FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Mother of a US Soldier Speaks Out for Peace

by FRAN QUIGLEY

Like everyone else at the frigid peace rally on Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis, the woman with the long brown hair was bundled up almost beyond recognition. But unobscured was the huge photograph she carried of a young man in U.S. Army dress uniform. The woman was handing out copies of a handwritten letter and attached photographs she had sent several months before.

Carol Korreck Whiteland, Indiana 46184

Oct. 10, 2002

Dear Mr. Bush,

This is my son Tim. You have been referring to him as “military force.”

A majority of Americans oppose President Bush’s headlong rush toward war in Iraq. They worry about the U.S. military and Iraqi civilians in harm’s way, or about the increased risk for anti-U.S. terrorism and the frightening precedent of a unilateral pre-emptive strike. Carol Korreck worries about all that, too. But her main concern is much closer to home.

I want you to be continually mindful of the fact that your “military force” has a mother and two sisters that want you to value his life as we do. Not only do you have the future of our nation to decide, you have my son’s future in your hands.

When he graduated from Whiteland High in the spring of 2001, Tim Korreck thought enrolling in the army was the best course for his future. Carol is a single mother and money for college was going to be tight. The clincher for Tim was when he learned he would receive a $16,000 bonus for signing up for the infantry.

The need for money is a common denominator for many of Tim’s army buddies. Our all-volunteer military is much more connected to Karen and her neighbors in Whiteland than to the men and women who are pushing for this war. Of the 535 members of the United States Congress, just one has a child in the enlisted ranks of the U.S. armed forces. Tim Korreck is in the Gulf, the President’s children are in college.

War is a last resort. We have not exhausted every other possible means in the fight against terrorism and Saddam Hussein and I don’t understand how you will personally justify loss of life if you don’t take every other option first.

Tim was home this past Christmas, but was shipped out to the Persian Gulf on Jan. 6, where he has been training non-stop. Carol has spent some of her nervous energy researching the possibilities for the urban warfare. Recently, she read how Tim and others will be trained to make a split-second decision whether the small figure approaching them is an innocent 7-year-old child or the carrier of a deadly explosive. “I keep saying to myself, it can’t happen, we can’t be going to war,” she says.

Every life last September 11th was a precious life cut short, but running into battle prematurely won’t bring anyone back and will only add to tragic loss. Every man or woman that your “military force” is comprised of is someone’s husband, wife, son or daughter. You have to make your decisions based on that fact.

Carol never had much use for politicians. But now she has written appreciative letters to Rep. Julia Carson (D-Indianapolis), who opposed the October war resolution, and Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), who reminds the President he is sending kids like Tim to war while kids from wealthier families watch the action from big-screen TV’s in their frat houses.

Carol is one of a growing number of war opponents with powerful claims on President Bush’s attention. The international community is lining up against the U.S.’ war plans. Combat veteran organizations have called for peace. Families of September 11th victims have organized themselves in a group called Peaceful Tomorrows, asking that no more killing be done in their name. So far, it does not seem to make a difference.

My son is nineteen and he has only one life. He is an infantry soldier in the army and willing to fight for his country if need be. America needs to be able to collectively hold its head high and believe there was no other option if we go to war. Don’t take that from us.

Carol won’t abide by any argument that she will have to support a war in order to support the troops. “I think even the people in our military know the difference between defending our country and being pawns in Bush’s power game, which is how I feel my son is being used,” she says. “I just don’t see any problem with being 100% behind our soldiers and also opposed to the war.”

Listen to the people and listen to what the world is telling you.

Carol Korreck

Three and a half months after sending the letter, she has received no answer.

FRAN QUIGLEY writes for Nuvo, the alternative paper in Indianapolis. He can be reached at: fquigley@nuvo.net

 

Fran Quigley is a professor at Indiana University McKinney School of Law, where he directs the Health and Human Rights Clinic. He is the author of How Human Rights Can Build Haiti (Vanderbilt University Press).

