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Cutting to the Quick: The mother a soldier who died in Iraq talks about John Kerry
The Weekly Standard ^ | 10/29/04 | Stephen F. Hayes

Posted on 10/29/2004 12:26:28 PM PDT by Pokey78

Canton, Ohio
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


private, before the event, or in a phone call. She promised that she would not go public with his answer. She even offered to sign a confidentiality agreement pledging that she would not talk to reporters about Kerry's answer.

"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


me wanting me to attend."

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."


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: army; marines

1 posted on 10/29/2004 12:26:29 PM PDT by Pokey78
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To: Pokey78

Let's hope this is the effect of Kerryitis on the rest of America.


2 posted on 10/29/2004 12:30:57 PM PDT by frog_jerk_2004
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To: Pokey78

Wow, all of Canton and they know that no one named Linda works for the Kerry campaign.


3 posted on 10/29/2004 12:31:04 PM PDT by BallyBill (PA State motto: We Support the Troops! ..except election time..)
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To: BallyBill

Well, it sounds pretty consistent.


4 posted on 10/29/2004 12:33:54 PM PDT by Twinkie
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To: Pokey78
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.

Scummy, lecherous, despicable, bottom-feeding, amoral, cheating, lying, crap eating DemocRATS. May they all rot in Hell. My condolences to this poor woman for her loss.


5 posted on 10/29/2004 12:34:32 PM PDT by LiberalBassTurds (Islam is a religion of peace. Strange every murdering psychopath in the world is attracted to it.)
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To: LiberalBassTurds

I hate Kerry. He's too phony.


6 posted on 10/29/2004 12:37:15 PM PDT by RedRepublic
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To: Pokey78

Unfortunately, it sounds as if she is still planning on voting for the Poodle.


7 posted on 10/29/2004 12:40:58 PM PDT by Tatze (I will vote for John Kerry before I vote against him!)
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To: LiberalBassTurds

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.


8 posted on 10/29/2004 12:43:35 PM PDT by Cletus.D.Yokel
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To: Pokey78

A confidentiality agreement is required for a dead soldier's mother to talk to Kerry?

What a scumbag.


9 posted on 10/29/2004 12:45:27 PM PDT by KidGlock (I already voted for Bush/Cheney 2004. Did you?)
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To: Tatze

Where do you get that from? Seriously, I don't see it.


10 posted on 10/29/2004 12:45:31 PM PDT by mcg1969
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To: mcg1969

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.


11 posted on 10/29/2004 12:48:46 PM PDT by Tatze (I will vote for John Kerry before I vote against him!)
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To: mcg1969

Agreed. Not a chance this woman is voting for Kerry.


12 posted on 10/29/2004 12:48:53 PM PDT by Avenger
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To: Pokey78

Buryj says she cried when she saw Bush. "He cried on my shoulder as much as I cried on his."




That's our President. Kerry wouldn't even bother to take the time (even with a confidentiality agreement) to answer her question.


13 posted on 10/29/2004 12:50:43 PM PDT by Avenger
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To: Pokey78

Just wish someone in the press would ask her question for her ....and in memory of her son.....


14 posted on 10/29/2004 12:51:50 PM PDT by anniegetyourgun
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To: Pokey78

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.


15 posted on 10/29/2004 12:52:07 PM PDT by sgtbono2002 (I aint wrong, I aint sorry , and I am probably going to do it again.)
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To: Cletus.D.Yokel
...when you indicate your party affiliation on your voter registration.

Good point Cletus.


16 posted on 10/29/2004 12:56:06 PM PDT by LiberalBassTurds (Islam is a religion of peace. Strange every murdering psychopath in the world is attracted to it.)
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To: Pokey78

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?


17 posted on 10/29/2004 12:57:43 PM PDT by moonman
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To: Tatze

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.


18 posted on 10/29/2004 12:58:01 PM PDT by mcg1969
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To: Avenger

I hope youre right. The article didnt say.


19 posted on 10/29/2004 12:58:19 PM PDT by Tatze (I will vote for John Kerry before I vote against him!)
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To: sgtbono2002

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.


20 posted on 10/29/2004 12:58:54 PM PDT by longfellow (You're either with US or from Hollywood! Ultimateamerican.com)
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To: Pokey78

That really says it all about the difference between the man and the mouse.


21 posted on 10/29/2004 1:05:30 PM PDT by Jaded ((Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. - Mark Twain))
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To: sgtbono2002

Without knowing me directly, this fine young man die for me and my family, in a war we must win against fanatics who want to kill us all, democrat or republican. I am grateful to this woman for raising such a fine young man and pray God's Grace be upon her in her grief: Thank you, m'Lady, in the name of your courageous son ... and know this, m'Lady, the tears on my cheeks are ones of appreciation more than sadness.


22 posted on 10/29/2004 1:05:30 PM PDT by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote life support for others.)
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To: mcg1969
I would think that she should be voting for Bush, not just because thats the way I want her to vote, but because of her experiences with both campaigns/candidates.

If she was going to switch her vote to Bush was a very obvious and logical question, and we didnt see it. And I would think that the Weekly Standard would love to tell us that if they knew.

23 posted on 10/29/2004 1:10:32 PM PDT by Tatze (I will vote for John Kerry before I vote against him!)
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To: Tatze

Actually, there are a few journalists/journals with integrity left. Don't assume ...


