Four tours. That’s what my son has given his country. Four times he’s left his home, his friends, his family, and yes, his mother, to travel halfway around the world and fight to make this country safe.
Four times we’ve watched him go to war, worried that we might never see him again. Four times we’ve watched him come home, relieved at his safe return and awed by his sense of duty and love of country.
Pride can’t begin to describe the way I feel about my son and the thousands of brave men and women just like him who, in the most difficult of circumstances, have achieved successes few thought possible. Indeed, CIA Director Michael Hayden recently told Congress that al-Qaeda has been essentially defeated in Iraq and is on the defensive around the world.
Yet there is another emotion burning inside me — anger. Anger at a Congress that refuses to recognize the accomplishments of our most selfless citizens and puts politics ahead of supporting our troops.
This Congress, led by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, has spent the last two years doing everything in its power to undermine the success of our troops — of my son. Congress has spent two years trying to run the war from the Capitol — ignoring the generals on the ground and the military leadership in the Pentagon — a task that far exceeds both its expertise and its authority.
Members have gone to Iraq and witnessed the undeniable progress being made there. But because they are politically invested in defeat and beholden to antiwar zealots, they acknowledge none of it.
They’ve insulted my son’s commanding general, dragging him back to Washington, D.C., to be greeted by slanderous newspaper ads and posturing politicians eager to question his integrity.
And they’ve voted, time and time again, to pull the rug out from under our troops, to cut off the funding for their equipment, their armor, their ammunition — threatening to undo all that my son and his brothers and sisters in arms have fought so hard to achieve.
I’ve watched this all unfold, somewhat stunned by the depth of the liberal commitment to America’s defeat. It’s saddened me. But now Congress has gone too far.
In early May, Admiral Mike Mullen, the nation’s highest-ranking military officer, warned Congress that the Pentagon was running low on funds. Pass a bill to fund our troops before Memorial Day, he said, or there will be serious consequences for our ability to fight this war. And, he added, we might not be able to pay our troops.
Harry Reid responded that this was, “No big deal.”
Nancy Pelosi went even further. Her House of Representatives actually left for vacation — a Memorial Day vacation, no less — without giving Admiral Mullen and the hundreds of thousands who join him in serving our nation the funds they need.
When my son was given a job by this country, he finished it. He didn’t stop halfway through or put it off another day so he could head home early for a barbeque and a parade. He did what the leadership of this nation asked him to do. And he did it professionally, effectively, and with great honor.
Now we find out that some members of that very same leadership consider it “no big deal” if our troops don’t get paid. Rest assured, my son does not feel that way. Neither do I. And, regardless of your view on the war, neither should you.
Our troops have given to this nation in a way that many of us will never know. In return, they — and their commanders — have been shamefully treated by the Democratic leadership. Liberals likes to say that, while they oppose “George Bush’s war,” they support our troops wholeheartedly. It is no longer possible to believe them.
– Beverly T. Perlson is the mother of U.S. Army Sgt. John P. White, who has served four tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2007, Mrs. Perlson founded Band of Mothers, an organization created to “garner support and respect” for our men and women in uniform. Mrs. Perlson is featured this week in a Freedom’s Watch–sponsored automated call running in nearly three dozen congressional districts.