"I've got one, too"
"Jim, let me just make a point. I've got a bracelet, too, from Sergeant - from the mother of Sergeant Ryan David Jopeck, sure another mother is not going through what I'm going through.
No U.S. soldier ever dies in vain because they're carrying out the missions of their commander in chief. And we honor all the service that they've provided. Our troops have performed brilliantly. The question is for the next president, are we making good judgments about how to keep America safe precisely because sending our military into battle is such an enormous step."- Senator Obama, presidential debate Sept. 26, 2008
About that bracelet....
Hot Air makes this point:
It’s possible that they have changed their minds again, and not unlikely, given the family’s support for Obama. Jopek is divorced from his wife and may not have been speaking for her. If Tracy Jopek wanted Obama to continue to use the bracelet to make this case, or changed her mind about him stopping, then Obama did nothing wrong.Ryan Jopek was a Sgt. in the Wisconsin National Guard, 2nd Battalion, 127th Infantry. On was killed on August 2nd by an IED in Tikrit, 2 years ago. He was 20 years young. Sgt. Jopek was on his last mission, due to come home in 2 weeks.
However, if the Jopeks did ask him to stop wearing the bracelet and stop talking about it on the campaign trail, it’s disrespectful for Obama to continue to do so. He should have honored their wishes and used a different example. Obama could have talked about Cindy Sheehan’s loss if he was desperate for one, but there are other Gold Star families who oppose the war and probably would support Obama’s use of their loss as a campaign talking point.
Since this interview was six months ago, we should wait for the Jopeks to say whether they object to the use of the bracelet by Obama. Obama’s use of the bracelet was obviously planned, and I’d have a hard time believing that no one would have thought to check with the Jopeks first.
The father, Brian Jopek, also served in Iraq with a Wisconsin National Guard unit.
You can read about how Tracy Jopek gave Obama the bracelet, here. Misgivings?
She said she was honored by Obama mentioning her son in his speech.
"I couldn't believe it. It was such an honor, such an honor," she said. "To know that he does know his name. It means a lot."
But a month later, Ryan's father Brian -- who is no longer married to Tracy -- told Wisconsin Public Radio that his ex-wife had misgivings about Obama wearing the bracelet and mentioning their son on the campaign trail. It seems as though just as Tracy Jopek supports Obama and wants to end the war, Brian Jopek has a different take on what should happen in Iraq and may be more inclined to support McCain.
Let's be clear that neither side speaks for ALL military families. And their wishes should be respected. I hope the right side of the blogosphere doesn't embarrass itself by making more out of this than is warranted. As Hot Air points out, we don't know how the family currently feels on this. Although, this might be a hint:
After pointing out that he and Tracy are not married anymore, Brian says that "from what I understood from email exchanges with Tracy….she wanted to put a name, she wanted Sen. Obama to know Ryan's name...She wasn't looking to turn it into a big media event...She just wanted it to be something between Barack Obama and herself."Sounds like Tracy supports Obama's campaign, but doesn't want her son's memory to be politicized. I would imagine that means from either side.
You can see a video of Sgt. Ryan D. Jopek's funeral here.