Promoted by Jeff. This is one area where President Bush deserves our heartfelt thanks.
No joke, no snark.
Just in case there's anyone out there reading this who might have been living in a cave for the last little while, I'm not a big fan of George W. Bush's Presidency. I haven't been for quite some time, even though I voted for him in 2000 and 2004 and would do so again given the quality(?) of the Democrat candidates. At any rate that's the last comment I'm going to make on the Bush Presidency in this diary.
This one's about George W. Bush, the man.
As many of you know our oldest son entered the US Marine Corps in March of 2001. By the time he was "in the fleet" as a part of the 2nd Btn, 4th Marines the world had changed. To make a long story short, 2/4 was deployed several times, twice to Iraq. The first time in 2004 and during that deployment 34 of Joshua's comrades in arms gave all in the Anbar Province. At the time, and I think still to this day, 2/4 had the highest losses of any unit deployed in OIF.
In 2005 one of the 2/4 families in our 2/4 MarineMoms group (yeah, I'm officially a MarineMom - so is my wife - and anybody who wants to give me any lip about that can take it up with the moms :-) ) received a phone call from the White House inviting them to meet privately with the President along with several other families who had soldiers/Marines who were KIA. They accepted and attended a rally at a military base in Florida where, after the rally, they met privately with the President. They were told his schedule was tight and the group would spend about 45 minutes with him. He was there for several hours and talked to every family member for as long as they wanted to talk and about anything they wanted to talk about, one-on-one. Our particular 2/4 mom was not a supporter of the war even before the death of her son, but came away from their time with Mr. Bush really impressed by George W. Bush the man, as someone who really cared about people - especially the military and their families.
Fastforward to last Sunday. The following email popped up on my 2/4 Moms group, I've edited personal information, but this lady is another Mom whose son was KIA in the same deployment.
Happy New Year ! my 2/4 Family,
Forgive my long overdue absence, but my life day to day stays a whirlwind... .
Thank you all for keeping in touch, and sharing your emails, and things with the group. Always wonderful to get all the postings...
Well I have yet another, one to share, with everyone, of this Amazing journey, I'm on with My Son.
Last june I wrote Pres. G. Bush a letter requesting to meet him, as I was going to be in D.C. in Sept. for an event. Well he regretted, as he was not going to be in town at that time.
Well last weekend I got a phone call from a representative of Pres. Bush's from the White House... inviting my Family, and I to a Reception with Pres. G. Bush... this coming Wed. 14th. I tell you all I'm still pretty much in shock. My Daughter, Grandson, a retired USMC Sgt. Maj. of 31 yrs., and myself will be attending the Reception. No matter ones, political views... I tell ya, what an incredible, outstanding, etc. etc., invitation.
I tell [my Marine son] everyday, he never ceases to amaze me on the things that come up in his Memory, and Honor.
I just got to So. Carolina, tonite, as the Sgt. Maj. and I have driven across this Amazing country of ours, from Calif. to DC.... we are in So. Carolina just for a day, then off into D.C.
Will send a posting, and pix, next week I get home. I fly home on the 17th.
Still trying to grasp, this event in my mind, and heart.
My Love and "missing yous" to all.
Mr. Bush, I don't speak for anybody but me, but I want to sincerely thank you from the bottom my heart, as an American and as the father of a US Marine for your commitment to and dedication to the members and the families of our military. For whatever else you may be remembered for, I hope this will be at the very pinnacle of your legacy. You have set a standard that every American, and especially every President - whose responsibility it is to send our military into harms way - should be proud of and should strive to replicate. You didn't do any of this for good publicity, because you always made sure the press didn't know, you did it because you care about the men and women in uniform and you care about their families.
You sir are a very good man. Thank you.