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HOLD THE LINE

These are After Action Reports documenting the experiences of a Band of Veterans in West Virginia who were determined that the traitor john kerry (spelling intentional) woould not be elcted president of the United States.)

21 August 2004

On 21 August 2004 John Edwards visited Nitro, WV and was met by five (3 Republican, 1 Democrat, and 1 Independent) local West Virginia Veterans for Bush. The vets only quietly held signs for the passing Edwards entourage leaving the airport. They did the same outside the Nitro Community Center for passing vehicles which mostly indicated support for the vets. Unfortunately, the vets decided to stay while Kerry supporters exited after the Edwards speech.

What occurred was UNBELIEVABLE! Where was the media? They were nearby, but did not seem interested.

The peaceful vets were cursed, mocked, and flipped off by numerous people. Some individuals came up to them and cursed them severely causing a policeman to move behind the vets to prevent a physical attack. One 30ish man wearing dark sunglasses and appearing to have stepped straight out of a Hollywood party was particularly vicious. After loudly cursing a short distance from the face of one vet he later drove by in an expensive SUV and told the vets they were lower than the dirt on his tires.

When the Edwards caravan was preparing to leave a large SUV (not an official vehicle) pulled in front of two of the vets to block the caravan from seeing the signs. As the two vets tried to move behind the SUV it backed up nearly hitting one of the vets. A police officer had to intervene and force the driver to move away!

The vets noticed that nearly 100% of the people leaving the meeting on senior health care were driving gas guzzling SUVs or large, late-model luxury cars. Some of the most hateful were white-haired and included females about as much as males.

The vets all agreed that what they experienced is very indicative of Kerry supporters and now the vets are more determined than ever to help George Bush get elected.

28 August 2004

On Saturday nine vets went to the extremely busy highway called Corridor G at Charleston, WV. We ranged from a 30 something vet who has been out for only a few months to an 82 year old WW II vet and his 78 year old WW II buddy. Also, with us was a vet of both the Korean and Vietnam Wars. We were proud to have a lovely lady Gulf War vet stand with the group which included two Vietnam vets.

We had a variety of signs. Most were "Vets for Bush", but some attacked Kerry such as the one that said "Hanoi John". We let each person choose a sign they were comfortable with. At each end of our line, which stood on a wide concrete median, we had signs (with small flags attached) saying, "Honk for Vets for Bush". There was a nearly constant stream of horn honking (we've got video to prove it.)

The sweet daughter of one of the vets manned the video camera. We took the video camera for our protection since we had been cursed and threatened at the recent Edwards visit to Nitro. The lady vet had been with a group when Kerry visited Huntington a few months ago. Their signs had been grabbed and damaged by Kerry supporters!

The media had been notified of our event, but the only thing close to media was a Charleston Gazette vehicle that passed and gave us the thumbs down. Of course, the public reaction to our stance would have been terribly embarrassing to a pro-Kerry slanted media. It is a waste of time contacting the media. We intend to take our message straight to the people with repeat performances of today.

A squad car pulled onto the median and the officer told me someone called the police and said we threw something at them. He said he and his partner had been watching us and knew that was a lie. They had to make an appearance and find out when we planned to leave.

We intended to stand from 1:00 to 2:00 but the 82 year old could not wait to start and led the group into position around 12:35. The weather was nearly 90 degrees and we soon ran out of 6 bottles of water which we had brought. An unidentified passerby pulled over and gave us a bag of bottled water and a package of paper cups. With about 10 minutes to go the 78 year old could no longer take the heat so he and his buddy called it a day.

Afterwards a Vietnam vet stopped by to show his support. He is an ex-paratrooper suffering from agent orange and other war related problems who hobbled along using a cane. He may join us next time with a lawn chair.

2 September 2004

This evening seven vets had South Charleston "honking" for Bush.  We saw more middle fingers than ever, but they were a minuscule amount compared to the waves, thumbs-up, and horn honks.  After Zell's swell speech last night the Demlibs are letting their true hateful streak become more apparent. 

Channel 3 shot some video.

6 September 2004

We had 10 guys and 1 gal waiting to greet Kerry as his caravan left Kanawha Airport on the way to the Union Rally at Racine today. Three of the guys were new and one guy was a commercial pilot who was driving by and decided to stand with us. He (Mark) is a Vietnam vet who saw action as a helicopter door-gunner. Mark also joined us in the evening activity (see below).

We had a long wait in the sun and a nice talk with two Secret Service agents, but we had both sides of the road covered when the large caravan passed. Maybe it was my imagination, but it appeared that the caravan slowed don as it passed us.

Of course, there was no press coverage and some may wonder why we gave up such a big chunk of Labor Day. We cannot let Kerry become commander in chief and are willing to "serve" again to help our country. We believe in sending the message to Kerry that most vets think he is unfit for command. What Kerry and crew saw as they passed has got to be eating at them.

From 6:30 to 8:30 five of us went deep into enemy territory and Held the Line one short block behind the stage at the big Reinvest in America rally. Jesse Jackson was scheduled to speak at 8:00 and, although he was late, a whole lot of Kerry supporters walked past us. We took some harsh verbal criticism, middle fingers, and some f--- Bush calls. Willie Nelson was scheduled at 9:00, so the second throng of people was a little more friendly. Willie's bus went right past us. In fact it stopped at the red-light at the corner we were on. Willie may be pro-Kerry, but at least one of his crew isn't.

Some good things happened. A teen boy came up and told us we had "a lot of guts". He asked if he could get us water or something. Later a group of six teens went to each of us shaking our hands. Best of all three active duty (in civvies) soldiers (fresh from Afghanistan) stopped to shake our hands and tell us how much they support Bush.

This all occurred while a guy (claiming to be a vet) stood calling us liars at the top of his lungs and screaming to people to not "step in it" as they passed us. A policeman made him go across the street where he kept it up for nearly 1.5 hours. At one point someone wheeled out a guy holding a Vet for Kerry sign in a wheel chair to sit beside the screamer. The guy in the wheelchair remained silent and I would have liked to have had some of our guys talk to him since several are Nam vets. Finally he was wheeled away and the screamer, who had been emboldened by the invalid's presence crew more vehement. The police finally made him leave.

The WV Vets for Bush now have about 15 "members" and it is great how we have come together as a unit. Except for a couple of guys none of us had met until we came together to Hold the Line. It looks like none of the guys (and gal) were officers since none of them like to take orders, but they get the job done. We have Army, Air Force, Marine, Air Guard, and USNR vets so far. All three political parties are represented.

Letting the Kerryites know that we will not yield any local territory to them is only part of our strategy. Mostly, we form sign lines along busy streets to take our message directly to the public. These events are uplifting to us because the HUGE majority of drivers are pro-Bush. Also, we feel that we give the public encouragement when they see that (contrary to the mainstream media's message) there are guys like us out there.

9 September 2004

We posted 5 vets at the Fort Hill/Corridor G stoplight this evening. We had 10 when the mission was over. Three guys came a little late, but something else happened to increase our numbers! Two different vets parked their vehicles and came out to Hold the Line with us!

We are proud to welcome Tom and a lady Gulf War vet who is still in the reserves. She has to remain anonymous for now, but was a real energetic addition to our group giving the "flip-flop" signal.

