Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Wanat: the families respond (III)

These people are serious. They are feeling let down by the Army. Here is a note from another bereaved parent: I’m the Father of Pruitt Rainey. I gave my testimony and my son’s last e-mails to me to Gen Natonski in Norfolk VA at the Naval base. They tell it all. What was going on ...

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567095_100713_6a00e398b071250001011016adccf5860d-500pi3.jpg

These people are serious. They are feeling let down by the Army. Here is a note from another bereaved parent:

I'm the Father of Pruitt Rainey. I gave my testimony and my son's last e-mails to me to Gen Natonski in Norfolk VA at the Naval base. They tell it all. What was going on and what was predicted at Wanat. I sat at Ft McPherson and listened and recorded what both Generals had to say. General Campbell and the DOD and especially Gen Petraeus really let my son down. The briefing was supposed to hopefully bring us some closure. It was supposed to be about Integrity. It was supposed to be about the Honor of our sons. It was supposed to be about the last respects we all pay to the ultimate  sacrifice our sons gave to our country.  

It turned out to be a complete whitewash and a smokescreen for the Army. I am ashamed my son was even in the Army. I feel so disrespected.

These people are serious. They are feeling let down by the Army. Here is a note from another bereaved parent:

I’m the Father of Pruitt Rainey. I gave my testimony and my son’s last e-mails to me to Gen Natonski in Norfolk VA at the Naval base. They tell it all. What was going on and what was predicted at Wanat. I sat at Ft McPherson and listened and recorded what both Generals had to say. General Campbell and the DOD and especially Gen Petraeus really let my son down. The briefing was supposed to hopefully bring us some closure. It was supposed to be about Integrity. It was supposed to be about the Honor of our sons. It was supposed to be about the last respects we all pay to the ultimate  sacrifice our sons gave to our country.  

It turned out to be a complete whitewash and a smokescreen for the Army. I am ashamed my son was even in the Army. I feel so disrespected.

I watched General Campbell smile and even laugh during his briefing especially when we were asking him questions. One question I asked him was, Did he speak with any other person or soldier that was at Wanat? He answered, “I read some of their statements.” I asked him a second time: Did you speak with any of the other 48 witnesses that were at Wanat? He again smirked and said, “I read some of their statements.” 

I came out of my chair and lost it. I held up a picture, 8×10. I demanded he look at my son’s picture and tell him you made the correct decision today. He walked up to me, looked, smirked, not one word, and walked away smiling again. What else can I say…

Secretary Gates and our President need to step up and do the right thing. Honor our sons, Honor all the sacrifices these soldiers gave to the Freedom we have.”

Frankie Gay

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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