Just Another Combat Zone Vet

I just got this letter from a Gold Star Mother who was in NH campaigning for Jeb Bradley. Wouldn't you know, she seems to have run into someone posing as a Viet Nam veteran.

Hey everybody:

I'm back home and trying to catch up on much needed rest after 11 intensive days on the campaign trail with MAF Freedom PAC. While in NH endorsing Jeb Bradley I attended a debate between Bradley and Carol Shea Porter. Congressman Bradley used his opening minutes of the debate to acknowledge Natalie Healey and myself and the sacrifice our sons, Dan and Marc, both Navy SEALs. One of the questions asked the candidates was about the importance of staying in touch with their constituents. The Bradley campaign had released a radio ad that Natalie had made exposing the lack of Carol Shea-Porter to return phone calls to Natalie after numerous attempts requesting to talk with her.

Jeb responded how important his constituents are and referenced staying in touch with Gold Star Mother Natalie Healey. Carol Shea responded that it was important to her and that she had in fact spoken with Natalie. Nat and I both could not believe what we just heard? Carol had just lied publicly on the platform.

After the debate we approached the stage and confronted Carol about her bold faced lie. She responded that she had contacted Natalie and had just released a press release to counter the accusations in the radio ad. I told her that our sons had given up their tomorrows so that she could have her today and how dare her that she couldn't use 10 minutes out of her day to return a phone call to a Gold Star Mother. At that point she quickly went back stage.

I turned around and in disgust commented that Carol had just lied. A man in the crowd chanted, "Where's the proof? Prove it. Prove it!" I pointed to Natalie who was speaking with media and said. "She's the proof. That's the Mother who Carol refused to call." I repeated to the man "Our sons gave their tomorrows, their futures, so that she could have her todays and she can't even return a phone call? That's disgraceful.

He then told me he had served in Viet Nam and had friends who were POW-MIA. I compassionately touched his arm thanked him for his service and told him I was sorry for his loss. I told him that no matter where you stood on the politics of the War on Terror that a Congressman or Senator out of respect should return a phone call to a Gold Star family member. He stated his disgust for what we were doing in Iraq and said "We've all lost things." THINGS????? My son is not a thing. He was a hero who stood out in the direct line of fire 3 times that day and gave his life for this man and he has the audacity to compare his sacrifice with a thing???? I was livid!!! How dare him.

At this point the man in charge of the debate came over and said we would need to take this outside. I could not believe what had just taken place. I knew I was wasting my time and started to walk away when the man I had the confrontation with told me "You're just being used by the campaign." Oh my goodness again, I can't believe the antics of this idiot. He obviously doesn't know that nobody uses me. I turn around and tell him "NOBODY uses me!" You don't raise a son to be a Navy SEAL by having a character that is used by people. Unbelievable! As I approached the other Blues Star Moms and campaign staff that was there they asked what had just taken place. I retold the confrontation with the condescending, heartless man. They asked me to point him out. I was informed that his name was Ray Buckley and that he was the Chairman of the Democrat Party in NH. I was even more appalled that the man who had disgraced my son and insulted me was a high ranking official in the Democrat Party.

I'm calling for back up. This is unacceptable! I am calling for a public apology and Ray Buckley's resignation. If anyone can help set up an on-line petition let me know. I am also including addresses to write letters to the editor of the newspapers in NH letters@unionleader.com and cline@unionleader.com

This is America and we saw the disrespect for our troops who came home from Viet Nam. I know so many of you who are determined that this won't happen to those who are currently serving or the families of our fallen heroes. I am outraged and I won't let this happen to other Gold Star families either.

Standing for our Heroes and their families,

Debbie Lee
Proud Mother of Marc Alan Lee
First Navy SEAL killed in Iraq 8-2-06