As usual when we take our message to the public we are overwhelmed with the positive response. If you have never Held the Line with us--you should give it a try. It is uplifting to us vets and to passersby also.

Of course, a lot of the guys are hardheaded and enjoy going into enemy territory like we did at the Edwards rally and the Labor Day Kerry rally. Still, its nice to get mostly praise instead of cursing and threats. Listen, guys--many (perhaps most) Kerryites are very hateful people. They have no respect for anyone, including vets, who are exercising their free speech rights. Those of us who stood outside the Edwards rally have no doubt we would have been physically attacked had not the police made their presence known right behind us.

We are now up to 17 on the roster. The Kerryites are getting real vicious in their attacks on Bush. There are about six weeks left and we want to Hold the Line at least once a week. Also, we are available to greet Kerry or Edwards if they come into our territory. Please try to free up your calendar for this final push. Everyone who has Held the Line has a busy schedule and various personal problem. One has had heart by-pass surgery within the last year. Another has two very elderly parents in need of almost constant care. I could go on. I'm not criticizing anyone--just trying to motivate you to prepare for a tough battle the next few weeks. We need you! It's a privilege to Hold the Land with every man and woman. I'd love to see at least 15 at every event.

We do not pretend to have the influence of the Swift Boat Vets, but we can effect literally tens of thousands of local people.

One of our spokesmen and steadfast members, Bryant, said it very well when he said, "This is not a political issue. This is personal. This is a Vets vs. Kerry issue." Some of us also are motivated by abortion, gun rights, health care, or other issues. That's OK. I (personally) see this as a battle for the heart and soul of America. WE CANNOT LET KERRY HAVE CONTROL OVER THE HEART AND SOUL OF AMERICA!

14 September 2004

We had 8 show up at the Cross Lanes event which we moved from Thursday to avoid Hurricane Ivan. However, a hard localized downpour hit the Cross Lanes area!

Nevertheless, we kept at least four on post for the whole time. Some got wet, some used umbrellas, and a couple stood under the overhang of a nearby building. The rain lasted about 20 minutes and the rest of the time the weather was great.

So was the whole experience! Cross Lanes is one of the busiest intersections in West Virginia. The positive response was overwhelming! Bryant, fired up after his trip to DC, returned every honk with a crisp salute and was kept as busy as a sentry at a base entrance. Also, when a couple of cars held up a Kerry sign he did an about face and showed them his back.

There were very few people that indicated Kerry support and all (that I saw) were polite. We heard more horn honking for the Vets for Bush than any place we have posted. One man pulled over and spent 10 minutes telling us how much he appreciated what we were doing and what we did when we served.

21 September 2004

We had six at the Teays Valley I-64 Exit today. I am sure at least 1000 vehicles passed. One of us estimated the ones who reacted to us one way or the other were 10-1 pro-Bush. I think he was being conservative because the horns and waves were amazing!

We had Pat still nursing her leg injury and sitting in a chair. Joe was there after recent foot surgery still wearing his hospital shoe.

A new recruit joined us. Butch was driving by after dropping his wife off somewhere and decided to park and hold a sign. We now have 18 on the roster.

Guys--not only is this 1.5 hours fun and inspiring, but it is greatly beneficial to our goal of stopping Kerry from becoming Commander-in-Chief. I strongly encourage you to participate. Like you have heard me say--all of us who show up have reasons (excuses) not to participate. I deal with 120 teenagers for 8 hours and I guarantee you I am too tired to be involved. I have 1-2 hours of papers to grade or lessons to prepare every night and I guarantee you I don't have time to do this stuff. It's tough for 80 year olds and the injured to be there--they just do not need to experience the pain of standing in the heat for 1.5 hours. In just a few weeks this opportunity to influence history will be gone. Please don't get caught wishing you had made a small sacrifice for your country.

27 September 2004

We had 8 show up. We got four new recruits who had read about the event in the Gazette article. One arrived during our "debriefing" so we had 11 on the line. Also, Mark arrived (on the way home from work) at the debriefing and inspired us as usual.

No allies showed up and each of them will have to decide how important their individual "soapbox" is and what they will do to prevent Kerry from destroying what they hold dear. One thing is for sure--this election is very important to the folks who are part of the WV Vets for Bush. This effort to unite with other anti-Kerry folks was a one time effort due to the unique opportunity of Robert "KKK" Byrd's visit to UC.) Note: the "KKK" is my own opinion. Some of our group are offended or uneasy by that designation. While I am at it: all of these reports are solely my opinion and do not necessarily represent the group or any other individual.

The UC event drew a tremendous amount of vehicles mixed with night class students and regular rush hour traffic. So 100s (perhaps a couple of thousand or more) people saw our signs.

They also saw six union members trying to neutralize us. The union members all looked like weight lifters and wore yellow Kerry T-shirts. (You can draw your own conclusion about Kerry's choice of colors.) They held yellow "Sheet-metal workers for Kerry" signs and unfurled a huge yellow banner in front of our line.

One of them cheered every time we got flipped off. Nevertheless (we had "Honk for Vets for Bush" signs) the honks (IMHO) outnumbered the negative gestures by 30-1.

I was stationed across the highway with one vet and one union member so I did not observe firsthand what went on in the crowd across the street. Someone told me they felt the 3-5 police officers who stayed close by kept the union members from doing more than try to counter our message. One of our guys talked to some of the union thugs and found out they were (all or mostly) from out of state. None were vets as far as we know.

Also, a guy claiming to be a Vet for Kerry showed up. He told me he was the vet who appeared in Cross Lanes the day after we were there. He was a real radical seeking to argue and criticize everyone. He was passing out leaflets of which one was really offensive to us. It was a bust of Bush made from the photos of the men and women who have been KIA in Iraq.

Mixed in the crowd were two local politicians with their signs.

Special thanks to my wife and daughter for helping out in the thick of the action.

The effort increases in impact the more vets show up. Friends and family are welcome to come along and hold signs for vets unable to attend. If all the signs are taken by vets there is always a need for video camera holders, water runs, etc.

1 October 2004

On Friday we Held the Line in St. Albans at MacCorkle and the Nitro-St. Albans Bridge. It was one of the best times we've had. There were very few fingers or F--- Bushes. We were joined by some friends and family of vets. One gal had two professionally done huge flip flops mounted on sticks which were very funny and made a great point.

We signed up a new recruit whose daughter works at a near by shop. She saw us and called her Dad. Jesse is fired up and ready to roll.

And roll we will.

Like O. P. said: we are having an impact! Not only do we inspire those already on our side, but we let the undecided see that vets support Bush. Also, I think we may inspire those who might not speak up to do so. Let's keep rolling until Veterans Day (Nov. 2 this year!)!

As Hannidy says, "You are all Great Americans!"

Hold the line!

4 October 2004

Wow! Another great Hold the Line. The traffic was good although it was not bumper to bumper like we are used to. Still we had THREE new men sign up. We welcome Mike, Truman, and Rick. Rick even joined us on the line this evening. One of them is another Democrat vet to add to our ranks. We now have a roster of 31 honorably discharged vets.

