Skip to comments.Walter Reed FReep 154 - March 28, 2008 - 3 Year Anniversary
Posted on 04/01/2008 5:32:56 PM PDT by Tom the Redhunter
Almost unbelievable that it's really been three years for this event. I've participated since August of 2005, and that itself seems long enough, so I my thanks goes out to those intrepid FReepers who started this FReep back in March of that year.
With this in mind, we had a special FReep planned for the Three Year Anniversary. When I got there just before 6:30, our usual starting time, FReepers were already on our corners holding their signs! I got out the MOAB and we set to work
Soon we had it up and the FReep truly began!
On the opposite corner more FReepers stood ready to show their support
Honor Roll of Attendees
Tom the Redhunter, Mr & Mrs Trooprally, Olney-Keith, VAFlagWaver, Sensi Ern, Lurker Bill, Mr & Mrs Kburi, PrezUSA222, USA4Ever, Fraxinus, Satin Patriot, Kristinn, BufordP (who lives! more about which later...), Chief, Ron G Kirby and his daughter, Cindy-true-Supporter, DaNang68, Saigon69, Taco Mama, Jimmy Valentine's Brother, Lurker Bill, Wo4Man, and RLMorel.
In addition to local FReepers and friends, there were a number of people who were in from out-of-town. Thank you to everyone who made the trip to be with us!
Faith and Thumper from New York City.
RockerMom2MyHero, Anomoly99 and their son Chris the Hero, all of whom made the trip down from Westminster MD! They FReep every Saturday afternoon in Westmister to show their support for the troops.
zoomie81 and her daughter who made the trip down from New Jersey! zoomie81 has her hands full with the liberals in her state, but she keeps them on their toes. She's engaged in multiple political activities on a number of fronts, all of which serve to promote all of the right causes.
It was great to see Mr & Mrs Checkmate who came up from Florida!
We also had at least two bloggers join us: Tantor, who blogs at Conservative Propaganda, and John Lilyea, owner of This Ain't Hell. I'm sure both of them will have posts up soon about this FReep, so check out their blogs and make them a part of your regular web surfing.
"Big John" Miska, Commander of VFW Post 8208 in Ruckersville VA joined us as well. In addition to his VFW duties, he is involved with AdoptASoldier, a program dedicated to supporting "wounded, injured, and ill troops at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Bethesda Naval Hospital." Please consider contributing to their worthy program.
My apologies if you were left out. I tried to get everyone but probably missed a few folks.
A Brief History
Various FReepers have written an "After Action Report", or AAR, after each Walter Reed Friday evening FReep, which are posted on Free Republic. A complete list of all AARs and a link to each has been maintained by BufordP here.
Sometime in the spring of 2005 the radical leftist group Code Pink decided to hold an anti-war protest Friday evenings in front of Walter Reed Army Medical Center in northwest Washington DC. Word quickly got out and eventually made it to Free Republic. DC Chapter President Kristinn Taylor gathered what FReepers he could and made it his mission that the Pinko protests would not to unanswered.
The main entrance to Walter Reed runs along George Avenue, a fairly major road that runs from the Capitol Mall north and south into Maryland. There is a street running perpendicular right across from the entrance, so there are "four corners" right outside the entrance (I hope this is clear!)
Every Friday evening, then, Code Pink would hold their protest at the two corners by the main entrance. They had permits for these corners, so as we at Free Republic certainly respect the law there was nothing we could do. They did not have permits, though, for the two corners across the street, so Kristinn got them, and this is where the FReepers took up station.
In 2004, Hal Koster and Marty O'Brien, owners of the DC restaurant Fran O'Briens, took wounded warriers from Walter Reed out to dinner at their establishment. They and Jim Mayer, veteran who works at the Department of Veterans Affairs, got an idea whereby every Friday evening they would pick up some soldiers at Walter Reed and take them to the restaurant in their cars. As time went on, more and more troops wanted to go, and their cars no longer sufficed. One thing led to another, they rented a luxury bus (I think some charities pitched in as well) specially equipped to on and off load wheelchair bound patients, and made it a regular Friday evening event. Even when they lost their restaurant they continued the program, taking the troops out to other restaurants, embassies, and the like.
