Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Bush on Saturday consoled families of local soldiers lost in Iraq
The Repository (Canton, Ohio) ^ | Tuesday, August 3, 2004 | ED BALINT Repository staff writer

Posted on 08/03/2004 4:00:36 AM PDT by ResistorSister

CANTON -- Julie Barkey waited for a sign from her late son, Michael Barkey, a soldier who died in Iraq last month.

Last week, she had a conversation with Michael as if he were still alive.

“I said, ‘Mikey, I need a sign from you. I just want a sign that you’re OK in heaven.’ ”

“If I could just shake the president’s hand,” Barkey recalled saying, “I would take that as a sign.”

Barkey got that sign.

After his address at the Memorial Civic Center on Saturday, President George W. Bush met privately with Barkey and two other local families who lost sons to the war.

“That meant to me that heaven is even better than we think it is,” Barkey said. “I think that was kind of his sign to me he is OK. And he just didn’t get me a handshake, but a hug and a kiss on the cheek, and so much more than I asked for.”

She was touched by the president’s gesture. Her son died in a truck accident in Ar Ramadi, about 60 miles west of Baghdad.

“He had tears in his eyes,” Barkey said of the president. “He seemed very down-to-earth, very compassionate, very warm, everything I thought he would be. I’ve had a lot of respect for him over the years, and his courage to stand for the unborn and for the downtrodden and help the people of Iraq.”

“He said our sons did not die in vain and that he appreciated their sacrifice,” she said.

Michael Barkey’s brother, Tony, and sister, Therese, also met the president.

Bush also spoke with Jerry and Julie Ramey, whose son, Richard, died in February when he tried to defuse a roadside bomb south of Baghdad, and with Steve and Peggy Buryj, whose son, Jesse, died in May while serving in Iraq. Ramey’s daughter, Sarah, also met the president.

The Rameys could not be reached for comment Monday.

Hal Barkey, Michael’s father, expressed his support for the war effort.

“He expressed his sympathy to us,” he said. “I think it was very heartfelt. I saw tears in his eyes. We talked about the war, and we both believe it is a just war. We’d like to let these people have the opportunity to have a democracy and see how it works, and hopefully change things in the Middle East.”

The visit with the president lasted about 15 to 20 minutes.

“He could have had some reporters there, but he didn’t,” Hal Barkey said. “It was a private affair, and no one else was allowed in there. I think that says a lot about him and the man he is.

“I think he’s genuine. I think he sticks to what he believes, and I see some real good there.”

Peggy Buryj said she was honored to meet the president.

“I was very nervous,” she said. “I thought, ‘What am I going to do, throw up on his shoes or something?’ He just seemed very real to me, very sincere. I cried on his shoulder, and he cried on mine.”

She also asked President Bush for more information about her son’s death in Iraq. Buryj said she has received conflicting information.

“He said, ‘Sometimes it just takes a call from a president,’ ” Buryj said. “He had one of his assistants come over and get all the information.”

Buryj, a registered Democrat, said she will vote for President Bush in the November election. She also voted for him in 2000.

“People think I should dislike him because of the war,” she said. “My son was a soldier, and he wanted to be a police officer. It would be like me getting mad at the chief of police for sending him into a dangerous situation.”

Each family received a presidential medallion. One side reads, “Seal of the President of the United States.” The other side reads, “George W. Bush Commander-in-Chief,” encircling an image of the White House.

Buryj said her son loved to collect coins from the Pentagon — where he once worked — and the military.

“Army guys want those coins,” Buryj said, laughing. “They’ll do anything to get those coins.”

President Bush dug into his pocket and pulled three out.

“I said out loud to my son, ‘Jesse, I got a bigger coin than you.’ ”

You can reach Repository writer Ed Balint at (330) 580-8315 or e-mail:

ed.balint@cantonrep.com


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events; US: Ohio; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: bush; compassionate; downtoearth; fallen; heartfelt; militaryfamilies
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-61 next last
Heartwarming story; God Bless, President Bush!
1 posted on 08/03/2004 4:00:38 AM PDT by ResistorSister
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: ResistorSister

What a great man our President is. Thanks for the Post!


2 posted on 08/03/2004 4:06:52 AM PDT by MP5
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ResistorSister
Very key point:

“He could have had some reporters there, but he didn’t,” Hal Barkey said. “It was a private affair, and no one else was allowed in there. I think that says a lot about him and the man he is.

3 posted on 08/03/2004 4:14:43 AM PDT by tbpiper (Michael Moore…..the Erich von Däniken of political documentary)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ResistorSister; ohioWfan; Howlin; Guenevere; Jemian; Neets; Carolinamom; MadIvan; Grampa Dave; ...
Thank you for posting this article, ResistorSister!