Also, we had several people stop and ask us for Bush-Cheney signs. One even took one of our 4 by 8 ft. signs. We had trouble debriefing in the "park-and-ride" because of people stopping to ask for signs!

The huge 4 X 8 ft. signs were a welcome addition this evening. We had to spread our forces out in order to cover both sides of the I-79 Elkview Exit. Our graphic artist friend brought an expertly done waffle on a stick and it was waved along with his flip-flops which were introduced at St. Albans.

We have a BIG Hold the Line operation scheduled for Thursday at the location of Kamp Kerry in Nitro. I know some of you can't come to many of the events so if you have to choose carefully which ones to come to this is one of the most important. I have told you of the sacrifices and difficulties some of our group undergo in order to participate in the Hold the Line events. Let me tell you of a few more. One of our guys has a minimum wage part time job. Just buying the gas to come to the sites is a strain for him. Another one of us provides a professional service to other professionals--some (most?) are liberals. This vet takes a chance of losing income if the vindictiveness of Kerryites is used against him. A third guy (who has not missed an event) is self-employed. He makes telephone calls to our members who do not have email. He also informs the police of where we will be.* Often he leaves an event and goes to work in his office until midnight. These guys know the importance of what we are doing.

*We notify the local police as a courtesy mostly. We are aware of the potential aggression of the Kerryites. We see the middle fingers and hear the f--- Bushes. Those people are hateful and vile, but we do not fear them. The fact is that some of the men who stand with us are not the type who would appreciate an angry hand being laid upon them. However we strive to remain peaceful and we will continue to hold

7 October 2004

(Yes I know how to spell "camp"--it's supposed to be a joke.)

You've heard me say that what we are doing is important and a lot of fun. Tonight at Nitro was the most fun of all!

It wasn't nearly as cold as it was at Elkview on Tuesday, but the action was hot so we probably would not have noticed. My literary skills are not adequate to do justice to the fun we had, but here goes.

When we arrived, Kamp Kerry was unmanned. It consists of two small tent canopies with 3-4 flags mounted on one of them and a 4' X 8' "Veterans for Kerry /Edwards" sign mounted about a foot off the ground. It looked like it was on public property (later we found out it is on the property of Alford Pest Control) so one of our guys took one of our 4' X 8' signs and attached it to theirs so it read "Veterans for Bush/Chaney". That lasted about 20 minutes until two Kerryites arrived. They didn't see our sign at first and were frantically putting up a Kerry/Edwards 4' X 8' in a strategic location toward oncoming traffic. It was hilarious to watch when they turned around and saw our sign! They took it down and laid it on the ground, but there was no trouble when one of us retrieved our sign.

The Kerryites got on their cell phones then. I have reason to believe they called the Nitro police and the liberal (so I've been told) mayor of Nitro. They may have also called Byrd and Rockefeller because they were talking fast and furious. I guess they could not reach the union "thugs-R-us" because all they got were two women and a young guy. We had 11 (by my count) which included some non-vet supporters.

One of the non-vets was a gal who hobbled out on crutches and had to sit in a chair. Another non-vet held the folded flag that covered the casket of his late father who was a vet. I don't know about you, but those two people were inspiring to me.

At one point the Kerryite leader came up to talk to one of our guys. John quickly moved up to witness the conversation. It turned out the Kerry guy was a nice fellow. He said he was a vet and worked for the VA. (Scuttlebutt has it that the pro-Kerry vets who were quoted in the left-wing Charleston Gazette are employees of Rockefeller and Byrd.) Even though this individual was a gentleman we must remember the strategy we have set up in case there is a physical attack.

We heard one of the Kerryites yell the childish comment that we (Vets for Bush) must be "really scared" since we brought so many out. After the second catcall one of us yelled that they should turn the flag one was holding upside down. That ended the baiting.

The Kerryite leader moved in front of us on the center median where we had set up (although we had an unopposed squad on the intersecting street too). We let him hold that position for a while then one of us moved in front of him toward the bridge. At that point it was all-over. Our guy had a "Honk for Vets" sign and the horns started honking! I actually felt sorry for the Kerryites. It was embarrassing to them! They didn't have sense enough to retreat and now the honking horns will haunt them for a long time. This intersection is where one road turns off toward Institute which is what many consider a predominately black residential area. I was amazed at how much positive response we received from passing black drivers.

We did manage to find a nearby location to park as a group. We always display a sign while we debrief. Horns kept honking while we stood and talked beside the street! One man pulled over in a truck and got a 4' X 8' sign to put up at his house which is across the street from Kamp Kerry! Later that night it was observed mounted on top of his house with blue lights around it!

Our graphic artist supporter introduced a great new sign. Using a picture of a toilet the sign said, "Flush Both Johns"! Also, Pat brought out a new Swift Boat Vets sign that was great.

This location is such that traffic comes to a halt in both directions for traffic signals. This afforded us an opportunity to distribute a lot of literature and bumper stickers. Kamp Kerry was obviously set up in response to the impact the Vets for Bush is having in the Charleston area. It only drew a few people at its opening ceremony even though Senator Rockefeller made a personal appearance. We were missing six of our regular vets or it would have been worse for the Kamp Kerry tonight.

We have 31 honorably discharged vets who have "signed" up for temporary duty with the West Virginia Vets for Bush. I don't know all of their stories, but some of the regulars are at least a little interesting. Two are WW II vets, one is a Korean era vet, three served in country in Viet Nam (one of them was a helicopter door-gunner), another guy served aboard the "Doomsday" Command Post Afloat during the Cold War, one is a USAF vet who did two tours in Nam and will tell you the Air Guard was over there too. This guy was hit in the ear with shrapnel (no blood), but went on with his duty while others went to a bunker. One of us has a military related disability and has no criticism of his VA medical treatment. We have at least 3 Democrats and two Independents. All branches except the Coast Guard are represented. Only a few "joined up" with buddies. We were all strangers until we met through this effort to defeat Kerry.

We are holding the line in the metro area of the capital of West Virginia.

9 October 2004

We started at the intersection of Greenbrier St. and Coonskin Dr. These are two lane roads but the time was well spent. There was lots of traffic because there was a large Flea Market, high school volley ball tournament, and Support WV Troops activities in the area. We had 10 vets and 1 wife.

We had a lot of support from traffic going to the armory (both uniformed and presumably families of guard personnel).

One new man signed up--welcome Rodney!

After two hours Holding the Line we went up to the armory and had chow with the Air Guard families. It was a blessing to be around those folks.

Then we headed all the way to Milton where there is a weekly huge Flea Market and the annual Pumpkin Festival going on. This was a very successful choice of sites. We had 9 vets and one wife and we spent three hours there. At some points I feared we were going to get charged with disturbing the peace because so many people were honking.

We saw a lot of elderly folks wave and signal their support.

Also, a Kerry supporter showed us a picture of Kerry as he passed by. Well, not exactly, but close enough. The guy mooned us.

John should be on the Republican payroll. He has dozens of people stop and ask him for signs and bumper stickers. He now has strategically placed three 4 X 8" signs! Speaking of the large signs--I drove through Nitro tonight and saw the sign on the guy's house across the street from Kamp Kerry. It is awesome. It is outlined with blue string lights and lit up with a flood like a billboard!

