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After Action Report

In Support of General Petraeus, Washington DC

13 April 2008
Cannon Office Bldg Post (Pelosi’s Bldg)
Corner of New Jersey & Independence Avenue
Washington DC

April 7, 2008 – April 9, 2008

 I tenderly dedicate this post to a Noble and Revered Warrior, Stephen, who told this mother that he would lay his life down in a minute for his country and who ferociously told me that for the sake of our freedom and our precious way of life, this is a fight we must WIN!  Rest you Noble Warrior, and as you rest, in the peaceful arms of the Angels, trust that we will continue to fight over here for your Brothers who are fighting over there for all of us. 

You, more than anyone, convinced me that your Brothers needed The Band of Mothers to watch over them and stick up for them.  I will hold You so honorably in my heart forever.

Greater Love Has No One Like This,
Than to Lay Down His Life For His Friends

 As Stephen looked down on all of us last week, I can assure everyone that he is so darn proud. We, Americans, came from all over and we delivered a message to the Congress and the Senate:  Support The Troops and Support Their Mission.  Let Them Win!

To Chris Hill, Capt. Larry Bailey and The Gathering of Eagles;   
To Pete Hegseth, Vets For Freedom;
To the VFW:
Free Republic:

 How proud we all are to be among you Great American Heroes and Patriots.  In the noble tradition of George Washington, who fought tirelessly and relentlessly for our freedom and often without any help from Washington (sounds familiar), you Warriors walked all over the Hill to deliver a message to our Congress and Senate in support of your Brothers and their mission.  Chris Hill and The Gathering of Eagles, my heart is beholden to all of you forever and ever.  Your group may have been small but your formidable force carried your Brother’s message to 437 offices! 

My Son Johnny served 436 days on his last deployment so nobody better ever try and tell this mother that The Band of Brothers is anything but tough, steely, stoic and the true Protectors of our freedom! 

This stellar beginning of our descent on Washington was followed on Tuesday by over 400 Heroes of Vets For Freedom, led by Lt. Col Pete Hegseth, and on Friday by the VFW. As our group stood outside the Cannon Bldg (where Ms. Nancy “supposedly” works about 3 days a week), these fine Vets For Freedom Warriors walked by us all throughout the day.

This group is made up of Veterans and Active Duty Military, and many of these are brave Warriors just returning from the battlefield! I was most certain that they would command the attention of every Congressman and Senator they visited on Tuesday.  Most certainly, if a Congressman or Senator is interested in knowing how things are going in Iraq and Afghanistan, these are the folks they would definitely make time for.  I was most certain of that.  Well, I was wrong. I’d like to know what is going on with a Congressman or Senator who did not make time for this pertinent information these Soldiers came all this way to share with them.  As these particular “uninformed” legislators hold the funding and the fate of these courageous, selfless and honorable Soldiers in their hands, I would like to know who or what was so important that they were turned away! Shame on any that did not take the time to meet with them.  Your disinterest and disrespect toward these Heroes is concerning to this mother and I’m sure, all families whose Son and Daughters are serving.  What are you doing deciding the fate of these Soldiers when you are not even interested in getting direct information from the battlefield.  It is shameful, disgraceful and downright dangerous. 

To the Senators and Congressman who did find the time, you install confidence in this mother and hope that there is some sense of sensibility going on in Washington.  Thank you with a mother’s heart for taking the time and showing these brave men who lay they lives down for us everyday, and those that already have, that you honor and respect their service and deep devotion to their country.  Our country.  I wish I could hug everyone of you.

 There was an incident where I was apparently “on the lam” from the Police for about  2 blocks, as I left the Rayburn building heading back to my post on the Cannon building corner (where Pelosi supposedly works about 3 days a week, mind you!)  I visited the Rayburn Bldg because that is where John Murtha, it seems to me, hides in his office.  I had absolutely seen enough disappointed Marines walk by and tell me that John Murtha did not see them and could not see them.  When I asked how did it go, they all reported pretty much the same answer “Didn’t have time for us.”  Could this be the same John Murtha who had all kinds of time to badmouth these Marines even before he was officially briefed on what occurred in Haditha?!!! 

