Posted by: shannynmoore | February 19, 2009

Palin the Dawdler; Honoring Troops Not Exactly a Priority

I just learned a name.

Daniel Hansen.

Unknown emails I seldom open; this one I did. The grief and frustration came through. David, a United States Air Force Vietnam Veteran, wanting to know at what price will we win this war.

Daniel Hansen, a Marine, had been killed on Valentines Day in Afghanistan.

I googled him. Daniel Hansen. An article written in his home town paper mentioned a left behind fiancé. His mother was still upset over a dream she had of him saying goodbye-just hours before she was visited by full military dress officers. “We are here to inform you that your son, Sgt. Daniel Hansen, …” He died from an IED; a roadside bomb.

So, that’s how he died. How did he live? Who did he root for during the Superbowl? What were the songs on his i-Pod playlist? What did he order on his pizza?

I had a lousy Valentines Day…one Mrs. Hansen would have traded for in a second. Daniel’s parents will lay him to rest in Sterling, Alaska.

The email asked, “I just sit here and say at what price?”

I have no answer for David.

I have questions; questions for Governor Palin.

The Joined Armed Service Committee of Alaska is planning a Memorial Day ceremony to honor the dead servicemen from Alaska killed since Statehood. The logistics for such an event are enormous. This isn’t a Costco run…this is big. The Joined Armed Service Committee is in charge of this event, but their charter expired in January. The first order of business in Juneau during the opening of the session was to re-issue the Committee to insure the Memorial Day plans could stay on course. I’m a nerd for Senate and House Bills and I watched SB77 sail through. Introduced on January 22nd, it was through the Senate and the House, ready for the Governor’s signature on February 6th.

I’m against the war. I know the difference between the war and the warrior. Soldiers swear away their Constitutional rights to become what is truly called “servicemen.” I use mine to support them. Were there one K.I.A., I would support a service to honor them. Sadly, there are so many more.

How do you measure the space someone takes up reading the morning paper and drinking coffee? How do you mark the effects of a lost soul? How do you fill the missing piece? How can you know the difference they would have made? You can’t. But you honor the not knowing…the vacancy. You say their names out loud.flag_draped_coffins_23

It’s not too difficult to account for the governor’s time. There were the behind-the-scenes image-salvaging meetings regarding Senate Resolution 5, which found Todd Palin and the governor’s aides in Contempt of the Senate. There was the shady resignation of Attorney General Talis Colberg. Hosting Greta Van Sustren of FOXNEWS, up to interview daughter Bristol.

Finally, Sarah Palin found 2.4 minutes to sign the unanimous legislation to empower the The Joined Armed Service Committee. I looked at last years Oil and Gas Development Senate Bill 109 – it took Governor Palin about an hour to sign after passage. Same for Senate Bill 123 for PERS and TERS.  It took more the 10 DAYS to get the governor to sign SB77! And Palin’s autograph only came after a nastygram from an upset legislator asking WTF?

Honoring 50 years of war dead takes time.  Months and months of preparation and planning.  Memorial Day is only 90 days away.  There isn’t a day to spare.  All of the planning came to a halt when the charter of the Joined Armed Services Committee expired last month.  What should have been a rubber stamp stalled out with the dragging of Sarah Palin’s very expensive heels.

What was the hold up? Isn’t part of supporting the troops honoring the dead?

Tragically, the dead now include Marine Staff Sargent Daniel Hansen, 24 years old.  Daniel leaves behind his fiance, Emily Campbell.  They dated since 2004 and planned to marry in August.  Daniel is survived by his younger sister, Katie Anne, an Army Veteran; twin brother and fellow Marine Matthew; his parents, Delbert and Sheryll Hansen and granparents.

Matthew Hansen remembered his twin brother as a “real man, Marine, brother, son, grandson, friend, lover … a real hero.”



  1. Not to mention the fact that her own son is in country right now and is always a step away from being on that casualty list.

    Wonder if she is thinking of that in any way?? She says she supports the troops, part of supporting the troops is supporting and honoring the dead.

    This weekend on HBO if you get it is a special with Kevin Bacon called Taking Chance. If you get time watch it… powerful and it is about honoring our fallen. I have seen clips and heard them talking about it. Really lets you see how they are honored by their brothers (military) after they fall.

  2. Sad. Shows so little respect, what can the Gov be thinking?

  3. Kath,

    That’s just it. She wasn’t thinking about it. God forbid that it would take Track coming home in one of those flag-drapped coffins shown above before she shows interest in fallen soldiers. From what I can recall, she just recently did not attend or send in a video for a previous event honoring soldiers.

  4. Governor Palin is a media WHORE! She would have signed the bill if FOXNEWS were there to cover it. She is a predictable personality. She is completely motivated by self interest and national exposure. Anyone have recent popularity poll numbers on her???

  5. SP is a typical Rethug: ‘Supporting’ our troops in name only – NEVER in action!
    I guess another acronym for her, besides GINO (Governor In Name Only) : SOTINO (Support Our Troops In Name Only)

  6. “That’s just it. She wasn’t thinking about it. God forbid that it would take Track coming home in one of those flag-drapped coffins shown above before she shows interest in fallen soldiers.”

    You’re right. She made such a big show about Track being shipped out — blurting out the when and where unthinkingly — in her campaign speeches and interviews, but now when the nation isn’t watching her as closely, she’s back to her “me first” persona.

    It was the same way with the “special needs interest” she displayed during the campaign. She’s more interested now with cavorting with wealthy evangelists (as long as there are media along for the ride) than visiting group homes or hosting a special day for Anchorage DS children or approving rather than slashing the funding for social services grants proposed by the state legislature.

    Her 6-weeks-tardy photo-op trip to two western Alaska villages (only halfway to the coastal villages) with proselytizers in tow is just as cynical.

    Should I go on? There’s the Bristol/Greta interview, and “Mommy Dearest” and her snide comment to her daughter about “the joy”, then hogging the camera and Greta’s attention to babble another campaign talking point — oops, she wasn’t campaigning, was she?

  7. Daniel Hansen was raised in Tracy, CA and made his city very proud for years as he grew up and then with all his accomplishments and dedication to the United States Marine Corps. He served while guarding President Bush and two – 3 Star Generals. His family has received many calls from around the world from the many people that have been touched during Daniel’s life. The troops her worked with are missing a very vital link. He was a very upstanding gentleman, always. He made his parents, twin brother and sister very proud. That’s all they have now is memories of his generous, loving life.
    The Kevin Bacon movie was so close to what happened to Daniel and his family, it was almost ironic.
    There will be Memorial Services in Tracy – tomorrow, March 7, 2009 at the West High on Lowell Ave at 1:00 pm. We know that Tracy will come out and support our troops and show their support for our Fallen soldier.

  8. I served with Hansen through most of our training and while we were at Camp David. At his service I watched hardened Marines from fellow NCOs to a General nearly in tears as his family and his identical twin brother spoke over his coffin. He was a hero and an example in every sense of the word. He was a person who didn’t try to reach the bar, but set it so that others could use his smiling example to push themselves. He let everyone around him see the best in themselves and helped them to try to attain it. Even after the service when everyone got together to tell stories and fond memories of Hansen, you didn’t hear a single instance of when he was anything but the best and at anything but his best.
    Anyone who knew Daniel Hansen feels the loss as a personal blow.

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