On the way to Milton I stopped and thanked the guy. A relative came to the door. He is an active duty submariner and is strongly pro-Bush.

11 October 2004

This afternoon, October 11, 2004, we got word that the DreamaDems were holding a rally in South Charleston featuring one of the Kerry girls. A "Call-to-Arms" went out and we managed to get 7 vets there by 5 PM.

Most parked at curbside and some Kerryites on the way down the street to the rally went past where we were talking and they immediately started hurling hateful comments as they passed. A couple of thugs started cursing us and making threats.

We walked a block and a half to stand across from and down the street from the site where the speakers and singers were standing. Union thugs swarmed us with threats and two or three of them got around each of us holding their signs in our faces and in front of our signs. When we tried to walk away they walked with us. I (a 56 year old) was personally threatened by a muscle bound thug who probably was still in his 20s. John was told that they knew his name and where he lived.

Two teens waiting to be picked up by their mother came and gave one of us a high five. The thugs cursed him and the mother got out of the car and gave the thugs a tongue lashing. John got some of this on video. She said she didn't care how anyone voted, but they had no right to treat a 15 year old the way the thugs did.

Shortly after we arrived at the public street corner some of the thugs went down the street to where our vehicles were parked. We had to post two (one female vet) of us down there as security. The thugs wrote down license numbers and vehicle ID in an attempt to intimidate us. Also, the thugs threatened our two sentries and Mark put down his sign and told the guy to do what he said he was going to do to Mark. Thankfully no blows were exchanged. Note: two walkie-talkies came in handy here.

Back at the corner we called 911 and the city police were slow to respond. The police had previously been informed that we would be present at the rally. It may or may not be related to the fact that the mayor of South Charleston is the liberal Republican that is threatening to cast his electoral vote to Kerry if Bush wins WV. When the police showed up they lectured the thugs and left. We stayed our planned one hour and then left and were harassed as we went down the street. Mild mannered Bryant, who is a Nam vet, took a lot of slurs. Bryant insisted that he be the last one to leave so we went down the street and kept him in sight until he proved the thugs could not intimidate him.

The media was present but found no interest in the violation of our free speech rights.

12 October 2004

This evening we enjoyed beautiful weather at our Hold the Line in Kanawha City. We had 12 vets with signs, the husband of one of the vets with a sign, the adult daughter of another vet manning the video camera, and the wife of a vet posted as security in the parking area. We lined both sides of the street and covered the huge amount of rush hour traffic traveling through Kanawha City and exiting and entering the two Interstate bridges.

It was awesome! It looked like we invaded the area!

The response was wonderful. After the cesspool at the Kerry rally yesterday this was like taking a hot shower. If our read of passing motorists is any indication Bush should easily win WV.

14 October 2004

Today was my 32nd wedding anniversary. My wife and I feel so strongly that Kerry must not become CIC that, after work before she went home, she loaned me her vehicle (mine is in for major repair) then she found things to do while I spent over two hours with fellow WV Vets for Bush Holding the Line in Marmet.

Marmet is on the edge of UMW territory and some of the group went to their posts with some trepidation. Although we had our usual small group of angry and obscene passersby the evening turned out to be another great experience as we demoralized Kerryites and invigorated Bush supporters. Hopefully we persuaded, or made to think, some undecided voters.

We drove to the intersection of the I-64 ramp and Marmet's main drag (Rt. 60) in a rain and the weather forecast was dismal. We went on post holding umbrellas but, the rain subsided and we spent two hours in very cool, but dry weather.

One law-officer (department will not be identified) pulled over and told Rockman that he (the officer) fully supported us and would be standing with us if he could.

A Kerryite, high on pot, walked over to the traffic island and engaged Dan and Johnnie in "dialogue". Poor guy, his arguments were the same as sober Kerryites, so even though he was intellectually whipped he still felt good.

A pickup with three rednecks in the cab stopped to tell John they don't allow Bush supporters in this area. They were basically good-old-boys and John fit right in when he went over to the truck and told them about his experiences up some WV hollers.

Dan, a 25 year Army vet with airborne experience was accosted by a stopped female driver asking Dan if he had a son in Iraq. Bad move, since Dan's son was called up from being a college student to being an Army reservist serving in Iraq. By the way, Dan lives in Boone County which is in the heart of UMW country and was hassled by UMW union thugs about his Bush yard signs before Kerry's visit to Racine on Labor Day

Over all, at this Hold the Line, the horns were quieter (they were really good, but we are used to fantastic), but we got a lot of positive hand signals. Several coal truck drivers signaled their support. Although traffic was not as heavy as we are used to this site proved fruitful because the traffic light timing allowed distribution of a whole lot of literature.

16 October 2004

Today six WV Vets for Bush assembled at the WCHS television station to show our support for the station's plan to show "Stolen Honor". We were interviewed in the parking lot, but nothing was done with the footage on the PM newscasts.

19 October 2004

After heavy rain last night and under heavy clouds (and balmy temperatures) this evening we surrounded the heart of Liberal Land in West Virginia--the Charleston Newspapers building which houses the Charleston Gazette. If you think of an analogy of the Liberal's apple "Pie-in-the-sky" promises the Gazette is the rotten apple core. And it's in the downtown area of West Virginia's capital city.

One side of the building is on Kanawha Blvd. so we were able to get that rush hour traffic as well as make a statement to the Gazette that the newspaper does not represent mainstream America and particularly the majority of veterans. You'd think that the Gazette (which operates in the evening to prepare an A. M. publication) would have been able to let a reporter walk out the front door and do a news story that the public would undoubtedly be interested in. Of course, that kind of story would be bad for the liberal bias that afflicts the Gazette.

Channel 13 News did stop by to shoot some footage and do a couple interviews.

21 October 2004

We have a group of seven who have volunteered to serve on a Scout Squad. These are vets that are too fired up to sit still and are able to make it out for extra "Hold the Lines". These vets will post for one hour (5-6 PM) at sites we have not visited. Depending on circumstances we may visit some previous sites.*

Today we posted in Poca. We had four of us committed to come. Dan had to cancel due to a family illness. Joe was delayed due to a vehicle mechanical problem. Rick A. drove 20 miles out of his way on the way to church and he and I posted alone for about 20 minutes and then Joe made it to the site. About 5:30 a Bush fanatic drove by. It was Jesse who just happened to be in Poca due to Midget League Football! (Due to the short-notice of the formation of this squad Jesse had not been informed we would be there.) This put two of us on each side of the road which makes a good "showing".

Shortly after Jesse posted a guy drove by giving us the finger. He pulled into the lot and got out with a small Kerry sign and stood several yards in front of Rick. He got on his cell phone and soon a woman arrived and held another small Kerry sign. A few minutes later a guy came over to them wearing bib-overalls and looking like he just stepped out of a for-real Deliverance holler. The woman gave him her sign.

They were directly across the street from Joe who flipped his "Vets for Bush" sign over to show them the "Kerry Shamed America" side. I likewise flipped mine to the side that says "Vets Not Fonda Kerry." Rick and Jesse maintained their large professionally made "Vets for Bush" signs.

