Vets for Freedom Rally for troops

| April 8, 2008

About 480 veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan assembled beginning at 8:30 this morning just across the street from the Senate wing of the Capitol. The temperature was about 45 degrees – global warming had struck. In their sand colored polo shirts, emblazoned across their broad chests with “Vets for Freedom”, they renewed old friendships and established new ones.

There was a blogger or two there, too – most visible was the guy who’s hard to recognize without his cap;

They were joined by some luminaries of the Senate;

(Senator Lieberman slapped me on the back after I took this picture)

And honest-to-goodness war heroes (SSG David Bellavia pictured);

Pete Hegseth started the speechifying;

SSG Bellavia followed Hegseth;

Senator McCain addressed the veterans;

Then it was Senator Lieberman’s turn;

Each Senator took their turn (Uncle Jimbo from Blackfive asked me “Is there anyone left in the Senate or are they all out here?”) Including the only member of the Senate who actually served as a soldier in Iraq, Lindsey Graham (it’s a good thing Crotchety Old Bastard wasn’t there);

Sam Johnson (R-TX), former POW (thanks to Punditarian for IDing him for me), took his hat off to the vets assembled this morning;

Congressman Zach Wamp quoted John Stuart Mill;

“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.”

Jeff Sessions spoke about victory being imperative in Iraq;

LTC Steve Russell addressed what Americans can do to support the efforts in the war.

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The media actually showed up for this rally, to their credit;

They actually seemed interested in what the veterans had to say (notice Uncle Jimbo doing another interview in the upper right corner of this picture – or maybe he’s doing another Free Fly);

Speeches over, interviews concluded, these veterans set out on one more mission – to tell the Senate how much this war means to America.

These veterans are the polar-opposite of the folks I met at IVAW last month. There was not a selfish bone in the crowd. They fought for their country and their families and now they’re fighting for their friends who can’t speak for themselves. They battled the odds, they battled the uncivilized enemy and now they battle doubt and emotional knee-jerk politicians.

While I was working on this blog post, the stark comparison between the ideological sides was illustrated for me when (on my TV) some Leftist goober jumped up during General Petreaus’ testimony and shouted “Bring them home!” as he was dragged from the room and pink anti-war signs blocked the cameras. Where would those imbeciles be without a war to protest?

And I found a new drinking buddy;

Welcome readers and thank you, bloggers from Blackfive, Gateway Pundit, Little Green Footballs, The Jawa Report, Civilian Irregular Information Defense Group, 9-11 Families, Infidels Are Cool, Dusseldorf Blog, Buttle’s World and (last, but certainly not least) Baldilocks.

UPDATED for Identifying speakers – I need a secretary, Thus Spake Ortner won’t last forever.

Category: Bloggers, John McCain/Sarah Palin, Politics, Protests/Rallies, Support the troops, Terror War

Comments (81)

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  1. Retsfc says:

    All I can say is I am PROUD of you all! Wish I was there!

  2. this is a fabulous! I sure wish we could have been there… Hooah to VFF for staying the course… and getting this done!


  3. An old Nam grunt says:

    Great job & thanks to those vets for standing up for America again. I am behind you 100%. EAGLES ALL THE WAY

  4. Proud Army Mom 3 says:

    Thank you so much! Thank you VFF, thank you Troops and Vets! I wish I could have been there!

  5. Joanne says:

    Just a very proud Mom of a great son that has served his time protecting this country and the great people in it. Good job, Son ! ! !

    Jonn wrote: Thanks, Mom. Love ya.

  6. Also Robin, if you look at the picture of Sam Johnson, that is my idiotic smiling face in the background there.

    For some reason I looked mentally diminished yesterday.

  7. concretebob says:

    Well, I certainly owe both Jonn and TSO an apology. I walked by Jonn at least twice that I remember and did not recognize him. I did find CJ and Uncle Jimbo though. It was a good day Tuesday and a good day Monday, when Gathering of Eagles di the same thing. We hit 437 Congressional offices Monday morning.
    If Congress doesn’t get the message, they’re all brain dead.
    Oh wait..thats redundant in certain cases.

  8. Pepco says:

    Outstanding job. Just think what we could do if we could get all of the veteran and patriot groups to stand as one and work for that end.

  9. OPDitch says:

    Bravo to Vets For Freedom!

    John McCain knows what you have been through and supports you.

    You can support him at:

    Sign the Roll Call and Comment.

    O. P. Ditch
    Col USAF (ret)

  10. Dadmanly says:

    Great coverage, better than anything our MSM “betters” could have produced.

    I even show up in one of the photos — how cool is that — I was directly in front of the speakers. I didn’t get any shots anywhere near as good as you did, moving around for better photo angles. (I hope to have some up later today.)

    I noticed you there, but I mistook you for CJ Grisham! I’ll have to introduce myself next time.

    Jonn wrote: Thanks for the compliments. Yes, please introduce yourself next time.

  11. Same hold for me once battle buddy now stranger? *sob*

    Jonn wrote: Sob? Are you sure you have a CIB?

  12. Jacob says:

    Good job with pictures and videos! Keep up the good work!

  13. 84rules says:

    Excellent coverage! It’s good to see some patriots are still out there fighting the good fight. Too bad Old Media didn’t think this was worth covering.

  14. MaryAnn says:

    Thanks for this great report, and thanks to the VFF for taking on this new fight.

    No end but victory.

  15. rayra says:

    Awesome effort, so nice to see.
    Congrats to the folks able (and willing) to Stand Up in DC. Makes me feel better about being 3000mi out of position.

  16. I was proud to have been a part of this event. I am from NE Indiana. Vet’s For Freedom made a difference. We stand behind our Troops, and Military. Let’s keep it up and continue to let those that servre know that we support VICTORY. Let’s continue to attend these type of events, and any local events that are local to your area so that our Troops know that we appreciate them.

  17. PFCWigginsUSMC says:

    Thank god somebody covered this. I have been proudly serving for almost a year now and am glad we got some good media coverage. SEMPER FIDELIS

    Jonn wrote: Yeah, I wondered about all of the press people I saw at the rally so I did a Yahoo news search and came up with 16 pictures and no news stories about the rally in DC. One news story was about Lieberman’s website crashing in 2006 and they used a captioned photo from the rally yesterday for the article. I guess all that media were there in case McCain fell off the stage or picked his nose or something.

    But thank you for your service and know that there are thousands, no millions, of us out here that support you and the job you’re doing – we just can’t get a word in edgewise.

  18. Damn, I wish I could have been there! But I had a LONG national Guard drill this past weekend, otherwise I would have taken the VFF up on their offer for a free trip to DC!

    Sounds like my brothers and sisters had a great time!

    I’ll be attending a VFF Function in the Boston area next month, so maybe I’ll see some Boston-area VFF folks then!

  19. JMD says:

    I’m so proud of these guys, and even more thankful for them. Thank you for covering it.

  20. Cole says:

    Thanks for covering our event!

  21. Wild Weasel says:

    I was able to make the trip to DC once again and I came away very impressed with the fact that VFF is growing and the word is getting out. We had twice as many Veterans in attendance than in September and I venture to say that we will top this number at the next rally.
    The feeling I had standing in the crowd was one of electricity and committment. When we broke ranks after the rally, you could see and feel the determination of every Veteran to make a difference here at home. Thanks to my fellow Veterans for making a stand and supporting those still in the fight. God Bless the U.S.A.!

  22. Toro Gringo says:

    Words alone can not convey my appreciation, for the VFF and your efforts to make the event, photos and videos, and the posting here, for all to view.

  23. VFF-IL says:

    It was a distinct honor to stand side by side with my Vets for Freedom brothers and sisters. We enjoyed meeting congressional supporters and informing the congressional doubters. I can tell there is progress, because the liberal talking points have shifted. The Surge progress is undeniable, even by the anti-war contingent. VFF had more than 500 meetings with congressional representatives or staff on Tuesday. We are making a difference. I invite all to visit the Take Action page at and utilize the letter-to-editor function. Make your important voices heard!

  24. Phyllis Case says:

    Shame on the major media for not covering this wonderful event. God bless all our troops and their families!