Sunday, September 28, 2008

"I've got one, too"

Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., wears a bracelet in memory of a soldier killed in Iraq, during a news conference in Indianapolis, Sunday, April 27, 2008. The bracelet was given to him by Tracy Jopek of Merrill, Wis., at a rally in Green Bay, Wis,, in February 2008. AP photo by Jae C. Hong

"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.

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.

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.

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.

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Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Call me jaded, I cannot help but think it is simply disingenuous on Obama's part.


Sunday, September 28, 2008 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

It's disingenuous if his only desire in wearing the bracelet is for appearances sake, and for scoring political points; and it's disingenuous if he thinks that IVAW speaks on behalf of all those who serve in uniform.

I just think we should avoid falling into the same pratt fall as Senator Obama.

Sunday, September 28, 2008 1:46:00 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Here's the thing. His 'me, too, attitude was juvenile. He deserves to be called on it. I have no idea who the mom supports but she has updated the story now. She spoke with an AP reporter, according to Jake Tapper's blog at ABC News, and told the reporter that the ex-husband's recollection is correct. She did tell the Obama campaign she didn't want him wearing the bracelet as he was using it in the campaign. She was, however proud that her son's name was mentioned during the debate. That's a mom thing. So, there it is.

Sunday, September 28, 2008 6:43:00 PM  
Blogger Z said...

They asked him not to wear it. A dead soldier's family doesn't want him exploited and he still DOES?
It's worse than disingenuous.

Yes, MOm's an Obama supporter and she's proud he was mentioned in a debate, who wouldn't be? I listened to the radio interview with Ryan's dad (at my site) and he's sick that Obama's anti-war thing's being furthered by exploiting this young man.

He needs to take the bracelet off.

Great piece, don't REALLY think i can watch that funeral video, DO YOU!? oh, no. !!

Sunday, September 28, 2008 10:33:00 PM  
Blogger J_G said...

It would probably help Obama's case if he could at least appear to remember the name of the young man that died for his country. Talk about making it look like a photo op and political opportunism. I know a fraud when I see one.

Monday, September 29, 2008 1:05:00 AM  
Blogger Rivka said...

I agree with what you wrote on your post. It is crucial we don't jump the gun on things before doing the research or we will have egg on our face.

That is what I like about your blog is that you do your best to be accurate before taking off with a story.

As for Obama's motives in wearing the bracelet, I don't know them. Knowing how the libs operate, it wouldn't shock me if he wore it for political reasons only.

Monday, September 29, 2008 9:51:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Thank you, rivka. Means a lot.

I wonder how many times Senator Obama has told the bracelet story on the campaign trail and whether or not it was with knowledge of Tracy and/or Brian's desire that he not bring it up to bolster his political ambitions.

Monday, September 29, 2008 9:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



Monday, September 29, 2008 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...

Not only did Obama make the Jopek family upset with all this, he also lied about Henry Kissenger saying he supported Obama's view of meeting with Dictator's of rouge nations without pre-conditions!

Oh Brother!

We will NEVER hear this on the Drive By Media.

Monday, September 29, 2008 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger Gayle said...

I don't care whether Obama wears the bracelet or not. That's between him and the Jopeks. There are plenty of other things I don't like about him, like his liberal policies and his attempt to sue the NRA for their ads. Obama has forgotten we have freedom of speech in this country!

Monday, September 29, 2008 12:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with Gayle.
Count me in as one of the millions of Americans completely disgusted with Obama and the rest of these losers like Pelosi and Reid

Monday, September 29, 2008 3:06:00 PM  
Blogger cube said...

I thought it would've been more believable had Obama actually remembered the fallen soldier's name. I feel bad for his family. They have suffered a tremendous loss, but I wonder what that fine young man would think of Obama's politics. Would he have been OK with NObama using his death for votes?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008 9:04:00 AM  

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