It was a pathetic scene. The two Kerryites (one presenting a very negative appearance) with their wimpy signs and us getting an obvious positive reaction from passersby. We stuck with our game plan and quit at 6.

*This only lasted for one Hold the Line before everyone got on board.

23 October 2004

Our first visit a few weeks ago to the Corridor G strip mall area was hot due to the weather. Today it was hot due to emotions.

When we arrived on scene there were 3 Kerryites on the corner. Word is that they arrived at 10 AM. I think it was a coincidence they were at our location because there were also some Benjamin (local Republican) folks holding signs. After all, this is a PRIME location for traffic volume.

We quickly took the prime territory which was in the wide median of a four lane (plus one turning lane) major thoroughfare. Our guys know where to stand and Richard (USMC vet) and Joe (Army/Air Guard) took strategic positions to catch traffic turning into and coming out of (away from us) the mall. The rest of us (eventually there were ten vets and one wife) were on the center median. The Kerryites tried to tell us we were not allowed there and were breaking the law. We ignored them. Out came their cell phones. One of them called the police (more on that later) and some called for reinforcements.

A WCHS reporter came and shot video. He was there because John had reamed the station for its biased coverage of the anti-"Stolen Honor" protesters. He asked me how I knew the horns (it was awesome!) were honking for us and not the Kerry supporters. I replied, "Just turn your camera toward the cars and see for your self. It's obvious."

Mark (vet # 11-Army) showed up a few minutes late and pulled off on to the berm so he could shoot some video from the hill side on which the mall sits. Then he posted behind his truck to catch the turning lane of southbound traffic. He was well in front of the Kerryites. A female Kerryite came down and started scolding him. The words exchanged between them are known only to Mark and her, but I know Mark is a gentleman and I am sure he, as he said, said nothing to her except to counter her verbal attack.

The next thing we know her husband is down there in Mark's face. They were nose to nose like a baseball manager and an umpire. John got across the three lanes of traffic first and I was right behind him. I am nothing but an out-of-shape old former Naval Reserve pot-scrubber, but I am 6' 3" so I (as we had previously planned) moved in between Mark and the Kerryite jerk. John, a former USAF military policeman, moved the Kerryite jerk up the road away from Mark. The guy started crying! I don't blame him--the bearded John is obviously not a wimp and Mark (wiry and solidly built) would not be an easy man to take on.

Afterwards, Mark told us the guy claimed to be a Vietnam vet and named the location where he had been. Mark (one of our four in-country Vietnam Vets) told the jerk Mark's unit details and asked for the Kerryite jerk to name his. The Kerryite refused to give specifics which is good evidence that he was a fake. Joe then moved across the street to provide backup for Mark who was alone on that side.

Rick (Army) and I did a lot of literature distribution as vehicles waited for the stop light. Our WW II and Korean vets (Chester-Army and Dick-Marine) were solid as usual. Tony (a young USAF vet) held a 4 by 8' Bush/Cheney sign on the lower point and James (USN) took the "Honk for Vets for Bush" to the upper point. Pat (Air Guard) had her usual cat-swallowed-the-canary smile. Dick's wife maintained security in the parking lot, but held a sign over the fence facing the Corridor. One vet's adult daughter maintained the video camera. The weather was beautiful and it was a lot of fun and an honor to serve with these great Americans! The day was capped off by Bryant (Army Nam vet) showing up just as we left at our pre-planned time.

Now, about that police thing. The Kerryites got reinforcements which consisted of a few adults and a lot of kids. Some kids went onto the median and stood in front (but not close to) Tony. One adult (the pot-head we met at Marmet) came over to where most of us were and started acting belligerent. After we left and went to eat, John picked up a call from the police telling him the police had complaints that we were disrupting traffic. John explained that we were off site and if there was trouble it was from the Kerryites.

Some of the Kerryites came into the restaurant where we were. They stared at us hatefully like little kids pouting. John spoke loud enough for them to think they were overhearing us and told everyone he would see us at the Vets for Bush rally at the Capitol tomorrow at noon. Of course there is no such rally.

One mistake we made was not filming the Kerryites after we left. When we got to the parking lot the silence was deafening. Only an occasional honk. We finished our meal and as we left about ten Kerryites were still on the street and they were getting almost no response from passing motorists.

25 October 2004

Hurricane is a bedroom community for Huntington and Charleston and the Hurricane intersection handles a HUGE volume of commuter traffic. When we arrived there were two Capito (WV House Republican) supporters were holding their 4 X 8' signs. They didn't mind us since we actually helped them because when the WV Vets set up the area starts "rockin’”!

We had nine vets and one wife and, as usual, the support was fantastic. We now have added vertical sign attachments that say in simple black on white: “VOTE”. We hope all the horn honking will translate into Bush voting.

Shortly after we posted a guy came out with a Kerry yard-sign and a hand lettered cardboard sign with "Unemployed for Kerry" on it. He made the mistake of standing close to Pat who had only three hours of sleep last night. Pat quickly annihilated his whining and the illogic of blaming it on Bush. He left after a brief period and left his signs. We thought they made good advertisements for Bush, but some drivers blamed us for putting them there.

Right before we left a woman dragged two small kids to the corner where two of us were and held up a hand-lettered "Working Families for Kerry" sign. She should be charged with child abuse.

On the way home John did some covert activities, but the report on that is highly classified.

26 October 2004

When we arrived on scene at the intersection of Kanawha Blvd. and Patrick St. we found four (two of them were women) Kerryites with two 4 X 8' signs (one Veterans for Kerry and one Kerry/Edwards) and a small "Honk for Kerry" sign. We think this was just a stroke of good luck for us because Kerryites have been seen manning signs at other sites the last few days.

We had ten vets and three spouses and totally dominated the intersection. The Kerryites were surrounded! Heavily traveled Kanawha Blvd. dumps into Patrick St. and splits at a triangle for traffic going north and south. The Kerryites had set up on he grass covered triangle that splits the traffic. Vehicles approaching Patrick St. had to pass a string of WV Vets on both sides before they reached the Kerryites. Then as the South bound (the bulk of the traffic) vehicles circled around a building (opposite the Kerryites) to cross the Patrick Street bridge they found more WV Vets on both sides of the road! Also, Richard and Sally went directly across the street (behind the building) from the Kerryites! Richard hold his "Sink Kerry swiftly" and "Kerry Lied" signs. We also had traffic inbound to the Blvd. covered from every direction. The video of this Hold the Line will be a must see.

Patrick Street divides the West Side and North Charleston so we had a higher amount of black drivers passing. We were pleased to see many of the blacks signal support for us. Overall the horn honking was tremendous as usual. The Kerryites got on their cell phones. We kept a steady hand on the wheel and followed our plan so we left at dark which was 6:45. Several of us ate at Taco Bell (which is where the Kerryites parked) and when we left at 8:50 the Kerryites had been reinforced and were still working the traffic. They were practically begging people to signal support and were getting some honks, but nothing like we got.

Unusual incidents:

1. A young pro-Bush girl came by, pulled over at K-Mart, purchased water and hand-delivered it to each of us. Then she manned one of our 4 X 8' signs and wants to come out to a future event!

