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Disclaimer: The author of this site maintained the campaign weblog of John Kline's opponent in the 2006 election, which made Congressman Kline a bit testy.

As with all blogs, review the facts carefully and draw your own conclusions.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Open Letter: Our Fallen Soldiers Are Heroes, Not Freight

One thing all Americans can agree on, regardless of their position on the war, is that those who have volunteered to serve their country in combat and who pay the ultimate price for their service, are heroes. We cannot do enough to pay tribute to their service.

I was therefore outraged to learn that these fallen heroes are being shipped home to their loved ones in the cargo holds of commercial airliners, apparently in cardboard boxes. America can do better.

I know you believe very strongly that America must show its support for our troops. I know that you likely have no higher priority than supporting our troops and their mission in Iraq. You demonstrated your commitment to our troops' morale when you reacted to Rep. John Murtha's call for an immediate pullout by calling Murtha's comments "unconscionable" and insisting that "he should know better". If measured criticism of the war effort by a decorated Vietnam veteran merits such a scolding, then surely the decision by some penny-pinching Pentagon bureaucrat to pack our war dead in with bulk mail and checked luggage merits condemnation.

The U.S. government has spent more than $79 billion on no-bid contracts for Halliburton and other friends of the administration in Iraq. We've given out billions more in no-bid contracts to rebuild after the disaster of hurricane Katrina. And just four days ago, you and 224 other House Republicans voted for an additional $56 billion in tax cuts, mostly for the richest families in the country.

I can't speak for them, but it's hard to believe they would grudge the few additional dollars required to show our fallen heroes the honor and respect they deserve. I hope you will wield your considerable influence to ensure that America shows proper honor, respect and appreciation of their sacrifice. I can think of no better way to support our troops.

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