Thursday, December 8, 2011

In Response to Thomas Walker of Iowa State University

To Thomas Walker:

Upon reading your extremely misinformed letter to the editor of the Iowa State Daily on December 5th, 2011 I feel the obligation to provide you with a rebuttal to your remarks.

The College Republican Care Package Boxing Event that was held this past weekend was done in partnership with the Iowa Troop Pantry from Iowa City Iowa. Since its inception on July 26, 2010 we have sent over three tons of much needed supplies to deployed service members from Iowa. We take pride in our ability to provide support and care for service members who have volunteered to be in the Armed Forces.

In your letter you state, "Doesn't the U.S. Army victual its soldiers? Don't their families send them yuletide goodies? Aren't GIs paid enough to buy what they need, and even what they want?"

The U.S. Army does not provide it's service members with adequate supplies. We have had requests from units who only receive one meal per day. Additionally, they do not have adequate hygiene supplies (including, but not limited to: shampoo, body wash, deodorant, shavers, shaving cream, etc.). Last Christmas, a unit of Marines was overrun with vermin and requested mouse traps from us that they could not obtain from the PX. Clearly, they aren't given everything that they need.

Not all service members receive "yuletide goodies". In fact, some of them receive no mail at all. It is for this reason that we send multiple packages to unit leaders to disperse to service members who receive nothing.

As for financial compensation to buy what they need -- do you think that they can just take out their debit cards and walk down to the local Hy-Vee over there? They are limited by location and supply of items available. Some of the locations of Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) are located high in the mountains. Not to mention the fact that leaving the confines of that FOB is extremely dangerous.

You may not have any respect for the men and women that have volunteered for the Armed Forces but there are many more citizens of this country who will continue to support them despite public opinion.

If you should ever feel the need to gain some real-life knowledge of the importance of care packages and supporting the Armed Forces, please feel free to contact me. We would be happy to have you volunteer to pack some care packages.

A. Maria Tyson
President, Iowa Troop Pantry

P.O. Box 3032
Iowa City, Iowa 52244
iowatrooppantry@gmail.com

25 comments:

  1. I would like to invite Thomas Walker to the Fifth Annual Wreaths Across America Ceremony in Iowa City this Saturday. (10 Dec.) It would be a great start in his education of what it means to serve your country and see what true American heroes look like from currently enlisted to those who have served in the Battle Of The Bulge!

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  2. As a veteran, I feel that Mr. Walker should be exiled to Iraq, so he can explain himself to the troops.

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  3. Amen nola juggalo. He is a poor example of a human. People can call his number to express themself to him. His number is 515-294-3568 which they posted on Fox News.

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  4. The military gets paid so incredibly much money they qualify for WIC and Food Stamps!!! Do they take it? Most do not.

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  5. NOTE: my email below included pictures of my so, his wife, and infant son.

    From: steven johnson [mailto:steven@lotusarts.net]
    Sent: Friday, December 09, 2011 8:08 AM
    To: 'editor@iowastatedaily.com'
    Subject: FW: my son
    Importance: High

    Dear Editor,

    I submit you my email to Thomas Walker in the hope that as an institution that supports education and open discussion of opinion, and that saw it fit to print Thomas Walker’s letter to you which obviously expressed a hugely closed minded arrogant point of view, you would allow me to express a personal response I have included below. Soldiers like my son DO SERVE those in NEED (in reference to your headline as if supporting a soldier abroad neglects the needy) around the world. Which I think ought to be an altruistic attitude an institution like yours would want to instill in its students!

    Thank you for your fair consideration,
    Steven Johnson



    ________________________________________
    From: steven johnson [mailto:steven@lotusarts.net]
    Sent: Friday, December 09, 2011 7:38 AM
    To: 'twalker@iastate.edu'; 'geoffroy@iastate.edu'
    Cc: 'contact@iastate.edu'; 'gayle johnson'
    Subject: my son
    Importance: High



    This young man came to live with us along with his 2 sisters at age 8 after living 4 years in an orphanage in Iowa. At age 20 he decided he wanted to bravely serve his fellow Americans, without support but with our respect of his right to do so. He serves us to our pride as his parents.

    His wife is a naturalized citizen having come here as an international graduate student at Indiana University from Bulgaria.