2. Three employees of Wendy's stuck their heads out of the drive-through and yelled a pro-Kerry slogan. John went over to the window and told them loudly that we had planned (which we had) to eat there and they had now cost their boss some money.

It was another enjoyable evening even more so to witness the demoralizing effect our presence must have on the Kerryites.

27 October 2004

It's all about sacrifice. The WV Vets have sacrificed time and money to try to stop Kerry's election. Tonight is a prime example.

Dick and his lovely wife are very devoted to their church yet they gave up a church service to stand with us tonight. Dick also suffers from hernia pain.

Jesse and his lovely wife both work and have two kids at home but they found a way to be with us tonight.

Joe has a wife who is not in the best of health, but Joe stood with us.

As for John--well let me just say THE MAN WAS SICK. There is no way he should have been out there, but he was. And he was the one who insisted on staying until 7:00.

Today was dreary and drizzly and it was cloudy and dark when John and I arrived at about 4:30. John went immediately to the street standing on the edge of busy Rt. 35. We were where 35 intersects with Rt. 34 which is a main artery feeding traffic from Ohio to I-64. The traffic was heavy! There were a tremendous amount of trucks. Most of the trucks signaled (Horn and hands) they were pro-Bush. If truckers vote it will be additional votes for Bush.

With 5 vets and 2 wives we had things covered, but not as well as we usually have. I had a “Vets for Bush” large sign around my neck and held a double sign with "Kerry Shamed America" toward traffic and "Vets for Bush" on the back because I had to go back and forth at the corner to cover traffic from all directions. Joe manned two signs also. He had one "Vets for Bush" sign and a new one he made with "Veterans for Bush" on one side and "John Kerry America's Nightmare" on the reverse. Joe got a lot of good reactions for the "Nightmare" side. Jesse worked the corner diagonal to me with a "Veterans Against Kerry" sign and Dick had a large "Veterans for Bush” sign behind Jesse on the straightway. Dick's wife joined him on the straightway and Jesse's wife took a "Honk for Bush" sign beside John to get traffic from all directions.

My arms got tired after 2 hours and 15 minutes and the diesel fumes were sickening (not to mention the odors from occasional cattle/hog trucks), but it was hard to leave the heavy traffic that was still passing at 7:00. We hope the truckers will use their CBs to spread word about what they saw. Perhaps some Ohio bound motorists will take the word to Ohio. The bottom line now is that we sway some undecided voters and motivate conservatives and patriots to go and actually vote.

Unusual incident:

1. A lady went around to each of us and gave us "$100,000" bars of candy. She said, "I don't have $100,000 but if I did I'd give it to you. Thank you for serving your country. I've got three dogs in this fight." Then she told of where her three sons are serving in the military. What a wonderful experience for her to speak to us.

2. We had to share (on the straightway) the first 45 minutes with six supporters of a Putnam County sheriff candidate. They were friendly and we don't even know his party affiliation.

28 October 2004

It was a treat to Hold the Line on Greenbrier St. at the cloverleaf to I-64 on Halloween Eve. The weather was a pleasant shirt sleeve warm. We had the place COVERED with a total of 14 (our 15th got lost and went to the wrong place).

We set up at 4:30 although John (still high on cough medication) was there a little before 4:00 and was soon joined by Dick and wife. When I arrived about 4:25 there were several others and most were already on the street. We caught the heavy Statehouse crowd as well as the National Guard traffic. We were able to do some literature distribution at stoplights at both ramps.

The Kerryites arrived after we were set up and went on down to the bottom of the hill. We hear they have groups set up at several sites trying to do what we have done for weeks. It's too little too late. Today they got the much less Statehouse crowd that turns away from I-64. Most of that goes down the Boulevard which we have already covered. Once you see a Vets for Bush crew on the side of the road it sticks in your mind and the Kerryites can't do much to change that image.

After we shut down this evening (6:30) Dicks' wife treated us to homemade biscuit and sausage sandwiches and homemade brownies. It reminded me of the goodies my Mom would send back with me to the ship after I returned from liberty.

Unusual incident: A glamour girl was holding a large sign for a state candidate when we first set up. She left after about 30 minutes.

29 October 2004

Ted Kennedy and our liberal WV Senators (Byrd and Rockefeller) are working southern WV for the "coal" vote. Kennedy came to Montgomery this afternoon. Montgomery is well inside UMW territory.

Pat and John were the only ones able to get up there. Upon arrival they saw the yellow-shirted union thugs in full force so they remained at a safe distance near a cop and held their signs. They got a lot of favorable response. Both of them stood with us on the West Side in the evening.

29 October 2004

It was party time on the West Side! The horn noise (IMHO) was equal to that of the Corridor. A some points it was a constant stream of noise from horns! It was lots of fun! It's even fun when the hateful Kerryites spew their crap! We covered four one way streets at the West Side I-64 exit/entrances.

I arrived at 4:40 and Joe and Dick were already working the street. Joe was nearly shoulder to shoulder with a Kerryite dressed like a mummy holding a sign that said, "Your Mummy Wants You to Vote for Kerry". He soon left when Pat told him his people were down the street. His car was still there when we left.

Kerryites must be working all over town. One of our guys said he saw a string of them as he passed General Hospital. Two nurses who took a leaflet from me told me they were glad to finally see someone with signs for Bush. It's a shame, it appears that the WV Vets for Bush are the only ones taking a stand for Bush and against Kerry. I heard on the radio that a poll shows WV is now running close. Maybe that's why Kennedy and crowd are working WV (see following AAR).

We had 13 on duty today. One of our guys who had open heart surgery about a year ago came straight from the doctor today after having several spots of skin cancer removed from his head. One vet's daughter and her vet boyfriend came out even though they are undergoing some very serious physical and personal problems.

The weather was short sleeve beautiful. Lot's of leaflets were accepted by stopped motorists. Dick's wife had sandwiches and cupcakes for us afterwards.

Bryant assigned several of us to covert operations on the way home. The details of those missions remain classified for now.

Unusual incidents:

1. You can't beat the mummy. Who would want a flake like that supporting them other than out-of-touch-with-reality liberals?

2. Another interesting incident occurred. A black guy (claiming to be an ex-Marine) stood with us and cheered on the motorists for a while. He probably had a little buzz going, but he was friendly and coherent.

3. An Ohio motorist pulled over for directions. He was a union man who had already voted for Bush.

30 October 2004

You will have to see the video to come close to comprehending what happened today across from the Kanawha County (Charleston, WV) early voting site! The WV Vets for Bush gathered at the corner of the Charleston Town Center Mall which happens to be across the street from the county clerk's office. Our plan was to march around the mall area for a couple of hours and mainly show our signs to shoppers entering the mall. We marched around the mall once and when we got back to our original corner several Kerryites had gathered with signs. We were up to the challenge.

Our largest turnout so far (over 15 counting 3 college students that joined us) easily outnumbered the Kerryites. As usual they got on cell phones and we were soon faced with a throng of people with various signs such as "Christians for Kerry". They were nasty (the video can prove that) and tried to dominate the scene with their stupid cheers like "Help is on the way." Some of our guys did some of there own shouting and the Kerryites quieted down.

Some folks brought out 4 X 8' signs for Warner (Republican candidate for governor).

