The Heart Of the GOP - In Seattle Today!
When he arrives today in Seattle, President Bush will take time to honor two local families who have sacrificed much.
Sheryl Sheaffer of Issaquah, whose three soldier sons, and only children, now serve in the Army in Iraq and Afghanistan, will fulfill a longtime wish by joining the greeting party for Bush when Air Force One lands at Boeing Field.
Brian and Shellie Starr of Snohomish, meanwhile, have been invited by the White House to share a lengthier, private session with the president here.
Their son, Marine Cpl. Jeffrey B. Starr, was killed in Iraq on Memorial Day last year. A last letter Starr wrote to his fiancée, intended to be found on his computer should he die, was shared by the family with the Seattle P-I and eventually came to Bush's attention. The president was visibly emotional as he quoted from it in a speech at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., on Nov. 30.
"I've always dreamed of meeting him," said Sheaffer, who also is active with her mom, Nadine Gulit, in founding Operation Support Our Troops, which is known for mailing care packages to troops overseas.
"I admire his steadfastness and backbone and consistency and giving our soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen what they need to win," says Sheaffer, who keeps a "Mother's Journal" on the Web. "I am angry at a Congress that voted to give him the authority for the war and now backs away from it," she says. "You can't blame somebody else for a decision two-thirds of them were part of.
"That takes support away from my sons. And that's personal to me -- don't ever back away from those kids over there."