Culture US Politics

Which Side is Using the Soliders for Politics Again?

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I keep hearing about the way the Left and Cindy Sheehan are politicizing the deaths of soliders in Iraq, but then I read stories like this from the AP today, which makes the point that even the tombstones of our dead soliders are being politicized by the Pentagon. The families of soliders, who should have final approval of what appears on headstones are often not being given the option to exclude the political title from the headstone, which are part of the Pentagon’s “War is Awesome” campaign, dating from the 1980s.

Nadia and Robert McCaffrey, whose son Patrick was killed in Iraq in June 2004, said “Operation Iraqi Freedom” ended up on his government-supplied headstone in Oceanside, Calif., without family approval.

“I was a little taken aback,” Robert McCaffrey said, describing his reaction when he first saw the operation name on Patrick’s tombstone. “They certainly didn’t ask my wife; they didn’t ask me.” He said Patrick’s widow told him she had not been asked either.

“In one way, I feel it’s taking advantage to a small degree,” McCaffrey said. “Patrick did not want to be there, that is a definite fact.”

I’m surprised that we are even allowed to see photographs of the cemetaries.
headstones

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a seventeen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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