    Their son has just turned 2 but won’t be spending Christmas with his father who is in Afghanistan as a crew member on a helicopter in southern Afghanistan that serves as transportation in remote areas as medical evacuation to the injured. He has written stories to us and to his mother’s elementary school students of their rescues of seriously ill Afghans including infants (not war related injuries either) and is proud of how he has helped save lives.

    If he was asked he would state he was serving his country to preserve the rights of his fellow Americans including yours.

    His intelligence, good heart, and service to others deserves a little gratitude from those of us who were merely by the luck of fate were born into this country and all the benefits it has given us compared to many other people in this world.

    He knows this first hand, by the poverty and suffering he saw in his first eight years of life in Asia, his trips to Egypt and Asia with myself his father, and now of which he writes about in Afghanistan.

    You may arrogantly think you are wise but your words belie your ignorance and misunderstanding of the world we live in.

    We pity you. Your words express a sad bitter cold heart. I’m glad neither of his younger sisters in college are your students. They would likely give you an earful.

    I include my cell number in the hope you would have the moral courage to call and discuss our differing opinions. Perhaps I could help to educate you. By the way, because men like you are often likely to be presumptive and dismissive of those that do not see things eye to eye with you; we aren’t gun toting bible thumping homophobes. As a matter of fact his mother, wife, and sister were avid supporters in the election of our president and did volunteer work for that campaign.

    Steven W. Johnson

    Cell 812-325-2988

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  6. correction my son came from an orphanage in Thailand not IOWA

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  7. He needs to join his komrade avery. Like I said, if these two bitches tried to do what we did for just one day, they'd beg and scream like the bitches (notice I didn't say women, because the women in my profession are exponentially more durable than they are) they are to go back to their cozy offices...

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  8. This is to All our men and women serving Our Great Nation in any part of the world Thank You! This is for Prof? Thomas Walker of Iowa State University,

    ...it's not the critic that counts;

    not the man who points out how the strong man
    stumbles;

    or whether the doer of deeds could have done
    them better;

    the credit belongs to the Man who is actually
    in the arena...
    Theodore Roosevelt

    FREEDOM isn't FREE Mr.Walker your free speech is!

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  9. Tom is an ignorant Pinhead. He should spend one holiday with our deployed service members. Many are teenagers and don't know what tomorrow will bring. I challange Ignorant Tom to spend one day in the sand. These gifts, even daily need essentials bring hope, boost moral and show them that someone is thinking about them --Andrew Schmachel, MSGT, USAF, RET
    Disabled American Veteran

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  10. from a military spouse:

    Both my husband and I were born and raised in Iowa and very proud of it. We are 17 years into the Air Force. When my husband has been deployed there is nothing that means more than a package from home full of goodies or a note from a child in school saying thank you. As far as our pay, Mr.Walker your are more than welcome to try living off our paycheck, we DO NOT do this for the money! The bottom line is that the comments that people like Thomas Walker make are meaningless, we have paid the price for them to have the freedom to leave this country and live somewhere else. Its the poeple who send the packages, say thank you and support us that mean somthing to us. Wasting our energy on this man and others like him is just pointless, I would rather dedicate my time to putting a smile on a soldiers face!

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  11. No wonder the regular citizenry holds higher education in such destain when the brain to finger connection is frequently sodomized by those who claim academic freedom or the 1st amendment. Thomas is a special lecturer. Probably destined to be a lecturer until the cows come a calling.You just pissed off your brave new world by imitating Andy Rooney when you should be correcting essays in red ink. Good luck bub.

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  12. An open letter to MR. Walker:

    Sir - your missive amounts to nothing more than 21st Century graffiti stating your disdain for soldiers, their families and us common folk who choose to support them. It’s your right to stand on the sideline cheerleading by squealing, “Harass them Harass them make them relinquish the ball”. But why? To what end? Just to make others uncomfortable or angry? You can do better.

    At present, your conclusory writing infused with $10 words limits you. In short, go be and do something other than rant. It is beneath you. Instead do something constructive and get into the game of helping out your fellow man.

    First read Eric Greiten’s Heart and Fury – a PhD Rhodes Scholar humanitarian turned Navy Seal. Then turn your spare time, talent and intellect into something more useful and purposeful than poor writing with a computer turned spray can. Pick a cause to stand for and go out and make it happen rather than merely picking out an idea that you can object to from home. If your ideas and efforts are worthy, people will follow your example.

