I've figured this would just be the beginning. Tole's response to his cartoon just doesn't cut it with military people. We've read the 24 Star Letter, now read some of these responses to the WashPo's cartoon.
This one is from a Marine Mom (and a Soldier's Mom, too):
As the mother of a Marine, a Soldier (Sp. Ops) and mother-in-law of another Sp. Ops. Soldier I must say that I found the cartoon in the Washing Post both disgusting and despicable. All three of our boys served in Iraq at the same time this past summer. Two of our boys made it home safely, but unfortunately our Soldier was wounded on Sept. 9th by a suicide bomber. He had many shrapnel wounds and lost the hearing in one ear. However, there were no complaints from this young man.Quite the contrary. When his commanding officer did not want to send him back for that original deployment, our son was going to start an e-mail campaign to get back to Iraq. His other teams members were 2 men short, and he felt he needed to be back with them. He returned to his team shortly before Thanksgiving and returned to the States this past Saturday. He is so convinced that we are doing good in Iraq that he has re-enlisted for another 5 years. So have most his team members. His comment was the insurgents were not going to run us out. Instead of quitting, the insurgents just made our soldiers on this team mad. Mad for injuring one of their brothers.
Unfortunately, re-enlistment did not work out as well for our Marine and he will be coming home soon to return to college. He loves being a Marine and as a Marine Mom, I can't tell you the pride I have in this son. I definitely have one of the "Few Good Men."
Please pass this to whomever you think might benefit from this letter. It is due to the conviction of these young men and the thousands that have served along with them, that allow the cartoonist from the Washington Post to have the freedom to publish his trash. I wonder if he would have their courage to pass out copies of his cartoon at Walter Reed, Bethesda or any of our other fine hospitals treating our wounded. My bet is no!
OORAH to the JCS for standing united and condemning this cartoon and cartoonist.May God Bless America and
Semper Fi,CharleneProud Houston Marine Mom
From Marine Sergeant R.:
I assume by now you realize the depth of disrespect you have shown your American military force, that same force that is fighting for your very freedom as I type this letter. By publishing such a tasteless cartoon of an injured war veteran in this case an amputee shows one of the worst cases of disrespect I have ever seen. Soldiers, Sailors, Airman, and Marines around the world are not laughing at your comic strip. We, the military veterans of all services are not laughing as well. Frankly speaking when I read your cartoon my first impression was “Here is a person or a group of people who have never served in the US Military”. If you had served you would have never published that cartoon. You clearly show the lack of appreciation for a sacrifice that every military person makes on the behalf of the American people. Military sacrifices range from signing your initial obligation contract to join the military, to missing most major holidays, weekends, deployment, war, injury and the ultimate sacrifice of being killed. But you obviously know nothing of that, or you wouldn’t have published that cartoon. I think you should take copies of the Washington Post with your cartoon in it and visit Walter Reed Medical Center. You should hand out autographed copies as the injured veterans arrive and see if they laugh.
More in the Extended Section:
-From retired Marine Master Sergeant Glen Evans:
I may be a little late on the totem for this one, but I just want you to know that the so-called "Editorial Cartoon" that appeared in your publication on 29 January 2006 depicting the casualty with four amputations was completely without class, without any redeeming social value.It was just plain STUPID!It was STUPID for it to be drawn by TOLES, whoever he/she is!It was even more STUPID for you to have given it the blessing of printing and distributing it.
You should count you blessing that you didn't point something of that nature at the Islamic world. Just look at the outrage over what was printed in a Danish paper.You have showed a total disrespect for the Military personnel who protect your First Amendment Rights.
I was very pleased to see the unified response of all members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Rarely do you see all of the Joint Chiefs so totally outspoken in union.
You have shown a total lack of sensitivity for the families of Members of the Armed Forces, whatever branch, that have to learn to deal with the physical injuries that will forever change them and their loved ones. You have shown that you do not care one iota for the families that have lost loved ones who were in the forefront of our country's defense, when and where ever that may have been.
You obviously do not agree with the war being fought in Iraq and in Afghanistan, but there are limits of good taste and just plain common sense that you went beyond, way beyond, with this trash. I could have sworn that you claim to report the news, not create garbage.
At this point, I am not sure that your rag is fit to wrap week-old fish.
The normal valediction from a Marine is Semper Fidelis, which is Always Faithful, something you have forgotten. I certainly cannot use it for you.
John Philip Sousa is spinning in his grave, trying to figure out how to rescind the name, and honor, he gave the Washington Post by naming a popular march for your paper. Times have certainly changed.
Glen Barry Evans
Master Sergeant of Marines
Retired from Active Duty
And the MilBlog poet laureate, Russ Vaugh, has some words for the Washington Post:
Wanna draw a soldier, Toles? Here I am,
Back with all four limbs from Vietnam.
You wanna draw pictures of fighting men?
Just tell me where and tell me when.
I’ll give you a pose to impress any viewer,
Your punk arty ass comatose in the sewer.
Like all of your kind you don’t have a clue
Who fightin’ men are and what fightin’ men do.
That you, your kind, you effete panty waists,
With Hollywood morals, metrosexual tastes,
Would taunt a brave warrior’s fight for life,
Mock his loss, his pain, deride his strife;
And use his sorrow to support your screed,
With no concern for the warrior’s need,
Tells me you are clueless of the facts of war,
You’re a cut ‘n run, spineless, media whore.
Go to Walter Reed hospital, smug Mr. Toles,
To see those you’ve mocked, grave injured souls
View wounded warriors with bodies so broken
And think again of the message you’ve spoken,
So abysmally ignorant, so smug condescending
That even most liberals won’t waste time defending.
So Toles it’s a fact that your most famous work
Will proclaim you forever as a pitiless jerk.
And Washington Post you’re as bad as this weasel
You gave him the forum, provided his easel.
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division