Sunday, February 04, 2007

Boohyah Bakst

M. Charles Bakst at the Projo, long known for his liberal positions, and particularly on the Iraq war doesn't know how to take real heroes who understand duty to country.  But he is impressed as per his column in today's Projo, and thanks to Governor Carcieri's invitation to his "state of the state" address.  The key excerpt:

Now Carcieri paid tribute to the military serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He said, “Please join me in thanking two of their representatives here tonight, Lt. Col. Kathleen Sullivan and Lt. Col. John Sullivan, pilots for the Air National Guard. They also happen to be married to each other.

“Both flew combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.…Their children in Rhode Island would be cared for by Kathleen’s parents.”

The couple, who returned in December, rose on the House floor and basked as a prolonged standing O flooded over them.

It was a tremendous moment, leading up to the singing of “God Bless America.”

I spoke with the Sullivans later at a State Room reception.

I asked Kathleen Sullivan how it felt to be introduced by Carcieri and applauded so warmly.

She said, “It took my breath away, you know? We’re honored to serve our country, and we’re even more honored to be here to represent the men and women that are overseas.”

John Sullivan said, “It was very humbling. We’re very proud to be here, of course. We feel like other people deserve it more than we do…. Our unit’s been activated for over four years now and it’s been a long road, but at the same time everyone is upbeat about what they’re doing.”

I think the war in Iraq is a tragedy, but I have enormous respect for the troops, and the Sullivans took my breath away.

I asked what they thought of the war. Kathleen said, “It was a real honor for me to serve. The men and women over there are doing an unbelievably wonderful job and working really hard, and morale is extremely high. And I think that people want to go back and finish the job we started.”

Does she want to go back?

“Sure. Absolutely.”

John said it was true for him too. “We’re just proud to be able to do what we’re trying to do.…We stand by the commander in chief.”

All I can say is: God bless the Sullivans. It was an honor for me to meet them.

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