    And then go to Walter Reed, Bethesda or any VA and meet the soldiers past and present. Soldiers like the young Marine Ben – shot through the head, missing a bunch of his brain. All he wants is a hot meal (Shepherds beef pie specifically) and to return to his men. He got his meal and he’s back at Camp Le June now. Or SSG Mike – missing his left leg and the use of his left arm. After 4 tours of combat, 2 purple hearts and despite his injuries he’s still serving in the Army. You see when they have names and faces it’s really hard to talk about them so hatefully.

    No matter what you choose, know tonight somewhere there’s a soldier that despite being cold or hot, dusty or muddy, afraid and alone, he’s doing his duty so you can enjoy the comforts of academia.

    And if you can’t find it in you to do something useful, practice the lesson your momma should have taught you - “Thomas – If you can’t say anything nice, just keep quiet.”

    Jeff S.

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  13. There is a place for everything and a time for most things unfortunatly there is not enough time in a lifetime to honestly waste any more time on you Mr Walker I hope the classes you teach have students with more class than you...

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  14. I find Bob Beckel's idea the most interesting on Fox. Beckel is probably as liberal as they come. Even a liberal can see how foolish Walker's comments are. Beckel suggest Walker get letters tainted with cat pee. Here kitty kitty!

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  15. You Mr. Thomas, have no business educating the impressionable minds that unfortunately enter into your presence on a daily basis. And pity those that believe you to be a valuable asset to the university. It is because of free speech (thank you soldiers, past and present, and forefathers) that you won't be drug out of your classroom, shot on site, or thrown in a prison for your beliefs. Whilst you occupy your comfortable life and sip your caramel machiato every morning; men and women listen to ammunition whistle past their heads. But your free speech does not bar, or protect you from a person excersing their democratically free-will of throwing you a beating, scumbag!

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  16. Those who can do. Those who can't teach.

    I find this to be truer and truer with each passing day.

    I had a few amazing teachers in my life....a very few.

    Mr. Walker couldn't shine their shoes.

    Signed,

    An Army Brat For Life

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  17. TOM YOU ARE A DISGRACE TO IOWA, THE UNIVERSITY, HIGHER LEARNING, THIS NATION & YOURSELF. YOU MAY HAVE A COMMAND OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, BUT YOU ARE IGNORANT TO THE POINT OF RIDICULOUS. YOUR FREEDOM OF SPEECH THAT ALLOWS YOU TO DISPLAY YOUR STUPIDITY CAME AT A VERY HIGH PRICE. NOT ONE YOU OR APPARENTLY ANYONE IN YOUR EXTENDED FAMILY HAD TO PAY. YOU SOUND LIKE A COMPLETE IDIOT NOT A TEACHER. IT'S TEACHERS LIKE YOU THAT WE DO NOT NEED. TRULY, IT'S CITIZENS LIKE YOU THAT WE DO NOT NEED. HOWEVER, YOU ARE "FREE" TO SPEW YOUR VENOMOUS, INHUMANE DRIBBLE & BOAST YOUR CLOSED MINDED, PATHETIC IDEAS. YOU SIR ARE NOT VESTED IN THE FREEDOM FOR WHICH THIS COUNTRY STANDS. YOU NEED TO WALK A MILE IN A SERVICE MANS SHOES. OH, BUT THAT WOULD ASK TOO MUCH OF SUCH A COWARDLY LITTLE PERSON AS YOURSELF. YOU CAN WOLLOW IN YOUR IGNORANT BLISS BECAUSE OF THOSE WHO UNDERSTAND FREEDOM & WANT TO KEEP US A FREE NATION. YOU SIR, ARE PATHETIC.

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  18. Professor Walker demonstrates only his intellectual arrogance and disregard for human decency.

    Signed,

    Lynn Ridenhour, PhD
    Retired Professor

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  19. It is generally those who have much and give little, that appreciate others the least.

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  20. Freedom is Not Free....I am awestruck at the ignorance of this professor. I hope his position is not tenured...since his misinformation is vast concerning the military and their needs.

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  21. Don't put too much stock in what the bombastic "professor" has to say. He is a lecturer. Look in your dictionary. Professor is used to designate high rank. There is NO CATEGORY LOWER THAN LECTURER. However, the day you see "Thomas Walker, PhD" attached to the sewage he spews, it won't mean he got any smarter. He is just mouth-foaming coward who would never see the day he had the guts to defend even himself, much less his country.