Stay with me now; the story is relevant because the bus returns to Walter Reed sometime between 9 and 10 pm. We FReepers have made it our mission to greet the bus with as many people, flags, signs and banners as we can muster. Having met both Hal and Jim, as well as many of the troops who have been on the bus, I can tell you that the troops are very glad to see friendly faces as they return home.
Also, there were a few instances where the Pinkos were still on their streetcorners when the bus arrived. We have witnessed the troops giving them the one-finger salute. After this incident, we noticed that the Pinkos started packing up and going home promptly at 9pm. Obviously their leaders took the decision that they did want their followers to see what the troops really thought of them, for it would be too demoralizing.
All of this took place "under the radar" and without any national attention, from the media or blogs. This is significant because without much publicity FReeper ranks were relatively thin, and it is a tribute to their perseverance that they kept up their vigil.
The very first AAR was posted by daughterofTGSL, and tells the story of how Code Pink organizer Gail Murphy sent her minions to try and infiltrate the FReepers. They were spotted immediately by tgslTakoma, who called her daughter who in turn called the police.
The story erupted onto the national scene on August 25 when Marc Morano of CNS News published a story on what had been going on.
The big conservative talk show hosts picked it up, and that week it was on shows such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham. Hannity and Colmes had at least one segment on it, and I'm sure others did as well.
It was this week that I first heard about it too, and made the decision; I'll trek over to Walter Reed and see it for myself. I live in Loudoun County, which is just northwest of the city not too far away in Virginia. I brought my little digital camera and you can see my post on it here if you like.
During this phase the rivalry was pretty intense between the Pinkos and Free Republic. Given the anti-American attitudes of the Pinkos (see below for details), there was no love lost on our part for them. We razzed them mercilessly every Friday evening with a variety of signs and shouts.
Over time we also noticed that Code Pink also changed their signs and banners. When the whole thing began they had all of the usual nutcase stuff. Pinko Kevin McCarron had his infamous "Maimed for a Lie" sign and there was a lot of other disgraceful stuff as well. Just for old times sake, here's Kevin:
We so razzed them over this, and gave them such bad publicity on the Internet, that slowly but surely they put away the worst of their signs. Now all you see is bland stuff like "Support the Troops - Oppose the War" and "Money for VA Hospitals - Not War" which as you know hides their true nature.
Back to the narrative.
On January 21, 2006 everything changed.
Sometime earlier Code Pink forgot to renew their permits for their corners. FReeper and Protest Warrior ConcreteBob found out (it's all public information if you know where to look) and quickly filed applications for Free Republic so that we would have permits for all four corners outside the main entrance.
When Code Pink arrived that evening they found "their" corners occupied by FReepers, and when they tried to set up shop were told politely but firmly that they did not have permits for this area any more, we did, and to please leave immediately. They got the message and left, wandering half a block to another location where they licked their wounds. You can find my photos and report of that evening here if you wish.
This marked the end of serious confrontation between FReepers and Pinkos at Walter Reed. With the Pinkos no longer directly across the street, our mission somewhat changed as well. While they were still at the main entrance, we saw our role as much to counter them as to support the troops. With them gone, the urgency of the former was muted if not gone. Sure, we still had to be there otherwise the
cockroaches Pinkos would come back, but without them directly across the street the tenor of the event changed.
The Pinkos are still a half-block away, but they're not at a street corner, so they're not in a location where traffic has to stop and people have to look at them. My observation is that they're pretty much ignored by most drivers. Other drivers, we've noticed, honk and wave at us, and then honk again when they get down to the Pinkos. This is no doubt because Code Pink changed their signage and now actually have a few American flags that they haven't burned. Yet.
With no more need for them, we put away our anti-Code Pink signs. We have the "Burma Shave" signs, but even they pale in comparison who what we used to put up. Today almost everything we have is pro-troop or anti-terrorist. The reason for this is quite simple; the people who see the signs are 1) the troops, their families, and workers who come in and out of Walter Reed, and 2) motorists driving on Georgia Avenue. Our objective is to bolster the spirits of the former, and let the latter know that there are Americans dedicated to the troops, and maybe lift their spirits as well. As long as the Pinkos keep their place there's no need to directly counter them.