More articles by:
June 29, 2016
Diana Johnstone
European Unification Divides Europeans: How Forcing People Together Tears Them Apart
Andrew Smolski
To My Less-Evilism Haters: A Rejoinder to Halle and Chomsky
Jeffrey St. Clair
Noam Chomsky, John Halle and a Confederacy of Lampreys: a Note on Lesser Evil Voting
David Rosen
Birth-Control Wars: Two Centuries of Struggle
Sheldon Richman
Brexit: What Kind of Dependence Now?
Yves Engler
“Canadian” Corporate Capitalism
Lawrence Davidson
Return to the Gilded Age: Paul Ryan’s Deregulated Dystopia
Priti Gulati Cox
All That Glitters is Feardom: Whatever Happens, Don’t Blame Jill Stein
Franklin Lamb
About the Accusation that Syrian and Russian Troops are Looting Palmyra
Binoy Kampmark
Texas, Abortion and the US Supreme Court
Anhvinh Doanvo
Justice Thomas’s Abortion Dissent Tolerates Discrimination
Victor Grossman
Brexit Pro and Con: the View From Germany
Manuel E. Yepe
Brazil: the Southern Giant Will Have to Fight
Rivera Sun
The Nonviolent History of American Independence
Adjoa Agyeiwaa
Is Western Aid Destroying Nigeria’s Future?
Jesse Jackson
What Clinton Should Learn From Brexit
Mel Gurtov
Is Brexit the End of the World?
June 28, 2016
Jonathan Cook
The Neoliberal Prison: Brexit Hysteria and the Liberal Mind
Paul Street
Bernie, Bakken, and Electoral Delusion: Letting Rich Guys Ruin Iowa and the World
Anthony DiMaggio
Fatally Flawed: the Bi-Partisan Travesty of American Health Care Reform
Mike King
The “Free State of Jones” in Trump’s America: Freedom Beyond White Imagination
Antonis Vradis
Stop Shedding Tears for the EU Monster: Brexit, the View From the Peloponnese
Omar Kassem
The End of the Atlantic Project: Slamming the Brakes on the Neoliberal Order
Binoy Kampmark
Brexit and the Neoliberal Revolt Against Jeremy Corbyn
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Alabama Democratic Primary Proves New York Times’ Nate Cohn Wrong about Exit Polling
Ruth Hopkins
Save Bear Butte: Mecca of the Lakota
Celestino Gusmao
Time to End Impunity for Suharto’’s Crimes in Indonesia and Timor-Leste
Thomas Knapp
SCOTUS: Amply Serving Law Enforcement’s Interests versus Society’s
Manuel E. Yepe
Capitalism is the Opposite of Democracy
Winslow Myers
Up Against the Wall
Chris Ernesto
Bernie’s “Political Revolution” = Vote for Clinton and the Neocons
Stephanie Van Hook
The Time for Silence is Over
Ajamu Nangwaya
Toronto’s Bathhouse Raids: Racialized, Queer Solidarity and Police Violence
June 27, 2016
Robin Hahnel
Brexit: Establishment Freak Out
James Bradley
Omar’s Motive
Gregory Wilpert – Michael Hudson
How Western Military Interventions Shaped the Brexit Vote
Leonard Peltier
41 Years Since Jumping Bull (But 500 Years of Trauma)
Rev. William Alberts
Orlando: the Latest Victim of Radicalizing American Imperialism
Patrick Cockburn
Brexiteers Have Much in Common With Arab Spring Protesters
Franklin Lamb
How 100 Syrians, 200 Russians and 11 Dogs Out-Witted ISIS and Saved Palmyra
John Grant
Omar Mateen: The Answers are All Around Us
Dean Baker
In the Wake of Brexit Will the EU Finally Turn Away From Austerity?
Ralph Nader
The IRS and the Self-Minimization of Congressman Jason Chaffetz
Johan Galtung
Goodbye UK, Goodbye Great Britain: What Next?
Martha Pskowski
Detained in Dilley: Deportation and Asylum in Texas
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail