Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Galvez Family Speaks Out

Family Urges War Support
by Matthew D. LaPlante, Salt Lake City Tribune

Many in her country had turned against the war. The mayor of her city was organizing a protest against the president. And the insurgents in Iraq, Amy Galvez feared, were growing bolder by the day.

Galvez decided she had heard enough.

Hoping her words might persuade those who support the president, the war and the troops in Iraq to assemble in a great demonstration of patriotism and support, Galvez sat at her computer and began to type.

"My son, who is a resident of Salt Lake City, is now in Iraq," she wrote in an e-mail to The Salt Lake Tribune on Sunday. "American lives have been lost in this war because the enemy has been emboldened by our own words, actions and lack of support for our own mission."

Galvez was still sitting at her computer when she heard a car door close outside her northwest Salt Lake City home. Peering through the window, she saw two Marines coming up the walk.

Adam Galvez, 21, was killed Sunday in Iraq's volatile Al Anbar province in a roadside bomb attack that claimed the life of two other members of his battalion.

His death, the 2,607th U.S. fatality confirmed by the Department of Defense, comes as his hometown is bracing for the arrival of President Bush, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who are scheduled to address the national convention of the American Legion next week at the Salt Palace Convention Center.

The city's mayor, Rocky Anderson, has pledged to protest the visit and has invited Cindy Sheehan, a prominent war protester who lost her son in Iraq, to speak at an anti-war demonstration.

Inside her home, now adorned by a flag at half-staff, on Tuesday, Amy Galvez said she was more determined than ever to ensure the mission for which her son fought and died is supported back home.

"I don't want Cindy Sheehan and Rocky Anderson to be the only voices the world hears," Galvez said Tuesday evening from the living room of her home in northwest Salt Lake City, not far from the airport where Air Force One is scheduled to touch down next week. "I want our voices to be heard. I want the world to know that our troops are wonderful."

And, she said, she wants people to know that her son made a choice to serve his country and was proud of his mission in Iraq.

The day after Adam Galvez was killed, family members were given a copy of a letter, written to a close friend, in which the Marine confirmed his support for the war in Iraq, Galvez's parents said.

That support remained, they said, even after Adam Galvez - trained as a mechanic but often assigned to patrols of Anbar's dangerous streets - stood above the rubble of a U.S. military post struck by a suicide bomber and listened as, one by one, the voices of several fellow Marines fell silent.

Galvez told his parents he was suffering from nightmares about the July 29 attack, in which he was injured and four others were killed.

Still, the parents said, their son remained confident that his mission was just.

And Tony Galvez said he had remained confident his son, the second of three children in the Galvez family, would return home safely.

"I had no doubt he was coming home," the grieving father said. "It never crossed my mind that he wouldn't come home."

Adam Galvez, who attended West High School and the Horizonte Instruction and Training Center, where he graduated in 2003, was due back from Iraq next month.

But Tony Galvez also believed, as his wife did, that the insurgents his son was fighting were growing more dangerous. And he, too, believes that those who question the justness of the war have gone too far.

"You can't support the troops but be against the war," he said. "It just doesn't work." mlaplante@sltrib.com

The following is the text of an e-mail to The Salt Lake Tribune from Amy Galvez. The letter was written just hours before she learned her son, Adam, had been killed in Iraq. Adam was killed in the same attack that claimed the lives of LCpl Randy Newman of Bend, Oregon, and Hospitalman Chadwick T. Kenyon, 20, of Tucson, Arizona

From: Amy Galvez
To: mlaplante@sltrib.com
Subject: Mayor Anderson and Cindy Sheehan
Date: Sun, 20 Aug 2006 14:00:02 -0700 (PDT)

Once again, it is time for the voices of military families to be heard. As the time approaches for Mayor Rocky Anderson, joined by Cindy Sheehan, to raise their voices and denounce the job my son and other servicemen are doing, I cannot remain silent. I understand that many people do not support the war in Iraq, the global war on terror. Many would rather wait until something happens here at home and deal with it then. That is fine to have that opinion. What is not fine, is an elected official speaking to the world and condemning the job our service men and women are doing. But, it hits closer to home than that. My son, who is a resident of Salt Lake City, is now in Iraq. He was sent there by the United States to do a job. The Mayor of Salt Lake City will grab headlines by speaking out against the job my son, a resident of his city, is doing. I know that Mayor Anderson says he supports the troops but not the war. You cannot say you support the troops and tell the world that what they are doing is wrong. Mayor Anderson's words will play worldwide. This will be seen on Aljazeera TV and throughout the communities where America is hated. I believe that the words of Mayor Anderson, as well as other elected officials who speak out against our military and their mission, in essence, give support and momentum to the enemy. This, in turn, puts the lives or our sons, fighting on our behalf, in greater jeopardy. I heard it appropriately put by Tammy Bruce, who said "when you make the world mad at the Marines, it is easier to kill them." My belief is that American lives have been lost in this war because the enemy has been emboldened by our own words, actions and lack of support for our own mission. America will always be hated by many throughout the world. That won't change. Regardless of your politics, supporting our military, who is mostly made up of very young American volunteers, should be our foremost concern. Mayor Anderson should go before the cameras and say thank you to every American troop, especially those from Salt Lake, for their heroic duty instead of undermining their efforts.

Amy Galvez, Proud American and Very Proud Marine Mom

Both articles are from the Salt Lake City Tribune

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