in the ranks of those we've already lost. Can our community take much more?

P.S. That makes 75 US killed this month so far, 81 total coalition casualties. That's been about 3 casualties per day - and hundreds of civilians. Is anyone paying attention anymore?

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