I am pinging a few folks who will appreciate this story.

4 posted on 08/03/2004 4:16:10 AM PDT by Miss Marple
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Miss Marple
#4..Thanks MM...
..Pinged & appreciated!
He's a good man...
..notice the parent who points out this is not a photo-op!

President Bush is real.

5 posted on 08/03/2004 4:19:06 AM PDT by Guenevere
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: ResistorSister

If hanoi john had met with any of our greiving families it would have been with press in tow. In fact he has been bothered to visit Walter Reed or any other military hospital, because if he had there would have been photos. BUT he really cares about them.


6 posted on 08/03/2004 4:20:14 AM PDT by GailA ( hanoi john, I'm for the death penalty for terrorist, before I impose a moratorium on it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Ragtime Cowgirl

Hankie PING


7 posted on 08/03/2004 4:20:17 AM PDT by Maigrey (If this is an occupation then I show my deepest respect to it ... - Hoshyar Zakhoi - (Iraq.))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Miss Marple

GMTA...I just posted a link to this on ATRW!!!!!!!!!


8 posted on 08/03/2004 4:20:40 AM PDT by Neets (Conservative women LOVE BURLEY MEN, not GIRLIE DEMS.!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: MP5
"What a great man our President is..."

He is a honest man who is not ignorant to what he is asking of those in our military.

We truly have reached a moment of truth in our country. Do we continue to move forward taking the fight to our enemies or do we cower and run for cover and wait for the next attack.

I know what GW will do; if history is a guide, we know what Kerry will do.

Unfortunately many Americans are willing to turn over control of this country to a charlatan.

If this should comes to pass, many Americans will pay the ultimate price for such naivety.
9 posted on 08/03/2004 4:26:03 AM PDT by PigRigger (Send donations to http://www.AdoptAPlatoon.org)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: MP5
Earlier, I was trying to tell one of my sons about the story I posted; however, I couldn't finish telling him the story because each time I started to talk about how the mother wanted a sign from her son...I started to weep. He had to read it for himself.

The parents that President Bush spoke with must have been overwhelmed with thankfulness to the President.

10 posted on 08/03/2004 4:28:10 AM PDT by ResistorSister (The Dems are being given enough rope to hang themselves.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: ResistorSister
“He could have had some reporters there, but he didn’t,” Hal Barkey said. “It was a private affair, and no one else was allowed in there. I think that says a lot about him and the man he is.
11 posted on 08/03/2004 4:30:02 AM PDT by ez (TERRORISTS FOR KERRY!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: tbpiper

Yes! That is a key point. The meeting was for the parents, not for the press nor was it campaign hype.


12 posted on 08/03/2004 4:31:48 AM PDT by ResistorSister (The Dems are being given enough rope to hang themselves.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Neets; Victoria Delsoul; kstewskis; Dr. Scarpetta; lonevoice; GirlShortstop
Thanks Nita!

PING!

13 posted on 08/03/2004 4:32:29 AM PDT by Northern Yankee (Freedom Needs A Soldier!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Miss Marple

I hope everyone on FR takes the time to read this story. Thanks.


14 posted on 08/03/2004 4:32:31 AM PDT by ResistorSister (The Dems are being given enough rope to hang themselves.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: ResistorSister

God bless our troops!

God bless President Bush!

God bless America!


15 posted on 08/03/2004 4:36:12 AM PDT by Reader of news
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MP5
What a great man our President is

HERE, HERE!!

16 posted on 08/03/2004 4:53:34 AM PDT by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Miss Marple
COMFORT FOR HER LOSS. Julie Barkey, whose son, Michael, died last month in Iraq, is embraced by President Bush after his address at the Memorial Civic Center on Saaturday. Bush met privately with the Barkeys and two other local families who lost sons to the war. Looking on are Barkey’s son, Tony, her husband, Hal, and their daughter, Therese.
Photo courtesy of Barkey family
COMFORT FOR HER LOSS. Julie Barkey, whose son,
Michael, died last month in Iraq, is embraced by
President Bush after his address at the Memorial
Civic Center on Saturday. Bush met privately with
the Barkeys and two other local families who lost
sons to the war. Looking on are Barkey’s son, Tony,
her husband, Hal, and their daughter, Therese.
17 posted on 08/03/2004 5:18:19 AM PDT by ResistorSister (The Dems are being given enough rope to hang themselves.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Miss Marple
Thanks for the ping, I love the fact that President Bush doesn't allow camera's in when he consoles these families

What makes a great man is not what he does when everyone is looking, it's what he does when only God is

God Bless President Bush

18 posted on 08/03/2004 5:43:11 AM PDT by MJY1288 (John Kerry Would Still Be Negotiating With the Taliban if he Was President)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: ResistorSister

Hopefully this will put a plug in all of the DUmmies who keep harping about the President not attending any funerals or meeting with any family members.

