Johnson: Marine mom protests as son trains for Iraq
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  1. #1

    Exclamation Johnson: Marine mom protests as son trains for Iraq

    Johnson: Marine mom protests as son trains for Iraq
    March 9, 2007
    Rocky Mountain News

    It has been nearly a year since Pamela Osborne's only child, Daniel, now 20, enlisted in the Marines, only days after graduating from high school.

    She respected her son's decision, given his reasons for wanting to join - the honor, discipline and dignity that comes with being a Marine, the money he would be eligible to receive for college after he completed his service.

    "He just always wanted to be a Marine," Pamela Osborne, 52, said.

    It is a curious thing to her still, she said, given her background and the way she had raised him. After all, she, for years, had carried him on her back during multiple protest rallies against everything from apartheid to you-name-it.

    "I guess I raised him not very well to be a peace activist," she said.

    "I am a practicing Buddhist who was raised in a Jewish family where I was taught that if you did not fight injustice and speak out against it, you condoned it."

    The grandest irony, she says, is here she is, her only son a Marine scheduled to ship out for Iraq in July, and she is a founder of the Colorado chapter of Military Families Speak Out, an anti-war group based in Denver.

    "Our group speaks out for our young sons and daughters who have no voice," Pamela Osborne said.

    "We are calling for the de-funding of the war, to bring the troops home now and to take care of them when they get home."

    I have lost count of the number of soldiers' mothers I have spoken with over the past four years. None has been more passionate - for or against the war - than Pamela Osborne.

    She was an outspoken critic of the war long before Daniel enlisted. She marched with Cindy Sheehan in Washington, D.C., two years ago, an experience that so moved her she started the Denver chapter immediately after returning home.

    At first, it was just she and two other women, both with Marine sons serving in Iraq. The Denver chapter now has more than 20 members, she said.

    "Most are dealing with the day-to-day stress of their children being in Iraq," Pamela Osborne said.

    "We often call each other in the middle of night to give emotional support. We cry a lot.

    "Mostly we try to listen to the media and try to educate people who hear only the rhetoric about what is really going on."

    When Danny enlisted, she held her tongue. And then the calls from her son began arriving.

    He'd made it through boot camp and specialized training on a mortar crew when his new orders arrived late last year.

    The Marines, he was told, no longer needed mortar men in Iraq. Rather, he would now be assigned as a scout for improvised explosive devices, the No. 1 killer of U.S. troops in the war.

    "He was told he probably will die, that the casualty rate was 300 out of 1,000 for troops with his assignment, that if he died protecting his platoon, it was OK," Pamela Osborne said.

    In recent weeks, her son has been reassigned as a Humvee driver in a mechanized squad, she said, his training in that job cut short by the U.S. military's "surge" in the Baghdad area.

    "He . . . has assured me he is OK, that he will go, if only to make sure everyone in his platoon comes back home alive," she said. "I am just hoping he grows a bond and a trust with his new squad."

    Her son, Pamela Osborne said, knows well what she is doing. She rejects any argument that her activism is hurting her son and other troops.

    "We are the Americans who are actually listening to the troops, the ones who are providing them food, care packages, who are raising money to buy them armor. I know I will have to pay for armor for Danny," she said.

    "I'm doing it for him and for his squad members - anything I can do to support them."

    If her critics had teenagers or children actually in the military, perhaps they would see her work differently, Pamela Osborne said.

    "If you are a parent of a soldier, you would do anything, too, to get the word out, to help people understand and say, 'God, maybe I should do something, too.' "

    So she will see her son off, when his unit deploys from California. Like the other mothers, she will suffer the day-to-day worries. And she will continue to protest this war.

    She prays, Pamela Osborne said, that her son will come home in one piece. She worries that maybe she will not recognize him.

    "He's going to become a killer.

    "He's going to have to become one, 100 percent," she said.

    "I have to be OK with that. Otherwise, I know he will not survive."

    Bill Johnson's column appears Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Call him at 303-892-2763 or e-mail him at


    Vietnam 1968/69
    Once a Marine...Always a Marine

  2. #2

    Big Fnn Deal 20 members.

    This is realy starting to torque me off, the deal in Colorado is making big news.
    This coming week our great Democrat leadership in the State house are pushing the resolution to not supprt the troop surge and the president plan to win in Iraq.
    The 14 th of March My family will go down to the state house and sign up to speak on how we feel the resolution is nothing more then a stab in the back against the troops.
    We feel that this all is doing more to support the insugents then our troops and will tell these dim witted Democrats such.
    If this group of Military familes only claim to have 20 members I plan to see more down there in support of the troops then the lovers of insugents.
    The head Senator Ken Gordon in support of the resolution stated in a news letter he sends out quote" That the Iraq Insurgents are maybe the patriots in this conflict."
    The Senator is a nut case and has proven it on that quote.
    There are 25 states pushing this resolution paid for by our great friends the good old defunked USSR. world workers party.
    The same ones that are planning the protest in D.C. on the 17 th of this month.
    It is time the real Support of the troops get out and show it and stop this stabbing in the back of our troops by these hate America crowd.
    I would advise all to find a protest and counter it with Flags and signs of support for the troops.
    I would bet you will not see our great flag in the hands but the bastardized one of the chicken foot print on it.
    If we let this happen to our troops like it did in the 60's we do not serve this great country we live in.
    We plan on fighting this I would hope you do too.

