From State Rep. Kim Thatcher Press Release 2-26-06:
(Salem) Representative Kim Thatcher (R-Keizer) and Shawna Hill testified before the House Elections, Ethics and Rules Committee on House Joint Memorial 9 this morning. The Memorial encourages Congress and the President not to increase troop strength in Iraq. Thatcher and Hill urged the Committee to reject the Memorial and show support for the troops.
Hill is from Keizer and is a constituent of Representative Thatcher. Her son, Army Private First Class Ryan Hill, was killed January 20th when an improvised explosive devise went off under his Humvee while on patrol in Northeast Baghdad. Hill told the Committee, “there is nothing that I wouldn’t give to hold my son in my arms. Yet I know that freedom is not free, and others will have a better opportunity because he paid the ultimate price. But this will only happen if we demand that our leaders do whatever it takes to win this war and create a lasting peace.”
Thatcher has a cousin who served in the Air Force in Iraq last year and several veterans in her family dating back to the Civil War. “I feel bad for the families, Shawna Hill and others who’ve suffered loss,” said Thatcher. “I’m afraid that this resolution might be sending the wrong message”¦that what they’re doing isn’t worthwhile. We need to give them the support and tools they need to do the job to succeed and return victorious.”
Shawna Hill explained to the committee how a policy statement such as HJM 9 undermines morale for the soldiers fighting in Iraq. “I challenge you to consider the impact of this type of legislation on those who are serving to protect the freedoms that we all enjoy. If they are willing to sacrifice so much for us, I believe that we owe it to them to be very careful that our words do not hurt their chances of at best winning this war, or at worst, just coming home safely.”
Earlier this month Thatcher presented Hill with an Oregon Flag flown over the Capitol and greeted Hill along with hundreds of others on the Capitol Steps to honor Ryan Hill. Thatcher also attended the memorial services for Private First Class Hill.