We don't have media reports up yet, but they will follow shortly, with pictures too!
I wanted to say a word about the initial blog burst from Move America Forward as we engaged in Day One of the 'Honoring Our Heroes for the Holiday Tour' across 40 cities in United States, rallying support for our troops and their mission.
Danny Gonzelez, who is not our youngest staffer- but almost- really inspires me.
Although 25 years old, he has captured the essence of what we are doing and trying to accomplish in honoring the brave men and women from previous wars, and most certainly the current ones in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Danny (and Ryan Gill who IS the youngest) represent the best of their generation, with their patriotism, enthusiasm, and deep empathy for our soldiers, sailors, marines, army, air force and coast guardsmen.
Here are two reports by Danny Gonzelez, Move America Forward chief road trippin' blogger.
www.moveamericaforward.com in case the pictures don't come through.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Nov 26 1500 - Naughty, Defeatist Congresswoman has Nothing but Coal in her Stockings
Walnut Creek, CA
Leaving Ellen Tauscher’s Office While it’s absolutely true that the focus of the Honoring Heroes at the Holidays tour is to honor veterans and those currently serving, it had come to our attention that some of our stops provided unique opportunities to do some ‘creative’ work. Walnut Creek afforded us one such opportunity. After just leaving a great rally in San Jose, where we were brought 2500 cards for the troops by residents there, the Move America Forward team booked it to Walnut Creek where we had a mission to complete. Ellen Tauscher represents California’s 10th district, professes to be a moderate Blue Dog democrat, and is active in military affairs issues and sits on the House Armed Services Committee. She voted for the war along with most other democrats but when MoveOn.org targeted her in her primary race to get a more anti-war, liberal candidate, Tauscher turned hard to the left and adopted a political stance more in line with what MoveOn wanted. It’s no secret that MoveOn and groups like it are steering democrats into more socialist, far left territory, and MoveOn is not bashful about using it’s money and influence to strong arm Democrats so that they fall in line. Washington Congressman Brian Baird has the political cajones to stand up for what is right and true, at least when it comes to Iraq. After returning from a visit to the war-torn country, he has changed his position, now saying that our troops are winning the war, and that we must stay until the job is complete. Tauscher has been to Iraq multiple times and returned from a trip at exactly the same time Baird changed his tune on the war. But rather than see all the improvements that Baird saw in Iraq, Tauscher denied any progress, maintaining that our troops were losing the war and dying for no reason. Knowing this, Move America Forward just had to respond. When we arrived in Walnut Creek we were greeted by dozens of enthusiastic supporters who were eager to help us send Tauscher a message. From the bowels of our tour bus we produced stockings and bags of charcoal briquettes. Our eager volunteers each took hold of a stocking, 13 of them in all, and stood in line while I filled each to the brim with wonderfully black, sooty COAL !!! We were so excited, crowding two elevators full of people and riding to the 5th floor of the building where Tauscher’s local field office was located in Walnut Creek. We were all in the hallway waiting and ready to deliver our message when Deborah Johns bursts through the door (well, sort of…more like casually walking in like you own the place!) followed by Debbie Lee leading a throng of patriots carrying 13 stockings full to the brim with coal. The office staff there feigned polity and listened as some of the people from the community voiced their concerns and disappointment. She tried to defend Tauscher’s positions, retreating into an office and returning back with fact sheets for everyone explaining some of Tauscher’s ‘official views’ on the troops. But that was no fooling the coal-bearers! One immediately protested that while Tauscher might have voted to fund a veteran’s aid program here or there, she votes against the bills that really count for funding the war and providing the supplies our troops in Iraq need to do their jobs. Another piped up that Tauscher’s derogatory comments about General David Patreus were not included on the ‘fact’ sheet. They wanted to know who we were, so Deborah Johns and Debbie Lee stepped forward to speak on behalf of Move America Forward. Deborah Johns reiterated what everyone else had said, and pointed out several instances of Tauscher flip flopping on the war, pandering to the extreme liberals. That said, Tauscher’s staff