Cpl. Timothy A. Swanson was killed by an IED in Iraq on January 27, 2007. Cpl. Swanson was 21 and one of three soldiers killed in the IED attack in Taji. According to My San Antonio, Cpl. Swanson was serving his second tour in Iraq. Keith Howard said that his son joined the Army to "basically serve his country, to see the world, to get an education, to become a man." Mr. Howard also said the army turned his son into a fine man.
According to reports across the Internet, the funeral and burial were beautiful and quite sad. The Patriot Guard rode in front of the procession carrying American flags. A Staff Sergeant, Cedric Frasier, who was injured in the blast that took the soldier's life stood to one side of the casket with his broken left arm in a sling. The General of Fort Sam presented Cpl Swanson's parents the Bronze Star for valor, the Purple Heart and the Army Good Conduct Medal.
But there was another group attending Cpl. Swanson's funeral. Compounding Keith and Dana Howard's grief over the loss of their son, they had to deal with protestors at the American Soldier's funeral. No it wasn't the creeps at the Westboro Baptist Church. This time it was Michael Blake and his comrades from Iraq Veterans Against the War.
According to KSAT, the family asked the group to leave immediately. How did Michael Blake respond to the grieving family's request? By spewing this vile screed to the media...
"I believe the family doesn't want us there because they are uncomfortable with the idea their son didn't agree with the war. They are uncomfortable with that idea. They cannot accept their son died for a lie."
Don't believe what the media reported? You can see the video here. According to KSAT, the family declined a request for an interview. Who could blame them?
Michael Blake even wrote his own personal eulogy to Cpl. Swanson for the IVAW website. Not content to dishonor just Cpl. Swanson's sacrifice, Blake proclaimed "the over three thousand American soldiers" also died for a lie.
So this group of anti-war "vets" actually went to a funeral of a fallen brother (who they claim hated the government, the Army and the war) and dishonored Cpl. Swanson's ultimate sacrifice with their "died for a lie" claims. This was not only disrepectful it was hateful and showed a complete lack of honor. Meanwhile Michael Blake tours the country with his anti-war tirades and claims of civilians murdered by soldiers while enjoying his Conscientious Objector status.
Retired Navy Captain Johnny Cotten said it best in the Corpus Christi Caller:
"Cpl. Swanson and others gave the ultimate for our freedom. We should have the decency to respect it. "
Thank you for your service and sacrifice Cpl. Timothy A. Swanson. May God keep the family and friends of Cpl. Swanson in his loving embrace.