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The President Meets With Families With Different Perspectives on War

The President met privately with several families of slain soldiers in Maine Thursday.

President Bush held private and at times emotional meetings Thursday with the families of five Maine soldiers who died in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the Pentagon.

The midday meetings, which lasted a total of about 90 minutes, were held at Sea Road School in Kennebunk. Bush stopped at the elementary school on his way from the Sanford Airport to his parents' summer home in Kennebunkport, where he plans to attend a family wedding Saturday. The president's weekend in Maine is expected to be marked by anti-war protests.

Nearly 3,000 U.S. soldiers have died since the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and although Bush has reportedly met with hundreds of slain soldiers' families, Thursday's meeting was believed to be his first in Maine.

Reporters were kept outside, and the White House did not release the names of the families who attended. But after the presidential motorcade sped away, some of the families agreed to discuss their closed-door conversations.

One anti-war widow said she used the opportunity to voice her objections to Bush's policies.

"I said it's time to stop the bleeding," said Hildi Halley, whose husband, Army National Guard Capt. Patrick Damon, died June 15 in Afghanistan. "It's time to swallow our pride and find a solution."

She said Bush responding by saying "there was no point in us having a philosophical discussion about the pros and cons of the war."

The president became emotional, Halley said, when she tearfully described the impact her 41-year-old husband's death has had on herself and their two kids, ages 12 and 14, both of whom attended the meeting.

"He wept and hugged me and apologized for my pain," Halley said.
She noted that her husband felt conflicted about his tour in Afghanistan. "He wanted to be in Afghanistan because he wanted to be there for his soldiers," she said. "But he knew the work he was doing was not creating peace."

Other families were supportive of the President and the war effort.
"To meet with the president, it's something I never thought would happen," said Nancy Kelley, whose son, Army Capt. Christopher Cash, was killed in Iraq in 2004. "We were honored -- just to share our thoughts about Chris and how he felt about his service to our country."

During a half-hour audience with the president, Kelley said they spoke "on a number of subjects, but Christopher was first and foremost."

"I had brought him a framed picture of Chris in Iraq with Iraqi children," said Nancy Kelley, who has dedicated a Web site, a scholarship, and a 5K race to Cash's memory. She said she was impressed by the president's interest in her son...
The couple chose to steer clear of politics.

"We just shared the fact that we were very proud of Chris, and that he was very proud to serve his country," Robert Kelley said. "We've supported the president all the way along.

"Chris supported him, we still support him, and we've never had any second thoughts about the president and what he's trying to do."

Comments (8)

"there was no point in u... (Below threshold)

"there was no point in us having a philosophical discussion about the pros and cons of the war."


There. Let's call that a "preemptive moonbat strike," since that screech above is all we'll hear from the left anyway. Remember, Bush is evil. Always evil. Except when he's stupid. But evil. Real evil. Karl Rove evil.

This piece on Cindy Sheehan... (Below threshold)

This piece on Cindy Sheehan's hysterectomy is a hoot:


Hey cmd,He's an ev... (Below threshold)
Big D:

Hey cmd,

He's an evil fascist stupoid genius. Get it right. Or left. Whatever.

I did not even go to the pr... (Below threshold)

I did not even go to the provided link "Cindy Sheehan's hysterectomy is a hoot" A woman having a hysterectomy is not a hoot...I would venture to say a female relative of yours has had one..ask her if she thinks any reference to hysterectomy is "a hoot"

Hey Lori..you understand what a hysterectomy is..do you think it is something to mock?

This demonstrates that some high school male posters here never passed or took a basic middle school sex ed class...or have no clue of the female reproductive system..

The only "hoot" is the poster....

Drew:Why is it tha... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:


Why is it that you holler constitutional rights when making statements about the president, that would in any other country in the world be treasonous, but get all huffy when someone makes a joke about one of your moonbat friends?

Drew:Wow! The cla... (Below threshold)
big D:


Wow! The classic, clueless, utterly humorless liberal. Well done.

By the by, the site is only passingly about Sheehan's hysterectomy. It is more about the on-going stupidity of her endless protest. But hey, don't let not knowing that prevent you from having a strong opinion.

Drew... McCain, not Lorie (... (Below threshold)

Drew... McCain, not Lorie (notice the spelling), linked to the satire (not that is was good satire) page on Sheehan's hysterectomy.
Next time, before your histrionics, try working on reading comprehension.
Which also proves that a certain male poster here may have failed a class or two in primary school himself.

Histrionics? For shame, SC... (Below threshold)

Histrionics? For shame, SCSIwuzzy!

As for the hysterectomy... it depends, doesn't it? My women in-laws all went and got elective hysterectomies, seems it was a fad or something, like getting stomach staples.

I do have to say, though, that Drew's finely honed talent for moral outrage is impressive.






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