Yesterday, on the floor of the House, while other members of the legislature fiddled in the business of the Commander-in-chief of the United States Military, one man stood up and took the time to do something absolutely awesome…and did it in such a way that it made some people mad.
Representative Gene Whisnant, R-Sunriver (Dist. 53), a 27 year veteran of the United States Air Force (retiring at the rank of Colonel), stood on the floor of the Oregon House and read off the name of the 82 Oregon soldiers who died in the 4 years of the Iraq war. He recognized the commitment that all of the good men and women, especially those who sacrificed their lives on the battlefield, did not get used as a pawn by those who wished to undermine their efforts.
Whisnant stood up in defiance of people in the gallery, one of whom screamed out against him because he was putting the troops into a positive light. He stood fast for the troops, and stood in stark contrast to other members of the House Legislature.
While the bill, House Joint Memorial 9, should never have been brought up in the legislature as it is not the legislature’s business to tell the Commander-in-Chief how to do his job, it took the courage of a military veteran to stand up and recognize the sacrifice of our own men and women against the backdrop of anti-troop sentiment that has been found in certain parts of the Legislature.