As such, the tenor and purpose of the FReep changed. For the most part we really do not even think about the Pinkos down the block. Sure, whoever is taking the pictures or writing the AAR will go down to see how many there are, but that's about it. Sometimes troops will come out of the hospital and go down there to argue with or just hassle the Pinkos, but even that's more just amusement than anything else.
Over time, Code Pinks numbers have dwindled while ours have stayed pretty steady. To be sure, if something big is going on that weekend each side will see boosted numbers. But what's interesting about the Pinkos is that none of their national leaders show up regularly. In fact, they almost never show up at all.
Also, most of their people who do show up don't do so until after 8:00. Given that they pack up promptly at 9, this has always seemed odd. One time they did, back in July 2006, Pinko leaders Media Benjamin and Gael Murphy staged a confrontation with us but got more than they bargained for.
Here's a photo of them from the three year anniversary evening. I took it early, while there were still only a few of them. All told I think they had about a dozen people show up, their usual number.
I've got a few more of them on my photobucket site (link below) but my camera doesn't do so well once it gets dark so that's all I'll post here.
The highlight of the evening is when the bus or buses with the troops and their families come back from their evening dinner. The driver turns on the inside lights and honks at us, and we wave our flags and signs like crazy.
The last thing I'll say before moving on is that if anyone thinks that our activities are just meaningless sign waving they are sadly mistaken. I do not say this to toot our own horn, but there's no other way to say it; the truth is that after having spoken to so many of the troops and their families (not to mention Hal Koster and Jim Mayer) that indeed they are quite buoyed by our activities.
Ok, so history didn't turn out to be so brief....but I thought you might like it. Now on to Code Pink and who they really are.
Who is Code Pink?
If you're not familiar with Code Pink, the best place for information is David Horowitz' excellent Discover The Networks website. He and his crew maintain a database on the leftist groups and leftist individuals. It is the best single place I know of for information on these people. From Discover The Networks, here's how Code Pink was started:
Launched on November 17, 2002, Code Pink for Peace describes itself as a "grassroots peace and social justice movement" whose self-defined mission is "to end the war in Iraq, stop new wars, and redirect our resources into healthcare, education and other life-affirming activities." Rejecting "the Bush administration's fear-based politics that justify violence," the organization calls instead "for policies based on compassion, kindness and a commitment to international law." Code Pink was founded by four radicals: Jodie Evans, Medea Benjamin, Diane Wilson, and a radical Wiccan activist calling herself Starhawk. Ms. Evans is the nominal leader of the organization, which works closely with Medea Benjamin's group Global Exchange and Leslie Cagan's antiwar coalition United For Peace and Justice.
As a parody of the Bush administration's color-coded security alerts (regarding terrorist threats), the "Code Pink Alert" warns that this administration poses "extreme danger to all the values of nurturing, caring, and compassion that women and loving men have held."
Note that Code Pink was formed several months before the invasion of Iraq. Note also that their name is a play on the entire War on Terror, not just something having to do with Iraq. Most libs say that they support the war in Afghanistan, just not the one in Iraq. This group apparently doesn't even want us fighting al Qaeda anywhere.
Pass the puke bucket and fast
I. Code Pink Aids the Insurgents in Iraq
Hold on to that bucket, because it gets better. Here's Code Pink in action:
During the last week of December 2004, Medea Benjamin announced that Code Pink, Global Exchange, and Families for Peace would be donating a combined $600,000 in medical supplies and cash to the families of the terrorist insurgents who were fighting American troops in Fallujah, Iraq. In an article dated January 1, 2005, the online publication Peace and Resistance reported that Rep. Henry Waxman had written a letter addressed to the American ambassador in Amman, Jordan to help facilitate the transport of this aid through Customs.
In other words, they gave $600,000 in supplies and cash to the terrorist insurgents trying to kill American troops. What a swell bunch.
II. Ok by them to Kill American Troops
If the above made you throw up, this will set your teeth on edge:
On June 24, 25, and 26 of 2005, a group called Democracy Now! sponsored a "World Tribunal on Iraq" whereby the United States and President Bush were placed on trial for crimes against humanity. They were - surprise - found guilty. Code Pink is listed as one of the endorsers of the event.