The mother and protector in me could not let this disrespect go by.  I believe these Heroes need someone to speak up for them because they cannot and I can no longer sit and be silent.  I headed down to John Murtha’s office with two mothers of Soldiers, one who’s Son currently serves and one who’s Son has served proudly.  We entered the office and I asked to see Murtha.  “Do I have an appointment?” a young man asked.  I gave him my card and told him I was outraged that several Marines had been in to see Mr. Murtha and were refused.  This young man stood up and told me that “people” cannot just come in there and expect to see the Congressman without an appointment. I was outraged by his pompous attitude and insulted that he didn’t seem to understand that these brave Warriors are not just “people!”  I clearly saw the problem here and was so deeply offended that he didn’t seem to understand, and I informed him that these fine Marines are not just people, THEY ARE SOLDIERS, THEY ARE HEROES, and MR. Murtha needs to show them respect and further, he needs to apologize to everyone of them. The last thing I said was “He is a Coward” because I believe that he is.  A white haired lady asked us to leave and we did, and as we walked down the hall, the white haired lady called us “Cowards.” 

No ma’am, we are not Cowards, we are the Very Proud Mothers of Soldiers who fear NO ONE, when it comes to our Sons and Daughters!

 We left and visited several Armed Services offices, thanked everyone for their service, picked up tea in the cafeteria and proceeded back to the Cannon Bldg.  However, John Murtha had other plans for me.  As I just reached the Cannon Bldg., 3 or 4 Police cars with flashing lights pulled right up near me.  I think I saw 6 or 7 Policeman around me and was asked to step aside to speak with one of the Officers.  I was asked if I had just been in the Rayburn Bldg and what was my business there.  I explained to the Officer what transpired in Mr. Murtha’s office, I was asked for my driver’s license and that was it.  I did tell the nice Policeman I was not at all sorry for what I said in Murtha’s office  and that I have NEVER been arrested. I also told the officer that  I was very sorry if I caused him any trouble or a lot of undue paperwork. If Mr. Murtha’s purpose in calling the Police on me was to scare me or intimidate me, his bullish tactic did not work and I say he is lucky my father wasn’t around!  I am angry that this man, who accuses our military of using excessive force, sent 3 Police Cars and 7 Officers to intimidate me.  Had me chased down like a fugitive!  I know one thing for certain:  John Murtha does not respect our Soldiers and he sure doesn’t respect their mothers.  You are shameful John  Murtha. 

 To all reading this, PLEASE donate to Justin Shirrat’s Defense Fund. He is a Brave Marine facing $359,000 in legal fees, for stepping up to serve his country.  Justin’s family is so worried about him and so am I.  Especially because they are from Murtha’s district.    My heart goes out to all the Haditha Marines and I detest John Murtha and what he has done to all of you.  Please folks, help them out.


 On with the rest of  the story: I wasn’t able to stay until Friday but I am certain our VFW members carried the message with honor and persistence. Members of the Free Republic made their stance outside and inside the hearings with General Petraeus and on the corner too.  It is so important to say that this was a monumental trip for all who participated. 

I believe that the pictures posted below (Click on images for larger view) tell the story better than I ever could but I can tell you folks this, SO MANY legislators thanked us for coming, asked us to come back, said we looked terrific and one even told us he would pay us to stay forever if he could afford to.  They loved our music and many enjoyed the beautiful patriotic reminders from  my Heroes from Chicago, Joe and his lovely wife Mary.  He reminded us that walking among us that day were real American Heroes and we should stop, shake their hand and thank them for their daily sacrifices for us. 

 If John Murtha wasn’t hiding in his office, he might have benefited from Joe’s eloquent reminder.

 (Click on images for larger view)

Thanks to all who came.  I am so proud to stand with all of you and for our Brave Warriors, anytime, anywhere.

 God Bless America, God Bless The Band of Brothers and especially the Haditha Marines!

The Very proud Mother of
Sgt. John P. White
82nd Airborne
Bronze Star Recipient

Beverly Perlson, The Band of Mothers  


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