The usual Kerryite pot-head that shows up everywhere came and Pat (female) inched closer to him until he was pinned between Pat and another female vet. The guy is hyper and can't stand still. He bumped Pat and she threatened to deck him. Soon he was gone.

The Kerryites stayed until the media left and then they all left as a group and went far up the street. One of them called the police to complain about us! We had checked and were legal, but when our two hours were up we left as planned. We have two important Hold the Lines the next two days and only have so much time and energy. It was pouring down the rain the last ten minutes we were there and most of our people stayed out in it.

Unusual incidents:

1. A young woman came up with a hand-lettered sign "Every child left behind". My wife, then I, were able to carry on a nice conversation with her and she folded the sign up. She was a recent high school graduate who had been brain washed. We did not win her over, but she noticeably was challenged by our logic. Pat took her aside and gave her a motherly talk and left a "Kerry Lied" card with her.

2. Joe, holding his new sign "Out Source Kerry to France" wore a Bush mask for a while.

3. Kevin Comer, a small business owner, joined us with a handheld sign after driving his truck around the block several times. He was pulling a trailer with two huge Bush/Cheney signs. A fat-cat lawyer told him that the lawyer would never do business with him again. Kevin owns Comer Construction (304-346-0825--About any type of home construction).

31 October 2004

Someone else should be writing this AAR since I was too involved in the verbal melee that occurred during our planned one hour pre-invasion of Kamp Kerry. I will do the best I can and those who were also there should post additions or corrections on the forum.

We arrived at the rendezvous point which put our vehicles out of sight of the lone occupant of Kamp Kerry. When we had gathered 9 vets and 5 supporters we took him by surprise and put personnel at all key points on the concrete divider and grass triangle that divide the intersection. Kamp Kerry sits on one side of the street leading from the Nitro-St. Albans bridge to the main drag through Nitro. As expected the Kerryite immediately got on his cell phone. He must have messed up pleasant afternoon plans of a lot of people because they soon had several (I'd say about 20--I did not count them.) Kerryites including a couple of union thugs who were not in their yellow shirts.

The Kerryites started cussing at us, calling us names, and flipping us off right away and several of them came over to where we were with large signs to stand in front of us. The police had already been by and ran everyone off the concrete median but we had two people (a lady vet and a vet's wife) holding the point on the grass triangle (See "unusual Incidents below). Two Kerryite "vets" stood on the pavement in front of the ladies with their 4 X 8' "Veterans for Kerry" sign. One of our vets got into a discussion with them and one of the Kerryites called our guy "scum". Trust me, there was nothing our guy did to warrant that. When our guy got a little upset over being called "scum" the other Kerryite came up and chest butted our guy (he also made chin to chin contact). Our guy then proceeded to challenge both of them and pressed forward with one of the ladies holding onto his sweatshirt to keep him back. There was no one holding the two Kerryites, but they decided not to close the temporary gap made by the tightly held sweatshirt. Soon other people from both sides got to the action. The police were summoned and the two Kerryites made a hasty departure. They left to avoid arrest more than likely. What they didn't know was our guy was not at his maximum anger. Only a few know he was raised in a local notorious housing project known as Orchard Manor and (while not an expert like the WV Vet ex-MPs) is very familiar with playing rough.

Two squad cars arrived and leaders from both sides negotiated a couple of steps to calm things down. No one was to stand in front of anyone and the three bull horns (we had two big ones and they had a puny single unit) had to be turned off. Nitro is the home of a pro-Kerry mayor, which may not have had any bearing on the fact (who knows) that the Kerryites were allowed to stay on the area where we had set up. We could not go to their area because it was private property. They continued to taunt us until we decided we had made a valuable point to them and passersby and were ready to leave. Even though the leaders of both sides had agreed to a mutual pullout the Kerryites still called us names as we left. We ended up staying 2.5 hours.

Unusual incidents:

1. Several local high-school/college age girls and an adult lady came out and joined with us which raised our numbers to over 20.

2. An off-duty (non-Nitro) cop (pro-Bush but a stranger to us) sat and observed. He came over to the Nitro cops and verified that our guy had been attacked. Our guy decided not to press charges.

3. Lady vet Pat and a vet's wife (see above) were holding the point of the grassed triangle median. When the cops arrived the second time they told the Kerryites (two others replaced the guys who had ran away) to move off the pavement. The Kerryites tried to crowd back into the ladies. Our gals did not yield and the Kerryites had to move back.

1 November 2004

Wow! Amazing! Wonderful! Electrifying! Stupendous! Incredible!

What a joy it is to write this final Hold the Line AAR because it was such a tremendous experience that 12 vets and 9 supporters had tonight. We out flanked the Kerryites by calling the media and talk shows and leading everyone to think we would be back on the Nitro side of the Nitro-St. Albans bridge in front of Kamp Kerry. Instead we set up at 4:30 on the St. Albans side where the traffic is much heavier and the bulk of the Nitro traffic has to filter through to cross the river.

As always passersby gave us a great reception, but what brought on all of the introductory superlatives was what happened after we pulled everyone into the Tim Horton's lot at 6:00. If you were there to witness it you would have been amazed along with the "troops" who were present. We could not shut down! Motorists kept up a nearly constant stream of horn honking. I could not have written a movie script that would have been a more inspiring final Hold the Line than this experience. We were trying to gather for a group photo and we kept having to break up and go to the sidewalks to wave and hold signs! If we had paid a hundred motorists to drive around the block it would not have been better! There were some appropriate "rah-rah" shouting and our boom box was playing patriotic songs. It was a victory party for the WV Vets for Bush.

With due respect to combat vets our little "Band of Brothers and Sisters" did our part in our part of the country to stand against the leftists that want to take over America by electing Kerry to promote their extremist and un-American agenda. We were united in our dedication to protecting America from terrorists and supporting Vietnam vets and current military personnel.

WE HELD THE LINE. WE HELD THE LINE. WE HELD THE LINE. WE HELD THE LINE

Unusual incidents:

1. Two women with small Kerry signs came to one of the corner's we were on. They were not the typical hateful Kerryites we have frequently met so I am guessing they came out spontaneously. A MU student who joined with us yesterday brought her sign "Women for Bush" and stood between them.

2. We had heavy rain today, but this evening was short-sleeve pleasant.

3. The vet who was in charge of Kamp Kerry brought his 4 X 8" sign over at about 5:45 and set up on a corner and began using his small bull horn. Sally bluffed him that the police told us we could not use bull horns. I wonder if the guy is on the Kerry payroll. If not, I have to give him credit for working hard for what he believes in. Also, he apologized to our guy who was attacked yesterday.

4. We had a new professionally made large sign "Freedom Isn't Free" that really got us inspired. I wish we had had the sign several weeks ago.

5. A lady drove by and saw us. She went home and made a sign "70-80% of Our Troops Support Bush" and came back to stand with us. Her son-in-law is in the Army and headed for Iraq. She stayed on the until 7:30 when we left for home after a meal. Our man Jesse was out there with her.

6. A new vet pulled over and joined us. He was pumped up and disappointed that he just now found out about us. He took a 4 X 8' sign and said he would not leave as long as the Kerry women were there. He was still standing when we drove away!

