Kris the Welder, Gold Star Dad

An Open Letter to Sen. Barack Obama: On the surface I would appear to be an example of your target audience, a perfect candidate for your message of “change.” In 2007 my world came apart. I lost my business and filed for bankruptcy. I lost my modest condo to foreclosure. Everything I owned is gone. And most importantly, I lost my son in Iraq. He was killed in action serving his country and protecting his “boys,” those who served beside him. If anyone has a reason to reach for the lifeline you describe in campaign stops, it is me.

But Sen. Obama, I have asked for only one thing from you and the leaders of your party. I have asked for a five minute phone call. I started calling your office last March and I have made dozens of calls to various Senators and Representatives who express their views about the war in Iraq with a “national” voice. You have ignored me. Why?

Perhaps had I stood on the street corner and shouted that “Bush Lied! Soldiers Died!” you would hear me. Perhaps if I screamed that corrupt lenders forced me to take a mortgage that was beyond my means, you would have heard me. Perhaps if I would have contributed money, you would have heard my cry. Perhaps. What I did offer was a private meeting with 25 Gold Star Dads. I know from your staff, you heard that and rejected it. Why?

Sen. Obama, I have lost everything in life that I held dear and you offer nothing to me of value. I do not want government gifts and yet I am now receiving aid from Medicaid and I have an application for a small benefit from Veterans Affairs. It pains me more than I can say to have fallen so low. But Sen. Obama, you were not responsible for these programs and they remain in place even with eight years of President Bush.

What I do want is for this country to consider the price paid for freedom and what freedom really means. FREEDOM includes the possibility of failure. I have failed many times over and that failure was of my doing. FREEDOM includes failure. It must or success is without value. FREEDOM includes the sacrifice of service and the reward of condemnation by those who hate without cause. FREEDOM means I will sit and cry as I consider the life my son might have had and the HERO he will remain.

Sen. Obama, you sell servitude cloaked as a “tax cut.” You claim support for our military while you plot with those who hate everything for which my son died. Sen. Obama, you are the Blind, Deaf and Dumb. You did not see William Ayers on your street, did not hear twenty years of hate in church and you did not speak out to save the life of a single unborn baby. See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. If you are the answer as so many seem to believe, God save us from ourselves.

Kris Hager Gold Star Dad Venice, Florida