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  22. Merry Christmas, My Friend
    By James M. Schmidt, a Marine Lance Corporal
    Stationed in Washington, D.C., in 1986
    This is the original poem, before others reworded it for other branches

    Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
    In a one bedroom house made of plaster & stone.

    I had come down the chimney, with presents to give
    and to see just who in this home did live

    As I looked all about, a strange sight I did see,
    no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
    No stocking by the fire, just boots filled with sand.
    On the wall hung pictures of a far distant land.

    With medals and badges, awards of all kind,
    a sobering thought soon came to my mind.
    For this house was different, unlike any I'd seen.
    This was the home of a U.S. Marine.

    I'd heard stories about them, I had to see more,
    so I walked down the hall and pushed open the door.
    And there he lay sleeping, silent, alone,
    Curled up on the floor in his one-bedroom home.

    He seemed so gentle, his face so serene,
    Not how I pictured a U.S. Marine.
    Was this the hero, of whom I’d just read?
    Curled up in his poncho, a floor for his bed?

    His head was clean-shaven, his weathered face tan.
    I soon understood, this was more than a man.
    For I realized the families that I saw that night,
    owed their lives to these men, who were willing to fight.

    Soon around the Nation, the children would play,
    And grown-ups would celebrate on a bright Christmas day.
    They all enjoyed freedom, each month and all year,
    because of Marines like this one lying here.

    I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone,
    on a cold Christmas Eve, in a land far from home.
    Just the very thought brought a tear to my eye.
    I dropped to my knees and I started to cry.

    He must have awoken, for I heard a rough voice,
    "Santa, don't cry, this life is my choice
    I fight for freedom, I don't ask for more.
    My life is my God, my country, my Corps."

    With that he rolled over, drifted off into sleep,
    I couldn't control it, I continued to weep.

    I watched him for hours, so silent and still.
    I noticed he shivered from the cold night's chill.
    So I took off my jacket, the one made of red,
    and covered this Marine from his toes to his head.

    Then I put on his T-shirt of scarlet and gold,
    with an eagle, globe and anchor emblazoned so bold.
    And although it barely fit me, I began to swell with pride,
    and for one shining moment, I was Marine Corps deep inside.

    I didn't want to leave him so quiet in the night,
    this guardian of honor so willing to fight.
    But half asleep he rolled over, and in a voice clean and pure,
    said "Carry on, Santa, it's Christmas Day, all secure."

    One look at my watch and I knew he was right,
    Merry Christmas my friend, Semper Fi and goodnight.
    Sad at how many just dont get it!!!!! Open your eyes Mr. Walker. Those who have gone before us and continue to serve deserve way more then what we give them!!! Please dont take more from them.

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  23. Mr. Walker,

    As I sit in a remote operating base for my 4th deployed Christmas, you can imagine my surprise to see the details of your now legendary letter as reported on the news.

    I am currently on active duty entering my 22nd year of service. I am an Iowa native as well as a ISU alum. Both of which made the fact that a lecturer from such an exteemed university would believe it appropriate to make a deliberate inflamatory comment simply because you believe it's your right.

    It is indeed your right, and we will continue to support it to the death, as many service members do every day we are at war.

    As for your perception that we have everything we need, you may need to deviate from the English department and review your geography. Afghanistan in particulkar is land locked and supply is only available via indigenous trucking, or by air. The former is often delayed due to insurgents attacking the covoys.

    We routinely run out of basic toiletries, as well as reading material. The military makes every effort to ensure we are fed 3 healty meals a day, but imagine eating every meal in the worst school cafeteria in Iowa, and you can imagine our elation when an anonymous box of cookies or snacks arrives in the mail.

    In short, I was disheatened to learn that you hailed from my great state that I still boast of regularly. Furthermore, enjoy this Christmas at home with your family, the rest of us over paid, well supplied, service members will remain on the watch.

    Respectfully,

    Michael R, Bettendorf Class of 89'
    U.S. Army Special Operations Command

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  24. This guy is a piece of shit and should be sent to the front lines in Afghanistan. It is because of our soldiers past, present, future that give this asshole the right to express his thoughts. Maybe he should watch the restrepo documentary...then express himself and try to say our soldiers have everything they need.
    If you dont stand behind our troops...stand in front of them. God Bless America and our troops...

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  25. Many if not most of out universities and institutions of higher learning harbor guys like Thomas. they brainwash the students and turn them loose to become teachers, politicians, lawyers etc. Do you wonder why we are in such trouble. It starts at the University level and goes down hill from there.

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