And, is it just me or is the Prez looking a little paunchy in that pic?


19 posted on 08/03/2004 6:04:55 AM PDT by Maine For Bush
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ResistorSister; Miss Marple
Thank you for posting this article, RS. It is so good to read about the real President Bush and his unheralded humanity. It was intirely appropriate, as he knows and practices, that no photographers be present. The families know him for the good man that he is.

Thanks for this ping, MM. I don't recall any instance of President Bush's opponent or the VP candidate doing anything of this sort.

20 posted on 08/03/2004 6:28:25 AM PDT by Carolinamom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ResistorSister

He's a good and decent man. Thanks for the post.


21 posted on 08/03/2004 6:40:44 AM PDT by baseballmom (Michael Moore - An un-American Hatriot)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Maine For Bush

"And, is it just me or is the Prez looking a little paunchy in that pic?"


Remember, the President always wears a kevlar vest when he speaks in public!!!


God Bless our Troops!
God Bless President George W Bush


22 posted on 08/03/2004 7:09:31 AM PDT by DrDeb
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: ResistorSister
Buryj, a registered Democrat, said she will vote for President Bush in the November election. She also voted for him in 2000.

“People think I should dislike him because of the war,” she said. “My son was a soldier, and he wanted to be a police officer. It would be like me getting mad at the chief of police for sending him into a dangerous situation.”

Great analogy. So glad she and the other families had this special time with GWB.

23 posted on 08/03/2004 7:38:21 AM PDT by ride the whirlwind ("I will never relent in bringing justice to our enemies..." - President Bush)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ResistorSister

ping for great story - LIBERATING IRAQ, BUSH


24 posted on 08/03/2004 8:01:29 AM PDT by WOSG (George W Bush - Right for our Times!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ResistorSister
Her son died in a truck accident in Ar Ramadi

What a shame. An accquaintance also lost his son (a translator) in a
traffic accident in Iraq. He'd volunteered to go, being most of the other
translators in his unit were married or had family to look after stateside.


“He had tears in his eyes,” Barkey said of the president.
Reminds me of a passage from Churchill's memoirs. He was touring some of the
civilian bombing wreckage and was thronged by well-wishing folks, including
a young lady who handed him a box of cigars.
I guess Churchill wasn't really self-conscious of his emotions for he said he
suddenly heard a lady in the crowd say
"Look, 'ee really cares...he's crying".
And at that moment he realized his emotions had gotten the better of him.
25 posted on 08/03/2004 8:15:53 AM PDT by VOA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ResistorSister; Maigrey; Miss Marple; SandRat; TEXOKIE; xzins; Alamo-Girl; blackie; Calpernia; ...
Thanks for the post and the pings!

Bless our CinC and Soldiers!

  

26 posted on 08/03/2004 8:36:47 AM PDT by Ragtime Cowgirl (“There is no doubt in my mind that we did the right thing.”- Chaplain Bratton (ret), back from Iraq)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: VOA
...Churchill..."Look, 'ee really cares...he's crying"... he realized his emotions had gotten the better of him.

President Bush's emotions are the "better of him." He understands how important a smile, a hug, a kiss, and words of encouragement are to families who have lost loved ones to the war.

27 posted on 08/03/2004 9:04:58 AM PDT by ResistorSister (The Dems are being given enough rope to hang themselves.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Ragtime Cowgirl

This story is a great example of the sincere compassion of President Bush. Thanks for the tissues, I can't talk about this story without tears.


28 posted on 08/03/2004 9:10:39 AM PDT by ResistorSister (The Dems are being given enough rope to hang themselves.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Ragtime Cowgirl

GWB Is The Man!


29 posted on 08/03/2004 9:11:33 AM PDT by blackie (Be Well~Be Armed~Be Safe~Molon Labe!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: ResistorSister

I lost it when this story started talking about coins.


30 posted on 08/03/2004 9:14:27 AM PDT by armymarinemom (Ultimate Flip Flop->I support the Troops but not their mission)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Molly Pitcher

Couldn't go see President Bush on Saturday, had to work. Here is a story, a behind the scenes story about something that happened at the rally. You will enjoy reading this story.


31 posted on 08/03/2004 9:14:49 AM PDT by ResistorSister (The Dems are being given enough rope to hang themselves.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Ragtime Cowgirl

Bump!


