The Dillard Doctrine

Urban Conservative Commentary on Politics & Life

In Defense of Freedom

(updated with a few more points, now that I’m a little more awake)

It’s been a hell of a weekend.

I’ve been in DC with Eagles Up and Gathering of Eagles (as well as several other groups) showing support for our military, and also speaking out about the Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) “Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan” forum. A recap of the weekend’s events:

Thursday: Meet up with some Eagles from NJ, MD, VA, and NC to deliver copies of a petition to the Senate Armed Services Committee. We were warmly received by everyone’s staff (the senators were tied up in budget votes at the Capitol), regardless of what their senator’s position on the war was.

Came up to DC from Richmond, and spent the day out at the National Labor College in Silver Spring, MD (where IVAW was hanging out for the day). On the way over, I spoke with a gentleman from Vermont and another couple who were there to support IVAW. We had an interesting and civil discussion during the 30 minute ride over to the campus. I’ll say this; we didn’t agree on everything, but we at least heard each other out. It’s good to speak from a place of reason and intelligence, rather than just reciting talking points.

Us Eagles were small in number (not more than a hundred, I’m guessing), but our spirits were all high. We lined BOTH sides of New Hampshire with flags, patriotic signs (with a couple of jabs mixed in for fun, including a great sign that plainly said, “Winter Soldier My Ass”)…and the people that passed us by were EXTREMELY supportive. Lots of horn blowing, waving, etc.

Lots of media as well….though they seemed to stay inside for the most part (figures, huh?) A few independent media types came out and spoke to us, as well as one guy from the Washington Post. Here’s his video (and in fairness, it covers both sides). As of this morning (3/16) I’ve run across two stories on the Post about the events, both here and here)

Not too much harassment between the two sides, until….

Friday night: I had the honor of meeting one of the most wonderful ladies I’ve ever met: Ms. Beverly Perlson, founder of Band of Mothers (her son is serving in the Army). And I had an opportunity to reacquaint myself with some of the dumbest people I’ve ever met: Code Pink.

We were out at Walter Reed AMC with the DC Chapter of Free Republic (miss you guys!!). We had all four corners of the hospital’s main entrance lined with flags and signs. And, just as in Silver Spring, passers-by were very supportive of us.

Ms. Perlson decided it would be a good night to share a couple of thoughts with the people of Code Pink…..and she marched right down to where they were and did just that. She stood toe to toe with anyone she felt she needed to talk to, and had it out with them. God bless her, Band of Mothers (you ladies are awesome!!) and all the parents of our military.

One of our chants is “Code Pink stinks!” Well, that’s not just figurative. Some of their people really do smell. Badly. And they can’t sing. But, damn if they can’t yell in your ear. In fact, their whole argument was “all we are saying, is give peace a chance” yelled as loudly as possible. You couldn’t talk to them about anything else. I tried my best to have a discussion with one of them, and she went on and on about how all she saw was destruction when she went to Iraq.

Saturday: We had a great rally by the Washington Monument, followed by a march down Constitution Avenue. More flags, patriotic signs, and more supportive bystanders. During the march, we had a group of schoolchildren get off their bus in the middle of the street and join us for a few blocks. Proof that all of today’s youth aren’t lost.

After the rally, some of the NY Eagles wanted to head back out to Silver Spring, since they had missed our Friday trip. On our way from the rally, we ran into a guy sporting an “Obama 08” shirt who wanted to recite anti-war talking points. Didn’t want to hear anything we had to say, and used a different point to try and refute our arguments (until he started recycling them!).

Back out to Silver Spring. A few less people, flags and signs than Firday….but no less support for us. I took a few minutes to stand close to the college’s entrance holding up a sign that said “IVAW: Traitors and Liars.”

One member of IVAW, as he was taking a break, came and asked me why I was holding the sign. I told him why (explaining that if there was nothing to hide, they wouldn’t be holed up in a panel that was closed to the general public). He told me he was a vet; I told him I was too, and offered to shake his hand. To which he responded, “I’m not going to shake your hand as long as you’re holding that sign.” So I put it down….and still no handshake. You have to love these characters.

Several thank-you’s from this trip:

COL Riley with Eagles Up!: It was an honor to stand by your side. Your enthusiasm and spirit are unequaled.

CAPT Bailey with GoE: Thanks for giving me a space to lay my head when my body finally shut down!

Mike Dennin with GoE: Thank you. We missed you up here.

Ms. Perlson: You’ve always got a bodyguard when you need one!

The ladies of A Solider’s Wish List: A thank you, and an apology….you gave me a calendar at the rally, I had to pass it off to someone to hold for me while I was with COL Riley….and I didn’t get it back!!! Got another one?

Carolyn with GoE: Great working with you on Thursday, and thanks for the ride to the hotel.

Gunny Hoffa with Eagles Up!: You’re a great motivator.

Dan with GoE: Thanks for allowing me to carry the Navy flag again.

The Rubicon: Look forward to learning from you.

Every veteran who participated, especially those from Vietnam: Thanks for taking a young vet under your wing and encouraging me. The interviews I gave weren’t just for me and my generation, they were for you guys as well.

Kevin, Fernando, and Coletta: Somehow, we gotta figure out how to get more of “us” out for these events!! Had a great time.

There’s several other who I met and spoke to over the weekend. I don’t remember all your names, but it was an honor to stand with you all. For every handshake, hug, encouraging word…thank you.

Hebrews 10:25 says, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another.” Come April, we’ll be back in DC again….and I look forward to seeing you all there.

We gave ’em hell!!




Written by Coby Dillard

March 16, 2008 at 12:20 am

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  1. […] earlier posts on Winter Solider are here and here. This Ain’t Hell covered the “testimony” at the Congressional […]

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