Skip to comments.Cutting to the Quick: The mother a soldier who died in Iraq talks about John Kerry
Posted on 10/29/2004 12:26:28 PM PDT by Pokey78
ON MAY 5, 2004, Peggy Buryj, got the worst news a mother can get. Her son, Jesse, had been killed in Iraq. Jesse was manning the turret of a Humvee at a checkpoint in Karbala, south of Baghdad, when he noticed a dump truck racing towards his vehicle. Despite warnings, the driver did not stop. Jesse fired more than 400 rounds at the truck, killing the driver. But the truck didn't stop. It rammed his Humvee, tipping it over. Jesse suffered massive internal injuries and later died on the operating table.
Jesse's funeral got significant media attention in Canton. The military told Mrs. Buryj (pronounced "boo-dee") that her son's action saved the lives of at least three soldiers. "My son was a big hero in these parts," she says. "Canton really turned out for my son's funeral."
Six weeks later, Peggy Buryj claims that she received a phone call from a representative of John Kerry's presidential campaign. The caller identified herself as "Linda" and asked Mrs. Buryj, a registered Democrat, if she would appear at a Canton rally for John Kerry. Buryj agreed, but with a condition. She wanted to ask Kerry one question: "Why did you vote against the $87 billion for support troops in Iraq?"
"And I wanted to ask him--because I never hear journalists ask him, or anybody ask him--what was his reasoning for voting down the money?"
Buryj understood that her request was politically sensitive. So she told the Kerry campaign that she was willing to ask Kerry in
"They were inviting me because of my son," she says. "You know, they were using me for their benefit, you know? Local hero's mother, you know?" Buryj notes that the Kerry campaign did not invite the Rameys, parents of Staff Sft. Richard Ramey, who died in Iraq February 8, 2004. "They were Republicans," she says. "I'm a Democrat."
Nevertheless, she wanted to attend the rally. "I wanted to go. I just wanted an answer to my question."
She never heard back from the campaign.
A month later, Buryj received a call from the Bush campaign. President Bush wanted to meet her, in private, along with the families of two other fallen soldiers from Stark County. There would be no reporters in the room. She was not asked if she supported the president.
Bush spoke to a rally of 5,000 at the Canton Memorial Civic Center on July 31. Afterwards, he met for 20 minutes with Buryj, the Rameys and the family of Sgt. Michael Barkey, who had been killed in Iraq on July 7. Buryj says she cried when she saw Bush. "He cried on my shoulder as much as I cried on his."
I called Peggy Buryj after reading about the episode in a letter to the editor published Friday in the Canton Repository. The letter was written by Bob Ackerman, the father of a soldier now in Iraq who has become a close friend of the Buryj family. I asked Buryj the obvious question: Why go public with this story now, so soon before the election. "I didn't go the press about it," she says. "Bob Ackerman asked me if I would mind if he told the story. I didn't mind." I have no way of independently verifying Buryj's story. The parents of fellow Canton-area soldiers support her account. But the Kerry campaign strongly disputes it--suggesting she is lying on behalf of President Bush. "There is no evidence anyone from the Kerry campaign ever called her," said Jennifer Palmieri. I asked Palmieri if she had knowledge of a woman named "Linda" from the Kerry-Edwards office in Canton. Her response was immediate: "There is no one with the campaign named Linda."
Buryj spoke in halting phrases as she tried to articulate why, exactly, she wanted to speak with Kerry. "Basically, because I'm struggling with . . . why would he? . . . To me it was . . . As a military mother . . . Why? Why? What good reason could he have for voting against that money? There is no reason in my mind for him to vote down that money. And I will never understand that."
I asked if Kerry could have said anything that would have helped her understand his vote.
"I don't know. Maybe, if he would have answered the question. He voted for the okay to go to war. And then he voted down the money. As a military mother, you don't know how that offends me. That just offends me to the quick. And he's running for president. He wants to be our leader. He wants to be commander-in-chief. I think that's a fair question. I don't expect to get special treatment. But they called me. They called
She continued: "When John Kerry says wrong war, wrong time wrong place--you don't know how that cuts me to the quick. That's like saying my son died for nothing. That to me is just a slap in the face. I talk to several military mothers, you don't know how many, and that hurts us. That hurts us."
Buryj is not angry at Kerry. It is possible, she speculates, that her request for an answer to her question never got beyond the Kerry campaign's Ohio staff. "In all fairness to John Kerry, it might not ever have gotten back to him." Nevertheless, she is disappointed.
And she's still waiting for an answer from the Kerry campaign.
"They have my number. They've called it before."
Let's hope this is the effect of Kerryitis on the rest of America.
Wow, all of Canton and they know that no one named Linda works for the Kerry campaign.
Well, it sounds pretty consistent.
I hate Kerry. He's too phony.
Unfortunately, it sounds as if she is still planning on voting for the Poodle.
I agree (and to use a Qerri eumphemism) but,
when will folks wake up to the fact that you invite this kind of sleaze - from either side - when you indicate your party affiliation on your voter registration.
A confidentiality agreement is required for a dead soldier's mother to talk to Kerry?
What a scumbag.
Where do you get that from? Seriously, I don't see it.
Just that she is still waiting to hear from his campaign. I guess it could be that she just wants the question answered, but when the Poodle campaign first called, she seemed willing to go make an appearance at the rally, with just that one condition. Nothing in the article indicates that she had switched and would vote for Bush.
Agreed. Not a chance this woman is voting for Kerry.
Buryj says she cried when she saw Bush. "He cried on my shoulder as much as I cried on his."
Just wish someone in the press would ask her question for her ....and in memory of her son.....
Her son did not die for Naught he died protecting his fellow soldiers , he died for his Country , for his mother, and his family, he died with his boots on and he took the other miserable suicidal POS with him.. Truly an American hero.
Not some egotistical pile of crap who wrote himeslf up for 3 purple hearts when he deserved none.
Bad thing about Kerry becoming President is quite simply, there is a good chance he would trash the brave men and women serving in Iraq (which he already has started doing this week); accuse them and our government of unspeakable war crimes; and make secret deals with the enemy Taliban.
Any of this sound familar?
Well, we're reading a completely different article then, figuratively speaking. Given how her meeting with Bush went, and given how angry she is about some of the anti-troop things Kerry has done and said, I just don't see her voting for Kerry.
I hope youre right. The article didnt say.
You got that right. All I know is I feel like I did after watching pride of the Yankees after reading this. All teary eyed.