Congressional Candidate Charlie Brown (D, CA-04) Answers The Question
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Here's how Charlie Brown, running for Congress in California's Fourth District, Answers The Question:
CA04: My Son is Off to Serve his 4th Rotation in Iraq
by Charlie Brown for Congress
Thu Apr 12, 2007 at 09:30:44 AM PDT
Most Americans woke up this morning ready to read the morning paper, listen to the news, and check their computer to see what the day would bring.
Jan and I woke up knowing that today our son deployed for his fourth rotation in Iraq. We woke up knowing that for the next several months, the last thing we do at night and the first thing we do in the morning will be checking the internet for news out of a war zone...for word from our son.
We are in the minority: parents, spouses, and friends with a loved one in Iraq. Knowing from experience about the true cost of war, we questioned the justification and execution of this policy before it was popular. We learned first hand about the lack of proper equipment before others read about it in the newspaper. We checked prices for top quality body armor to send our son while the GOP led Congress fiddled. And long before the Walter Reed scandal broke, we followed the aftercare problems facing our troops, their families, and surviving dependents as our son talked about the injured and dead his unit flies out of Iraq.
The truth doesn’t only set you free, it strengthens your resolve to fight for what’s right.
Like many other veterans and military parents, my wife (who served as an Air Force Nurse) and I have borne the burden of far more truth than is typically presented to the general public. We learned about contractor fraud from an auditor I used to fly helicopters with who monitors contracts in Iraq---about the slower than reported progress on Iraqi civil infrastructure projects from a Marine civil engineer who was stationed in Iraq---about our long since discredited intelligence on the war from people on the ground who I worked with during my own 26 year military career. And, as a longtime subscriber to ‘professional’ military publications, I learned years ago that the military has not been quiet about the problems it is facing--you just had to know where to look, and you had to be willing to listen to the experts on the ground.
Now that this information is more public, most Americans disapprove of U.S. policy in Iraq, and are justifiably outraged over the care given to our troops when they come home.
Welcome to our world.
We thank those of you reading this for caring, for working to spread the truth, and for helping to elect a new Congress in 2006 that is fighting for change. That’s what "supporting the troops" is all about, but it is only a beginning.
Representatives like my 2006 opponent John Doolittle are still voting to send people like my son into combat without proper equipment, training, or a plan for success. They are still refusing to make personal sacrifices to support our armed forces, or hold the administration and Iraqi politicians accountable for results instead of rhetoric.
I suppose that’s easy to do as long as it’s someone else’s child fighting and dying, but it is not the American way, and it is certainly not patriotism.
We need good people in the military, and we owe those who serve the benefit of competent civilian leadership, and seamless aftercare when they become veterans. Families like ours know this truth all to well. We know that resolving these issues at a human level is not about having all the answers---it’s about having the right priorities and the courage to ask the right questions.
We are proud of our son and the troops who protect our beloved country. They truly are our best and brightest.
And that’s why Jan and I are as determined as ever to ensure we have a government that cares as much as we do about the safety and success of our men and women in uniform.
Be safe son. And come home soon.
Charlie Brown, Lt. Col. USAF Ret.
[Complete statement posted; emphases in original]
We thank Charlie Brown and Jan for their service to our country. We salute their son and wish him all the best.
We've been making this point for quite a while, and Charlie Brown explains why: If our national leaders personally know junior and mid-level officers as well as enlisted servicemembers, they don't have to depend on official sources of information, including lazy, corporate media, to know what's really going on in the Global War on Terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
Not everyone has a son eligible to serve, but a lot more people personally know young men who are, or could be, or should at least consider serving in our military. Credible national leaders are personally committed to success.
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