The Tribunal issued a "Declaration of Jury of Conscience" where in section I paragraph 11 you find this
11. There is widespread opposition to the occupation. Political, social, and civil resistance through peaceful means is subjected to repression by the occupying forces. It is the occupation and its brutality that has provoked a strong armed resistance and certain acts of desperation. By the principles embodied in the UN Charter and in international law, the popular national resistance to the occupation is legitimate and justified. It deserves the support of people everywhere who care for justice and freedom. (emphasis added)
In other words, it is ok by them to to kill American troops in Iraq. There's no other way to read that paragraph.
III. The "Beirut Communique"
Pinko Gael Murphy represented Code Pink at, and was a signatory to, what became known as the "Beirut Communique", a document which was drafted at during a strategy meeting anti-war and anti-globalization types in Beirut, Lebanon September 17-19 of 2004.
Here is a partial list of demands that the participants of the Communique drew up:
* We support the right of the people of Iraq and Palestine to resist the occupations.
* We call for the unconditional withdrawal and "coalition" forces from Iraq.
* We demand the end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine
* We demand the Right of Return be fulfilled....
* We ask for the release of all Palestinian and Iraqi political prisoners.
In another section, the express their "support for efforts by Iraqis to build a united national front against the occupation."
Although they claim that they "oppose war in all forms", there is not a single word in the communique condemning, or even mentioning, Palestinian, Iraqi, or al-Qaeda terrorism.
The bottom line is that although the media tend to treat Code Pink and similar groups as harmless anti-war protesters who just happen to get a bit carried away, the truth is that his is a hate-America group that has done everything it can to give aid and comfort to our enemies.
Back to the FReep
Let's get back to a more positive subject; the Three Year Anniversary FReep
During the winter it's not worth it to set up our "Burma Shave" signs, since it gets dark so early and drivers can't really see them. But now what with daylight savings time and a lengthening day, we decided to set them up. Even if you enlarge the photo you might not be able to read them, so here's what they say
Don't be Fooled
By Their Flags
Back a year or so ago when we first set them up the Pinkos would try and steal them or knock them down, but we got wise to their games and they don't try that anymore.
Here's a nice photo of the MOAB (Mother of all Banners) and flags behind it. There was a fairly stiff breeze, which can make the MOAB harder to hold, but flags look a lot prettier.
Dinner is Served!
Normally the most we do is bring a few snacks, coffee and hot chocolate, and maybe order pizza, but tonight was different. We had a grill going with hot dogs and many FReepers made some very nice dishes. We had all the utensils and drinks you needed so everyone had their fill of a very good dinner.
And the AAR wouldn't be complete without saying that VAFlagWaver's rum cake was the hit of the evening!
Truth be told I'm getting a bit hungry now just looking at those photos!
An Outdoor Movie Theater
Lurker Bill had prepared a DVD with photos of past Walter Reed Freeps, and brought his projector and screen to show everyone! He powered up his portable generator and off he went!
It was amazing and exciting to see all of those photos. Thank you, Bill!
Here are a few more of the FReep
What It's All About
Sometime around 9:30 or so the bus carrying the troops came down Georgia Avenue and turned into Walter Reed. It's always nice to have a good crowd to greet them!
With that another successful FReep was completed.
Please also FReepmail them or any of us if you would like to join us at Walter Reed and would like additional information about parking, directions, what to bring, etc.
Come join us every Friday night between the hours of 6:30pm to approx 9:30pm.
Directions to our Walter Reed freep location from the Takoma Metro station
* You can find all of Tom the Redhunter's photos for this Freep on my Photobucket site.
* You can find all of Mrs. Trooprally's photos for this Freep on her Photobucket site.
* Thank you to BufordP for maintaining the BIG LIST of all Walter Reed FReeps.
* Thank you to all FReepers who transport and store our many signs and banners every week.
* Tom the Redhunter blogs at The Redhunter
* Plea Deal blogs at Sempter Gratis
DC Chapter Ping!
My goodness Tom what a wonderful, complete, long (lots of work) report.
sounds like a great evening & the food/covered area.. how nice.
Bravo to all of you who get to share in fun/fellowship while supporting the troops & countering the anti-about everything good & decent crowd
Awesome event. Do you guys ever hold a rally at the James Haley VA hospital in Tampa?