  3. #3
    I am an only child. My mother would never have said a word about me going to Vietnam++++++2times. I had a "out" if I had wanted one. But that would not have a Marine thing to do.

  4. #4
    Marine Free Member grayshade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Travelling right now, looking for a new home
    Huh, oh well.

  5. #5
    Thus proving she idiot.

    When the Islamiscists come, they won't give a rip if she is a buddist NOW or not. She's a Jooooooo, don't ya know, and therefore, will be beheaded at the head of the line of other infidels.

    She should thank her lucky freakin stars that SOMEONE in her line has some stones. She sure don't.

  6. #6
    My son is waiting on a medical waiver – Rod in his femur. You would be shocked at how many people ask me,

    “You still want him to go in with a broken leg?”

    “You’re not going to let him go into the Marine Corps are you?

    “You’re not scared he’ll go to Iraq?”

    Even my sister, who was an Army Nurse in Da Nang, told my son, “Be careful, the Marine Corps thinks they can do more with fewer troops and worn out equipment!” :flag:

    What ever happened to, “Courage, Honor, and Country?”

  7. #7
    That's just it - kids these days DON'T GET IT! They want to sign up for the military (whatever branch) to go to college AND they want to pick their battles. What sense does THAT make to anybody? After all, isn't that what the military is for? To defend our country? Most everybody I know signed up of their own free will - nobody twisted their arms, nobody bribed them (except maybe for the Army with that 50 some odd thousand dollar bonus). Nowadays, if they don't want to go, they don't have to - if they pitch a big enough b!tch about it.

  8. #8

    Kids & many of their parents think that their "Rights" & "Freedoms" are Free, along with a car, an education, and a cell phone.

    Yet where are they when asked to fork up money for: VA Hospitals, raises for the "Troops", & new equipment?

    Like the add says, " This title is earned not given!"

  9. #9
    Mike, Kudos to your son. He's doing more than most of his generation.

    In later years, those who didn't go will regret it.

  10. #10
    This is beginning to tick me off! The original post by Ellie was refering to an ole mama b*****ing about her son standing on his own feet, instead of being carried around to some demonstration on the demented thing's shoulders. It takes a different breed to even think of being one of the proud and few.

    If he can cut the apron string's and still honor his mom as mentioned in the commandments, that's the caliber of young men and women we're looking for. That's only one of the thing's that has made the Marine Corps the best, everyone trying and wanting to be a leader!!

    My hat is off to any young person making their mind up what they really want to do in life and getting on with it. One is not forced to do anything in our way of life. His mom could have picked a different route, rather than sliding along with the rest of the bunch that I detest so much.

  11. #11
    Guest Free Member
    "He's going to become a killer.

    "He's going to have to become one, 100 percent," she said.

    "I have to be OK with that. Otherwise, I know he will not survive."
    He's gone off to do a tough job no one else in America wants to do. So they give it to the Marines. Hats off to this young Marine.

    Yeah, years of protesting this that and the other has shown this young man that sometimes it takes giant b*lls and fire arms to Git'R Done.

  12. #12
    Let's see, if I qualify for the "crying game" -
    tigger is my only child -
    tigger is a Marine getting ready for his third trip to the sandbox -
    as a platoon sergeant, tigger will be doing his damnedest to make sure evryone in the platoon come home-
    tigger has been wounded, and he has undoubtably killed, in short he did his job-

    Sorry - can't cry - can't feel I failed because, even with all of the above, tigger is a peace activist, just like every other Marine and members of the other military branches who stand on that wall 365-24-7.

    Get it through your head Ms. Osborne - the reason you say what you want and what you want is beacuse these kids are out there....just like all the other who went before them from 1776 to today.

    And do not feel too badly - he did learn something - that Honor, Courage and Commitment count and are some of the best building blocks for the rest of your life.

  13. #13
    Pat it sure is nice to see you back posting here again I have missed your sane opine. May God watch over Tigger and his Marines on his third pump.

    Semper Fi


    No better friend/No worse enemy

  14. #14
    Guest Free Member
    Quote Originally Posted by marinemom
    And do not feel too badly - he did learn something - that Honor, Courage and Commitment count and are some of the best building blocks for the rest of your life.
    YES! That is who we are. That is exactly what is instilled in the essence of your Tigger. "I'm not going to fail my Marines" is what he sleeps by. And thank the Lord above it is in the Marine Osbourne.

    What ever she did in life that is the values he took. Honor, Courage and Commitment!

  15. #15


    This woman testified at the hearing in Colorado.
    She claimed her son had been promised a job in the Marines that would keep him at least 5 miles from the front lines.
    Claimed he was not trained to go to Iraq.
    I wonder how long she intends to try and breastfeed this poor young man.
    No wonder he joined the Marines.
    I almost threw up listening to her this week.

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