24 posted on 10/29/2004 1:19:46 PM PDT by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote life support for others.)
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To: Pokey78

How could anyone with an ounce of decency, integrity, love for their country and an IQ above ten ever, ever vote for Kerry? And yet, half of America will. Un "friggin'" believable.


25 posted on 10/29/2004 1:30:10 PM PDT by daviscupper
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To: Pokey78
Buryj says she cried when she saw Bush. "He cried on my shoulder as much as I cried on his."

George W. Bush is the real deal: he is who he says he is, and he leads from the heart.

26 posted on 10/29/2004 1:32:00 PM PDT by T. Buzzard Trueblood ("he's the same on Saturday night as he is on Sunday morning." Zell Miller on GWB)
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To: daviscupper
half of America will...vote for Kerry

Don't bet on it.

27 posted on 10/29/2004 1:34:47 PM PDT by T. Buzzard Trueblood ("he's the same on Saturday night as he is on Sunday morning." Zell Miller on GWB)
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To: Tatze
Nothing in the article indicates that she had switched and would vote for Bush.

It doesn't matter. The real point is that one candidate has class and the other doesn't. . . never did.

28 posted on 10/29/2004 1:59:24 PM PDT by NJJ
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To: LiberalBassTurds

Kerry is in the same camp with other unfeeling, self-promoters who have no core, no soul, no principles, no sense of decency. A vapid gigolo. He's going down,too, and afterwards,he will become a laughing stock and a complete nobody: having revealed himself thoroughly in this election. Rejoice for that.


29 posted on 10/29/2004 2:29:58 PM PDT by dimmer-rats stealvotes
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To: Pokey78

How did the person who called her know she was a registered democrat?


30 posted on 10/29/2004 2:34:18 PM PDT by Not just another dumb blonde
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To: T. Buzzard Trueblood

I hope you are right. Right now I am just praying for a win for the good guy. Incidentally, I am starting to feel a little better. Kerry is sounding more and more desperate. Internal polls in the enemy camp must be "ugly."


31 posted on 10/29/2004 2:48:31 PM PDT by daviscupper
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To: Not just another dumb blonde

You can get lists of registered voters from your local election officials, at least in my state. I'm working on a GOTV call list right now actually.


32 posted on 10/29/2004 2:52:34 PM PDT by swilhelm73 (We've found more WMDs in Iraq than we've found disenfranchised blacks in Florida. --Ann Coulter)
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To: Pokey78

Great story

http://freedomstruth.blogspot.com


33 posted on 10/29/2004 3:01:13 PM PDT by WOSG (George W Bush / Dick Cheney - Right for our Times!)
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To: dimmer-rats stealvotes
Kerry is in the same camp with other unfeeling, self-promoters who have no core, no soul, no principles, no sense of decency. A vapid gigolo.

Very well said dimmer-rats stealvotes. Great user name too. :^)


34 posted on 10/29/2004 3:35:35 PM PDT by LiberalBassTurds (Islam is a religion of peace. Strange every murdering psychopath in the world is attracted to it.)
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To: Pokey78
But the Kerry campaign strongly disputes it--suggesting she is lying on behalf of President Bush.

This poor woman loses her son, gets invited to a Kerry rally because of it, wants to ask him a question. They refuse to answer her question, and then they call her a liar. Man, there just aren't any more filthy words left to describe these Kerry people.

35 posted on 10/29/2004 3:44:18 PM PDT by dbwz (Self-Defense is a Basic Human Right -- 2asisters.org)
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To: LiberalBassTurds

I have the same love and respect for the democrats as you.


36 posted on 10/29/2004 9:04:31 PM PDT by justshutupandtakeit (RATmedia will no longer control American politics if patriots have their way.)
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To: Pokey78
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."

President Bush is a man whom loves his country and its soldiers regardless of party, race, sex, or creed. John Kerry is a man in love with power and in love with himself. I truly belive it John Kerry thought he could win power by being a Conservative Repulican he would.

37 posted on 10/29/2004 9:23:50 PM PDT by cpdiii ( Oil field trash ( and proud of it) turned pharmacist.)
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To: justshutupandtakeit
Thank you sir. Good to meet another right thinking person.

All the best.


38 posted on 10/29/2004 10:04:26 PM PDT by LiberalBassTurds (Islam is a religion of peace. Strange every murdering psychopath in the world is attracted to it.)
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To: BallyBill

According to the 1990 Census (http://www.lifesmith.com/comnames.html), Linda is the third most common female name in America. Back in my college single days, I dated five different women at one time or another, and two of them happened to be named Linda. I would be astounded if there weren't more than one Linda on the Kerry campaign staff.


39 posted on 10/29/2004 10:56:14 PM PDT by HHFi
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To: HHFi

Since when did the truth come into the Kerry campaign?


40 posted on 10/29/2004 11:15:17 PM PDT by Blue Collar Christian (Drivers of SUVs without brush scratches should be horsewhipped! ><BCC>)
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To: dbwz
So she told the Kerry campaign that she was willing to ask Kerry in private, before the event, or in a phone call. She promised that she would not go public with his answer. She even offered to sign a confidentiality agreement pledging that she would not talk to reporters about Kerry's answer.

They refuse to answer her question, and then they call her a liar. Man, there just aren't any more filthy words left to describe these Kerry people.

I agree! Been there done that. The poor woman only wanted a phone call? You're right, there just aren't enough filthy words. I can't imagine just blowing off someone who had sacrificed so much, can you? Very sad.

41 posted on 10/30/2004 8:25:40 PM PDT by PistolPaknMama (Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that -- Mark Twain)
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