Thanks to you all, I hope to join you this year after baseball season (high school)
May God continue to bless you all
Taxman Bravo Zulu! to all!
Long but real great read. A good break from my writing of the Olney AAR. Lots of new stuff and plenty of links. Thanks so much for writing a memorable AAR. This is one of your best.
Several additions, we normally don't put up the MOAB with the wind being as strong as it was Friday, but the 3 Yr. Anniversary demanded it. Thanks to all who helped hold it from blowing away. Also, several times the burma shave signs were blown off the cars or blown around so one couldn't read them. And we had bricks and rocks weighing them down. But you are correct, the wind made the flags look great.
Two corrections, Veeram (not listed) and RLMorel are from Massachusetts and the corners Concretebob ‘stole’ from the Pinkos are permitted under Protest Warriors. Several FReepers have copies of both permits readily accessable when the police want to see them. We've had to produce them times when the Pinkos call the police because we are verbally engaging them in their obscure space.
Again, big thanks for writing the AAR.
Tom, beautiful report! It gives a good history of the WRAMC Freep, and a history that explains why we say that Code Pink is an enemy organization. Thank you for writing a fabulous report for the 3 year anniversary.
Tom - we all had a great deal of fun at the third anniversary and your write-up captured it. And your “Hot Dogs” on a brisk night were just right.
I especially enjoy meeting freepers from out of town who travel from long distances to join us. Also, missed tgslTakoma who has contributed much to the past friday nights at WR.
Please note that trueblackman was in attendance as was VictoryNY’s friend Lauren.
Thanks for the explanation...I was really upset to think someone had said something really offensive on an AAR.
Thanks so very much Tom.
It is a great report and summary.
Uncle Sam, Darth Cheney, and “W” are sorry they could not be there too!
We changed to FIOS last fall and to be honest, it is no better than Comcast. Verizon advertises that it is so much quicker, yet they connect their fiber optic cable in the street to our house using regular cable wire. Verizon doesn't say when they advertise that one would have to spend a lot of $$$ to get fiber optics thru the house, hence their quicker service.
Verizon is as bad as the fat cat oil executives. /sarc
Just a short version of 3 year Anniversary.
Ok, some have seen my VIDEO before, because I posted it the next day on the previous AAR. Here it is again:
TtR thanks for the extensive AAR.
“Big John” Miska went down to the “Troop Supporters” to try and sell some VFW poppies. No luck. So much for taking care of those who defend our endowed rights.
A very detailed and excellent report! Great pictures too. It was a pleasure to meet you, Tom! It was also an honor to join all of you on your 3-year WR Anniversary. It was only our 2nd time at WR but just seeing that bus come in with the wounded soldiers was awesome. We know why you have been there to support them every Friday night. Thank you all!
I thoroughly enjoyed being with you all last Friday night for your 3rd Anniversary. You folks in the DC Chapter are a dedicated bunch of Patriots ! My hat is off to each and every one of you !!!!
Thanks [Mr] T for the correction (post 8)!
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No, we're lunatics!
Lol, OK, Patriotic lunatics !!!
You’ll always be our leading lunatic, Buford!!
There was Rum Cake! All I got were blackened tube steaks. This will not go down the memory hole.
It was a lot of fun. While the troops were enjoying a 5-star meal, because of them, we got to enjoy a 50-Stars, and Stripes meal.
Did you learn how to read in a D.C. public school? :-))
Buford went to DC public schools?!! Oh, that explains so much!!
It aint nuthin to be shamed of. Hey, I are a natural blond. You did go to skool in DC. That dont meen we is stoopid or underedjucated!!
Well... maybe not quite so natural now. Trying to delay going completely platinum. But, yes. A natural blonde and I have the baby pictures to prove it!!
Good Heavens! You’ll get us all arrested!
Yeah, well being stubborn German who is blonde isn’t so bad. When I’m wrong, I’m REALLY wrong and won’t back down!! LOL!!
THANK YOU ALL!!! Thanks for your steadfast support of the troops. It’s wonderful to see Americans from all walks of life, including natural blondes and people who voluntarily live in DC, support the troops! :-) (When I was ten and asked my dad what color my hair was, he replied “dish water blonde”. I can’t seem to find a L’oreal shade with that name. . . .)