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Bush Favored by GI Parents

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October 26, 2004 -- THE cliché goes: "Just business, nothing personal."

The hell it is.

John Kerry makes me weak in the ankles — and now it's personal, not business.

In the next few days, there will be a person reporting for duty in Iraq. His name is Army Capt. Peter J. Dunleavy.

Capt. Peter J. Dunleavy is not one ounce more special than the guys and gals he will go to Iraq with — no more special than the thousands of the brave boys and girls who have gone before him, and those who will certainly go after him.

He is, of course, special to his wife, Debbie, his mother, Gloria, his brother, Sean, Sean's girlfriend, Laura — and his friends in the sports bars who cheer for the Giants.

He is special to me, as are all the thousands of boys and girls who serve this country, because he looks at fear as a headache and duty as the ultimate.

And yet, John Kerry makes it look like those guys and gals are just victims — wrong war, wrong time, wrong place.

How dare he say that to our brave boys and girls? How dare he whisper it — let alone shout it to the whole world?

Now I am somewhere in Oklahoma to see off Capt. Pete, 37, my eldest boy. I ask him what he makes of Kerry's talk.

"Dad, we don't listen to politicians. We listen to our commanding officers," he says, growing bored already with the conversation.

I ask him where he is going in Iraq, what he will be doing, as all the worried parents of so many thousands of brave boys and girls surely do.

"Don't know. I'll just go where I am needed," he says matter-of-factly.

Sunday he left for another base, where he will be re-equipped, before taking off to Iraq in a few days.

On Saturday night, Pete and wife Debbie, a reservist in the Navy, had their last night out for a long time — at the Navy Ball.

It was there that Pete was given the official honor of re-enlisting his wife for another two years.

Capt. Pete is not worried about Kerry's outrageous statement — wrong war, wrong time, wrong place — because he's stronger and braver than that.

But I sure am worried.

Rest of Story

Sat, Oct. 16, 2004

Military poll finds strong support for Bush despite questions over troops


Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON - (KRT) - Active duty military personnel and their families believe the Bush administration underestimated the number of troops needed in Iraq and overburdened National Guard and reserve forces, according to a survey released Saturday by the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center.

In general, however, they support President Bush's handling of the situation in Iraq more than most Americans do. Nearly two-thirds of the military sample endorsed Bush's actions in Iraq compared to four-in-ten civilians surveyed.

Annenberg's findings are based on a survey of 655 active duty service personnel, including National Guard and reserve troops, and their families. Nearly 60 percent of them thought the guard and reserves were being asked to do too much in Iraq, a view shared equally by the general public. Annenberg polled 2,436 adults nationwide to make the comparisons.

Sixty-three percent of military personnel and families surveyed approved of Bush's handling of the situation in Iraq, and 62 percent thought the regular military forces sent to Iraq were properly trained and equipped. The overwhelming majority - 73 percent - said that troops should be kept in Iraq until a stable government was established there.

But most of those surveyed - six in ten - said that the Pentagon underestimated the number of troops it needed in Iraq.

The survey, which was conducted between Sept. 22 and Oct. 5, has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.



To read more about the survey, including a summary of its findings, go to: Annenberg Public Policy Center

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