A classmate told me a story today about an event surrounding the State of the Union Address that involed her older brother that was just so wrong that I had to share it here.

My classmate’s older brother was born and raised in Chicago, as an adult he moved to Texas where he enlisted in the Army. He was mobilized in Texas and sent to Iraq where he was severely wounded. This young soldier is now recuperating at Walter Reed Medical Center. About a week before the State of the Union, the soldier was contacted by the office of a Senator from Illinois with a personal invitiation to be the Senator’s honored guest at the esteemed event. The invite was in appreciation of the soldier’s brave service.

That was until the Illinois Senator found out that the Chicago-born soldier was now a resident of Texas. The Senator decided to uninvite the wounded soldier and to find a soldier who currently lives in Chicago.

Unfortunately for the soldier (who had made special arrangements with the hospital to be transported from Walter Reed to the Capitol Building) nobody from the Senator’s office informed him that he was no longer to receive this honor until late in the afternoon on the day of the State of the Union! Of course the soldier was a might upset at finding this out after doing his best to fit his wounded self into his dress uniform. Not to mention that he was disappointed to find out that the Senator didn’t really have any true intentions of honoring his service but was merely arranging a photo op for the voters back home.

My classmate refused to tell me which Senator it was, but for some reason I just don’t see Obama pulling a tasteless move like this – I wonder about Durbin however after looking at this photo and caption about his guests on his Senate Homepage.

I believe in the military a situation like this would be called a royal cluster-f*ck. I mean seriously Senator don’t play politics with our wounded soldiers’ lives, they are human beings not tin soldiers.

3 Comments so far

  1. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on February 8th, 2006 @ 10:26 am

    Now that is seriously seriously uncool.

  2. Tom Mills (unregistered) on February 8th, 2006 @ 11:45 am

    Not surprising, though… I heard a story on the radio this morning about the Army making a wounded soldier pay for his flak jacket since he didn’t turn it in after being evacuated from the battlefield.

    Say what??? Forget the fact that it was completely bloodstained and left by the roadside as the medics worked on him… that’ll be $700 deducted from your final paycheck, thanks for your service soldier!

    That’s why they call them orders, son… (I heard this a lot when I was in).

  3. Don (unregistered) on February 8th, 2006 @ 1:39 pm

    At the risk of slighting one person’s pain, the thing that’s just as horrid is that the Senator likely had little to do with this. Instead, some staffer didn’t do their due diligence and take the 3 seconds to ASK if the soldier was a current IL resident before starting this in motion. Then, when the mistake was discovered, they didn’t see if they could get him in a seat held by a TX Senator. Then they didn’t bother to call him.

    And it’s those staffers who do the heavy lifting in the lawmaking. That lack of diligence likely carries over into not reading bills being voted on, not investigating questions that should be asked in committees, looking into the background of appointees…. and so on. It’s not just a slight to someone who’s making sacrifices for our country, it’s a sad reflection on how his office is likely failing to serve his constituants and all of us.

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