7. A little romance has developed. A young (college age) girl stopped to give us water at Patrick St. and ended up holding a sign with us. She got with us again at the Town Center and a Republican young man also just "happened" to pass by and decided to stand with us. They ended up holding a 4 X 8' sign together and I think cupid was sitting on the sign. Tonight they held another 4 X 8' sign together.

2 November 2004

Although we were not part of the Republican party we did make ourselves welcome at the Republican shindig on election eve at the Embassy Suites. The Democrats were at the Marriott which shares the same parking garage. It was interesting to see the opposing bumper stickers as we walked out of the garage.

The WV Vets set up at a table in the front of the room and hung our WWW web sign and “Freedom Isn't Free” sign on the wall overlapping a huge banner saying "West Virginia is Bush Country". John, Sally, and Penny were the life of the party. John got a song dedicated to the Vets and then he walked around with one of our signs hanging on his back. He had his usual MIA ball cap on his head. At one point Penny and Sally went around the ballroom carrying our huge flip flops and the "Flush Both Johns" sign. This really got the place rocking.

I didn't notice any alcoholic beverages at our table, but we sure had a good time.

It is apparent that wonderful friendships have developed from our service together.

HISTORY AND HONOR

Rick A. and I started going to the streets in August. Originally we just wanted to have a press conference to let the public know that there were others besides Republicans (Rick is a Democrat) that were pro-Bush. The press ignored us, but while we waited for the press to come people started honking. I held an “Independents for Bush” sign and Rick held a “Vets for Bush” sign which we had had professionally printed. Our signs were just intended for a photo op with the press, but the unexpected results led me to call a local talk show and tell the listeners what had happened

The host suggested we call in on a cell phone if we did it again. So we chose a few heavily traveled sites and counted pro and con hand signals for one hour during several rush hours. The results indicated seeing us prompted a lot of response.

Since I would not have been listening to much local talk radio it was unusual that I heard John B. call in and identify himself as a vet and say he wanted to get in touch with other vets. I called him and found out he wanted to get a group of pro-Bush vets together. John Edwards was scheduled to visit Nitro in a few days so John started calling the talk shows and we got Bryant B. and another vet to join us to greet Edwards as he left the airport on the way to Nitro. After Edwards buzzed by John, Bryant, Rick and I went to wait on him after his gig in Nitro. The rest of the history of the West Virginia Vets for Bush is recorded in our "After Action Reports". (Note: Pat had picketed Kerry earlier during Kerry’s visit to Huntington. She had been harassed by union thugs at that time.)

The group of vets that formed was truly an amazing diverse mix of personalities and strong-headed individuals which formed a team that was very close-knit and coordinated. Decisions were made as a team and with a core group of about six with a very loyal group of about six others we developed a roster of around 40 vets.

Vets John, Mark, Patricia, Joe, Rick A., Bryan, Sally and Dick: were rock solid and the best of the best. They stood for hours through severe pressure and often uncomfortable weather. You sacrificed and found ways to get the job done. I am honored to know you.

Vets Rick G., Jesse, Dan, Richard, Chester, Skip, Harold, Jeff, Donald, James, and Ben were out there more than once and kept our ranks strong. Their service was of tremendous value to our effort.

Vets Fred, Bobby, Mike, and Butch stood proud the time they were with us.

Many other vets signed on, but were unable to make it to an event were a part of us and very much appreciated.

Much honor should go to the spouses: Audrey, Melody, Penny, and Johnny who stood with us and the other spouses who gave home support.

Thanks goes to Noel who often operated the video camera and to Tony and his lovely wife Melissa who stood with us.

We owe a great big "Hu-rah" to O. P. who set up the Vets4Bush website and offered us a lot of encouragement and "Atta boys".

They all have served their country well--both in the military and in the political realm.

FOLOWING ARE SOME COMMENTS FROM SOME OF OUR “BAND”:

Mere words cannot express my joy in being able to hold the line with you guys. I am proud to call you all brothers and sisters. We were the driving force in this area in helping to make people aware of what the country was facing if Kerry was elected after telling the lie that has been a wound on our soul for 33 years. It will have a bearing on our children and grandchildren and how they will be able to look back and say my Mom or Dad helped hold the Line so that I could be free to make the right choice. If I die this very minute I will die proud and happy because of my friends who did not remain silent and stood the watch with me one last time. God Bless each and everyone of you. Be proud of how you all played an important role in saving this. (Dan)

It was just an honor to stand with fellow veterans who had the same goal. I salute everyone who held the line or supported those who did. (Rick G.)

This election for me had but one exception over all the others. This election I was moved by a cause and went out on the line to make a difference. In our lives we are all motivated by examples. We call them mentors, heroes, and teachers to cite just a few, but in the end they all inspire us to improve and contribute. My fellow veterans and friends, we have done just that. It’s a great feeling isn’t it? Life is a series of events that shape us till the day we die. This experience with all of you has been uplifting and educational. As I move through this life and again hear the phrase, “Hold the Line,” I will always remember the great times I had with all of you. Please accept the sharpest and the most respectful salute this old door gunner can muster. You all deserve it! (Mark)

I was pleased with the approach and conduct of our operation. (Chester)

I really am proud to have served our country with you guys once again. Ever since I left the military something has been missing and I feel like I got a part of it back with all you guys. We are all brothers and sisters who have a cause greater than us or any American who is not a vet I felt that brother and sisterhood which only us vets know about. You are all a wonderful group of vets. I personally salute each and everyone of you. God Bless Our troops and may god bless our vets and their families. (Jesse)

I had a great time when I was able to be seen fighting for another great cause for our country and to stay the course. (Richard)

It was an honor for me to work with a group of fellow veterans and I now feel I can call each and every one of them my friends. (Joe)

I felt like the whole thing, from stat to finish, was a great campaign for the heart and soul of America. Every night was like an historic occasion. We were willing to stand up for the good of the country as opposed to personal gain. (Rick A.)

I was proud to have been a member of a group that demonstrated conduct and willingness to work for their convictions. I was elated by the support we received from drivers and vets and others who stopped and personally told us of their admiration and support for what we were doing. (Dick)

We came together as diversified a group as you could imagine, did our job, and formed a group that will long be remembered. (Bryant)

The times I attended there was an immense amount of energy. Particularly the last Hold The Line was a phenomenal experience. myself look forward to further functions and having more involvement with this outstanding unit. (Tony)

I heard Karl Priest on talk radio tell about holding up signs for Bush and how a large percentage of people blew the horn for the President! That gave me the idea to call in and give my pager number for Veterans to join a group against John Kerry! Before long a group of Democrats, Republicans, Independents who were veterans of Vietnam, Korea, World War II and both Iraq Wars joined together to defeat Hanoi John (WVaVets4Bush). We made friends and formed a bond and I will never forget this as long as I live! (John)

Everyone did their part. We cannot compare, because each part we did was extremely important. Each individual, all the handmade signs, every personality came together to accomplish the mission. It's been grand to work together on this mission! ( Pat)

(This report is respectfully filed by Karl Priest--author of the After Action Reports documenting the experiences.) of the West Virginia Vets in the Fall of 2004.)

LEGACY INDEX