Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The continuing saga of my bumper sticker

Its about that dang bumper sticker again. You know, the one on my car that says

BUSH LIED

MY SON DIED

1LTKEN BALLARD KIA 5.30.2004 NAJAF, IRAQ


For the record, my metallic gray Prius also sports an Obama 08 campaign sticker and an oval white sticker that says 01.02.09. While some might, I dont think it is offensive or disrespectful of anyone, least of all my son. I think I have mentioned that I have gotten some responses in the way of notes from people who were touched by the sentiment. Up until yesterday, they were all positive. Additionally they were all signed, at least with a name, some had an email address, if I was so inclined to get in touch.

I attended a Veteran's Community meeting yesterday at the Livermore Veteran's Hospital in California. It is in a lovely rural setting; the first sign you see instructs "Please Do Not Feed the Turkeys". Very serene, very calming. We had an instructive and positive meeting hearing from Vets, advocates for vets and others

I was feeling pretty good when we walked out after several hours of hunkering down. I was heading to dinner with my fellow Gold Star Moms, Nadia & Mary. Stuck under the windshield wiper on my car was this unsigned note
Shame on you! Your son died for what he believed in. He fought honorably for our country and what we stand for. As a fellow veteran of OIF 1 & 2 you are dragging our son's name in the dirt. You should be honored your son was willing to die for his country helping other people.
Really? Disrespecting my son? Oh man, come on! I thought we had left that "us vs them, I'm more patriotic than you" attitude behind us at the very least on January 20, 2009. I guess not. We've still got work to do!

3 comments:

TJ said...

If you lived up here in redneck country, you would be used to that head-shaking stupidity.
I keep having to remind myself that "they"'re lives are simple. There are no deep thoughts that cause them pain-they listen to Rush and Hannity and are told exactly what to think and feel, there is no burden on them to mull things over and lose sleep and feel grief and shame and pride and confusion. They are usually also the people(who let other peoples son serve for theirs) who will never lose sleep over wondering if their son,deployed "over there", is still drawing breath, never lose sleep because they think they heard footsteps on the porch in the night, or a knock on the door;never awaken with a cold grip on their heart because they thought their phone rang in the wee hours;never find their hearts in their throats because a strange car pulled up in their driveway when they weren't expecting company,never hear of another troop death or helicopter crash, or IED explosion and wait for them to come to your door,gratefu when 24 hrs have passed and they didn't, and deeply sorrowful that someone else out there just like you wasn't that lucky .And then the guilt because of it.
I will pity and pray for the ignorant person who left you a note. They will never know or understand or appreciate your sacrifice and that of your son.
I do-thank you.

GSMSO- Gold Star Mom Speaks Out said...

TJ-

THANK YOU for taking the time to share your thoughts. You are exactly right about the thoughts and emotions that occur when your child is deployed. Sounds like you went through it, too.

When Ken was deployed I would do visualizations about what I would do if someone knocked on my door late at night. When I left work, I would tell people that I would drive by my house and not go home if there was a strange car in my driveway- I'm sure they thought I was kidding. And my heart still breaks all over again when I hear about another military death.

Bush gave us the gift that keeps on giving and while we live with these consequences forever, at least he is no longer in the driver's seat.

thanks again!

libhom said...

I think you were showing respect for your son.