32 posted on 08/03/2004 10:54:25 AM PDT by windchime (Podesta about Bush: "He's got four years to try to undo all the stuff we've done." (TIME-1/22/01))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: 1Peter2:16; 2Jedismom; 2Trievers; 4mycountry; 68-69TonkinGulfYatchClub; A_perfect_lady; ...

Dose Ping to a great story that you won't see in the press, because there weren't any there - when Pres. Bush met with families who had lost a soldier in Iraq.

Truthy


33 posted on 08/03/2004 11:25:45 AM PDT by TruthNtegrity (We must all work hard to insure Pres. Bush's re-election by a landslide!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: TruthNtegrity

Thanks for the ping. I know these days must be the hardest for the president.


34 posted on 08/03/2004 11:30:39 AM PDT by Peach (The Clinton's pardoned more terrorists than they ever captured or killed.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: TruthNtegrity

Thanks for this ping. I am emailing this to everyone I know. This visit meant so much to this family & the article is very touching.


35 posted on 08/03/2004 12:03:28 PM PDT by nana4bush
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: Ragtime Cowgirl

Thanks for the ping. What a wonderful story.


36 posted on 08/03/2004 12:09:25 PM PDT by RightWingMama
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: ResistorSister

great post, and i just sent a thank you to the articles author.


37 posted on 08/03/2004 12:09:30 PM PDT by Americanwolf (America! Love it, or my 550 pound lowland gorilla will be more than happy to show you the door.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Carolinamom
Thanks for this ping, MM. I don't recall any instance of President Bush's opponent or the VP candidate doing anything of this sort.

What can anyone expect from Kerry who doesn't even find it necessary to visit the wounded at Walter Reed. This man wants to be cic of our great military? No way

38 posted on 08/03/2004 12:24:23 PM PDT by Kaslin (All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for Kerry to be elected)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: ResistorSister

“He could have had some reporters there, but he didn’t,” Hal Barkey said. “It was a private affair, and no one else was allowed in there. I think that says a lot about him and the man he is.

&&&

No, he would not have reporters there because what he did is from the heart and not a photo op. One more shining example of the difference between the real man that we have at the helm and the sham that infested the WH for 8 years before our deliverance.


39 posted on 08/03/2004 12:28:18 PM PDT by Bigg Red (Never again trust Democrats with national security!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TruthNtegrity
Thank you,Truthy!
40 posted on 08/03/2004 12:29:48 PM PDT by Kate of Spice Island ('Effin the ineffible since '91." FirstIAmAUSSoldier and I approve of this message...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: TruthNtegrity

Thanks for the flag, friend.
Bush is truly a gift from above for this nation.


41 posted on 08/03/2004 12:33:11 PM PDT by Bigg Red (Never again trust Democrats with national security!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

Dubya is the real deal!


42 posted on 08/03/2004 12:34:47 PM PDT by GeorgiaYankee (Now Playing -- John Kerry: The Frenchurian Candidate!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TruthNtegrity
Thank you, dear Truthy, for the ping!

I cried on his shoulder, and he cried on mine.

That sentence encapsulated what our beloved President is really all about; spreading the Love and the Comfort of our Blessed Savior to others. God bless him!

Thank You, O God our Merciful Master, for granting this good man to be our President! We praise You, our Great King, for Your Lovingkindness, Your Compassion for us, and for Your GRACE! Amen!

43 posted on 08/03/2004 1:25:22 PM PDT by Kitty Mittens
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: TruthNtegrity

Thanks for the ping.

"The real great man is the man who makes every man feel great."
—G.K. Chesterton


44 posted on 08/03/2004 1:29:16 PM PDT by theophilusscribe ("America is too great for small dreams." —Ronald Wilson Reagan)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: TruthNtegrity

Thanks for the ping


45 posted on 08/03/2004 2:29:21 PM PDT by firewalk
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: Ragtime Cowgirl

Bump!


46 posted on 08/03/2004 2:46:30 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: potlatch; devolve; onyx; Happy2BMe; PhilDragoo; MeekOneGOP

PING!


47 posted on 08/03/2004 3:02:59 PM PDT by ntnychik
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kitty Mittens
Amen and AMEN


48 posted on 08/03/2004 3:24:33 PM PDT by TruthNtegrity (We must all work hard to insure Pres. Bush's re-election by a landslide!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: ResistorSister

Good Story Bump


49 posted on 08/03/2004 3:43:24 PM PDT by ResistorSister (The Dems are being given enough rope to hang themselves.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TruthNtegrity

Thanks for the ping- I love President Bush. :)


50 posted on 08/03/2004 4:13:04 PM PDT by lawgirl (is RNC bound! W here I come!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-61 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson