The rest of the quote by Rhonda Winfield February 6, 2006
This is in response to a column that ran in your Feb. 3 edition written by Hunter Mabry of Waynesboro.
I was quoted in Mr. Mabry's article but, unfortunately, only partially so.
I am the mother of Lancer Cpl. Jason C. Redifer, of Stuarts Draft, who was killed by an IED explosion just south of Baghdad on Jan. 31, 2005. Jason was a nineteen-year-old Marine who was proudly and bravely serving in the "triangle of death" to insure that all Americans will continue to be blessed with the many freedoms we so easily take for granted.
It is just one such freedom that Mr. Mabry exercises while failing to understand just how that freedom is sustained.
I attended the Jan. 16 town hall meeting that Mr. Mabry wrote of, and I addressed those in attendance. While I did remark that no one wants their sons and daughters dying in combat, that was only the beginning of the statement.
Mr. Mabry , speaking on behalf of the Augusta Coalition for Peace and Justice, has apparently decided that he speaks for me and that the Coalition represents the thoughts and feelings of my family.
Mr. Mabry, my son would be shattered to think that you and your group have used his death to attempt to further a cause that doesn't even understand the ideals for which he gave his life. I have stood by and witnessed your anti-war displays that include photographs of my son. I agree that facts and statistics are exactly that and we all will certainly have our own opinions with regard to them. However, your group takes advantage of those facts by insinuating through the photographs you display that you represent these felled service men and women. You try to give the impression that you speak on behalf of their now silent voices.
Mr. Mabry, you do NOT speak for my family and certainly not for my son.
Jason, at only 19 years of age, knew what a precious gift our liberty is and valued it enough to lay his young life down for it. He volunteered for his duty knowing that there is always a human cost of war. He was also wise enough to understand that there would be a far greater human cost to avoiding this war.
Let me remind you that innocent Americans were attacked on American soil. Citizens, whose only crimes were going about their daily lives, were murdered that September morning and the evil forces that orchestrated and supported those horrific events, as well as the others that yet await us, could not be allowed to prevail. Jason believed that these terrorists must be engaged on their soil before we would all be forced to defend ourselves on our own.
While I defend a democratic process that allows our citizens to freely speak their minds and openly question our leaders when we are concerned with their representation of us, as well as to hold those same individuals accountable for the decisions they make on our behalf, I would ask that everyone please remember who ultimately pays for those luxuries for us.
Yes, no one wants American lives lost for any reason and we all want our troops home. The fact is, our service men and women have a job to complete to continue the liberties and ideals that this country was founded on and that we exercise daily. "No one wants their sons or daughters dying over there."
So, while we may not agree on many issues, I ask that we all pray for their mission to end as quickly as possible. I believe that we should all pray for their accelerated advance to victory, NOT their rapid withdraw to defeat.
Make no mistake, Mr. Mabry, just because you see yourself as "anti-war," that does not place me as "pro-war" by default. I am not pro-war. I am Pro-America.
Might I suggest you try it?
America is the land of the free because of the brave and freedom isn't free. Let THAT be the rest of the quote.