In 2005, George W. Bush Gave The Right Response To A Gold Star Mother

Family & Relationships
Photo via Wikimedia Commons

On July 28, Khizr Khan stood with his wife on the stage of the Democratic National Convention and talked of the loss of a child while rebuking Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump for his views on immigrants.


“You have sacrificed nothing, and no one,” he said.

His son, Humayun, was a Muslim Army captain who died in combat in June 2004. He gave his life protecting fellow soldiers in Iraq, and for his valorous actions, he was posthumously awarded a Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

Ghazala and Khizr Khan, Gold Star parents.

Twelve years later, with the backing of the Democratic Party, Khan took the opportunity to speak of his son’s patriotism, his love for America, and to reject Trump’s assertion that muslims and other minorities don’t deserve a home in the United States. He called it unconstitutional.

This was all done in response to Trump’s call for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” despite the fact that the ban is a clear violation of the U.S. Constitution.

But Trump’s response was nonetheless appalling.

“While I feel deeply for the loss of his son, Mr. Khan, who has never met me, has no right to stand in front of millions of people and claim I have never read the Constitution (which is false),” Trump said in a statement.

Something similar, however, has happened before to former President George W. Bush. Only, his response could not have been more different.

Cindy Sheehan, a Gold Star mother, lost her son Casey the same year that the Khans lost Humayun. He was an Army specialist killed in Iraq, who was also posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. Shortly after his death, Sheehan began protesting the Iraq War, and spoke out, directing her anger at then-President Bush.

Cindy Sheehan, Gold Star mother.

In August 2005, she went to Bush's Prairie Chapel Ranch, near Crawford, Texas, to demand a meeting with him.

Sheehan told members of Veterans for Peace that she planned to address him and say,  “And you tell me, what the noble cause is that my son died for. And if he even starts to say ‘freedom and democracy' I'm gonna say, ‘bullshit.’ You tell me the truth. You tell me that my son died for oil. You tell me that my son died to make your friends rich. You tell me my son died to spread the cancer of Pax Americana, imperialism in the Middle East. You tell me that, you don't tell me my son died for freedom and democracy.”

However, Bush accepted her comments — in fact, he even welcomed them as part of her constitutional rights. He met the media outside the ranch, and held an impromptu press conference to address the issue.

“I grieve for every death,” he said. “It breaks my heart to think about a family weeping over the loss of a loved one.”

When a reporter pressed Bush specifically about Sheehan, he replied earnestly.

“Part of my duty as the president is to meet those who have lost a loved one. I sympathise with Mrs. Sheehan,” Bush said. “She feels strongly about her position. She has every right in the world to say what she believes. This is America.”

And even though Sheehan felt that the solution was to pull out of Iraq, and Bush disagreed, he repeated that she had the right, as all Americans do, to voice their opinions about the War.

However, he added, “One opinion I’ve come away with universally is that we should everything we can to honor the fallen.”

Casperassets.rbl.ms

Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.

Take $75 off a Casper Mattress and $150 off a Wave Mattress with code TASKANDPURPOSE

And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.

Read More Show Less
George W. Bush/Instagram

This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

Former President George W. Bush is calling for an end to the partial government shutdown, which is about to hit the one-month mark and is currently the longest shutdown in US history.

In an appeal made on Instagram, the 43rd president called on "leaders on both sides to put politics aside, come together, and end this shutdown." The caption was posted with an image of him and former First Lady Laura Bush giving pizza to their Secret Service detail.

Read More Show Less
Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans was arrested on Jan. 29, 2018. (Photo courtesy of Wilmington Police Department, North Carolina.)

A special operations Marine is due in court on March 7 after being arrested last year for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, Task & Purpose has learned.

Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans was arrested and charged with assault inflicting serious injury on July 29, 2018, according to Jennifer Dandron, a spokeswoman for police in Wilmington, North Carolina. Evans is currently assigned as a Critical Skills Operator with the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, according to the Marine Corps Personnel Locator.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Army 1st Lt. Elyse Ping Medvigy conducts a call-for-fire during an artillery shoot south of Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Aug. 22, 2014. Medvigy, a fire support officer assigned to the 4th Infantry Division's Company D, 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, is the first female company fire support officer to serve in an infantry brigade combat team supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Whitney Houston (Photo by U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Whitney Houston)

Following Trump's inauguration, some supporters of ground combat integration assumed he would quickly move to reinstate a ban on women in jobs like the infantry. When this did not happen, advocates breathed a collective sigh of relief, and hundreds of qualified women charted a course in history by entering the newly opened occupational fields.

So earlier this week when the Wall Street Journal published an editorial against women in ground combat by conservative political commentator Heather Mac Donald, the inclination of many ground combat integration supporters was to dismiss it outright. But given Trump's proclivity to make knee jerk policy decisions in response to falling approval ratings and the court's tradition of deference to the military when it comes to policies affecting good order and discipline, it would be unwise to assume the 2016 lifting of the ban on women in ground combat is a done deal.

Read More Show Less

R. Lee Ermey was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday.

Best known for his iconic role as the Marine Corps drill instructor Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in the war drama Full Metal Jacket, Ermey died April 15, 2018 at age 74 due to complications from pneumonia, Task & Purpose previously reported.

Read More Show Less