had enough and their chief of staff simply opened the door. I don’t recall her actually asking us to leave, but in a dramatic procession, each coal-bearer walked out the door, as they passed by the main reception desk, they each left his or her bag full of coal on a huge mounting pile of coal-filled stockings. And then we were gone. The last few remaining supporters made their sentiments known on their way out the door. One young man asked what would have happened if we had tried to fight World War 2 with half the congress speaking out in defiance and opposition to our Commander-in-Chief and against the war effort, as they do today. Back downstairs in front of the building, there was cheering, clapping, and high fives. I congratulated some of the people I had seen upstairs voicing their opinions so articulately. We had made a bold statement, and we’d also collected 1,500 more Christmas Cards! Bravo! I can tell I’m getting a little longwinded here, and while I could go on and on with more details about the whole scene, I’ll let the few pictures we were able to snap speak for themselves. -danny [maf]
MAF Blogger Danny
Permalink Nov 26 0958 - Tears, Prayers in Santa Nella November 26 2007
Santa Nella, CA
San Joaquin Memorial We just stepped back on the bus after our kickoff event in Santa Nella, California. As the first stop on the main part of the “Honoring Heroes at the Holidays” Tour, Santa Nella was the perfect place to begin a national pro-troop tour with a solemn, spiritual cast away. In previous tours we’ve kicked off with a big bash, but since this tour is all about honoring our heroes for their service and our veterans for their sacrifice, especially those who paid the ultimate price, it was much better to have an intimate ceremony to open up the tour. We gathered at 9 this morning at the Veterans Memorial in the San Joaquin Memorial Cemetery just outside of Santa Nella. This is the final resting place for thousands of brave souls who gave, quite literally, everything they had to defend their homeland. Accordingly, the Cemetery also houses several memorials. Move America Forward, working with the Department of Veterans Affairs arranged to hold a wreath-laying ceremony with park officials and Move America Forward spokespersons as a signal to begin a 40-city nationwide tour in which we hope to collect 100,000 Christmas, Hanukkah, and Holiday Greeting Cards for troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. We were joined by a local Minister, Milton Barry, and a US Army Honor Guard detachment. Reverend Barry opened up our ceremony with an invocation and led us all in prayer, asking for the safety and deliverance of all those who have willingly put themselves in harms way to protect the lives and freedoms of Americans back home. Rev. Barry is a veteran of the armed services himself. He was in the Army for 5 years, retiring in 1940 after being trained as a pilot dropping paratroopers into combat zones. After returning to civilian life, Milton Barry married his lifelong sweetheart and went to college and then seminary school, eventually becoming a Minister of the church and a prominent figure in the community in and around Santa Nella. After Reverend Barry opened it up for us, Buzz Patterson led us through a short program where he, Deborah Johns and Debbie Lee, all veterans of previous Move America Forward campaigns, shared their stories and communicated how important they all felt it was for us to remember and honor our past and current veterans, and that God-willing, they would be able to return home safely. When we were ready to lay the wreath, our Military Moms, the “Fighting Debs”, Deborah Johns and Debbie Lee raised the wreath together and gently laid it at the base of the memorial statue. It was a memorial to Airborne Infantry soldiers and was a life size bronze of a soldier in dress uniform and holding his M1 Garand rifle at attention.
I’m now sitting here on the bus, with my family, Move America Forward, on our way to San Jose for a pro-troop rally. This is what we love to do. And this time we have a bus with a professional driver to help us make our trek across 12 states on a mission to bring our troops a message. That message is that this holiday season, while you are serving your country in the scorching heat of the Iraqi sun, dumping the sand out of your boots and checking for scorpions each morning, sleeping in your tents when the desert freezes each night, hunting down al-Qaeda terrorists, rebuilding schools and waterways, restoring power to Iraqi communities, and training Iraqi volunteers into an expert police force and professional military capable of ensuring Iraq’s own national security. As you do these things each day after day, in Iraq, 12,000 miles from your homes here in America, working tirelessly without complaint, we are thinking of you. We thank you. We honor you.