Guest Post: Gold Star Parents, the Kestersons

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Apr 07, 2006 9:53 AM

MKH: Patrick Hynes of Ankle Biting Pundits sent this my way in an effort to remind us all and remind the media to commemorate Iraqi Liberation Day. Here's his post on the effort. Here is the Kestersons' story.

Our son, Erik, served in the Marine Corps for 8 years and even won the Navy Marine Medal for rescuing seven men. But Erik loved to fly, so he joined the Army to pursue his passion and he earned the right to pilot a Black Hawk helicopter. Read more, here.

In April of 2003, Iraq was liberated when American troops rolled into central Baghdad and ended Saddam Hussein's horrible reign. Sadly, Erik died in combat over Mosul just six months later.

Iraq, Mosul included, was a dangerous place back then. Three years later there are still a few pockets of insurgency, but now the country is mostly policed by Iraq's own security forces and soon will be able to defend themselves without our help.

Erik was proud of what he and his fellow soldiers were accomplishing and he would be startled by what Iraq looks like today - 11 million Iraqis have voted! So, why does the media refuse to see the incredible progress that our soldiers have forged in the last three years?

We, Erik's parent, have joined with others to make sure that Americans remember our progress abroad.

With this message I'm asking that you also help us by signing this letter to the mainstream media, reminding them of this historic milestone.

Please visit the site right now, as April 9th - Iraqi Liberation Day - is this Sunday.

MJ and Clay Kesterson
Gold Star Parents
Independence, Oregon