Friday, October 31, 2008

Need Another Reason to Vote for John McCain?

Here is a letter I received today, forwarded by my friend Tom Roughneen, himself an Iraq vet, from a New Jersey man asking people to vote for John McCain.

On October 1, 2006, I came home to find two United States Marines sitting on my couch. As I entered the house, they rose to greet me and advise me that my 23 year old son had been killed in action. We had just spoken to him the morning before. He was due home in a few weeks but had volunteered to stay behind to train the new troops sent to replace him.

I saw the government vehicle parked facing the wrong way on our street and thought Christopher might be surprising us. Instead, I walked in to be advised of his death. For those who wonder, it was "just like the movies", except it was real. "I regret to inform you that your son was killed in the line of duty this morning." It felt like 1000 knives cutting through me all at once. We exchanged contact information and I was left to deal with the reality of what I had been told. I had to advise Chris' brothers of his death, a moment that I will never forget. The next 11 days were a whirlwind of emotions and events. We went down to "greet" the plane carrying his body, and watched as they reverently removed his coffin from the plane. Several days later, we went to Dover Air Force Base to escort his body home. It is an experience I wish on no one. Yet through it all, patriotic Americans were there with us.

Our family and friends could not have done more for us. People waited for hours on line to pay their respects to our family. The day of the funeral, people lined the streets for the processional from the funeral home to the church. As we left the Funeral Home, I told the boys to look out the window because they would remember this for the rest of their lives. There were police everywhere. As we drove, there were school children lining the streets. The Whippany Fire Department had set up a huge flag and the Whippany Park High School students lined the streets to honor him. The football players were in their jerseys all holding American flags. There were women with their small children standing on the side of the road with their hands over their hearts. There were old men wearing their Veteran’s hats, there were families with their hands over their hearts. Some saluted, some blessed themselves and the rest honored his life.

We drove up past Christopher’s house where members of the Whippany American Legion stood in tribute to Christopher outside his house. As we continued on to the church, there were police officers saluting as they blocked intersections. There were more people standing in silent tribute to Christopher. When we arrived at the church, we passed a long line of Patriot Guard Riders at attention with their flags out. Most of the Patriot Guard are Vietnam Veterans who refuse to allow our military to be treated the way they were when they returned from Vietnam.

After the funeral, the outpouring of support was equally impressive. The ride from the church to the cemetery was unbelievable. There were more people standing along the way in tribute to Christopher. We saw more school children, people from nursing homes, construction workers with their red, white and blue flag hardhats, EMT’s and First Aid Squads standing along the way in tribute. There was one lone woman in Florham Park, standing on the side of the road with a sign that read “Thank you Lance Corporal Chris Cosgrove for your ultimate sacrifice to keep us free”. We will never forget her.

For months after his death, I believed he died for nothing. Iraq was spiraling downward and the violence was escalating. It wasn't until John McCain supported the Troop Surge that things began to turn around. On September 1, 2008, Anbar Province was turned over to Iraqi control because of the success of the surge. Twenty-three months after my son was killed, his death was avenged. Iraq was well on their way to being free.

We all still miss Christopher terribly. Our lives have been changed immeasurably. However, Chris was a true Marine. He believed in Honor, Duty, and Country. He died so the children of America could have the same freedoms he grew up with.

I support John McCain because he "Supports our Troops". John McCain supports our children and he supports the United States of America. John McCain will not let the sacrifices of our soldiers be in vain. John McCain will win in Iraq. John McCain will continue to fight the Global War on Terror. Our economy, while important, becomes irrelevant when dealing with issues of terrorism. If we are no longer free, our economy will be of little consequence.

Please vote for John McCain and Sarah Palin on November 4, 2008. Our lives depend on it.

Christopher B. Cosgrove, Jr.
Father of LCpl. Christopher B. Cosgrove III

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