Skip to comments.Capt.Argel marker to be removed (his mother said display (Vets for Peace) insult to his memory)
Posted on 08/30/2005 12:01:28 AM PDT by Former Military Chick
The Santa Barbara Veterans for Peace have agreed to remove the name of Capt. Derek Argel from its Arlington West memorial, after the fallen soldier's mother complained that the display was an insult to her son's memory.
The Lompoc Air Force special tactics officer was killed Memorial Day in a plane crash in Iraq, and his name became one of the more than 1,800 represented on the rows of crosses displayed each weekend at West Beach.
The decision to take down the marker came after the group heard that Debbie Argel Bastian, his mother, and Wendy Argel, his widow, wanted the Air Force Academy graduate's name removed.
The group initially said that such a move was not up to family members, but decided to compromise after hearing Mrs. Bastian's statements about her son and the family's wishes.
Lane Anderson, a Veterans for Peace member, said the group would surrender the marker to Mrs. Bastian if she comes to Arlington West. To stay true to its mission, the group will keep in place the cross representing Capt. Argel's death in the war. A note will be affixed saying the soldier's name was removed at the family's request.
If a friend or other family member wants to take a photograph with a marker noting Capt. Argel's name, he or she will be allowed to make a temporary sign, Mr. Anderson added.
A veteran himself, Mr. Anderson acknowledged the sensitivity of the issue, particularly since other soldiers have visited the crosses and have used the site to pay their respects to a fallen comrade.
The group has offered to give Mrs. Bastian the marker with Capt. Argel's name; it is convinced that she may change her mind if she sees Arlington West in person.
But the grieving mother, who is visiting her son's widow and baby son in Florida this week, said the nameplate is not something she wants.
"I don't want to see it," she said. "It's not a tribute to Derek. It's just a personal feeling. I want it off. Our family does not want it. I'm not angry. I just want them to understand one family's wishes."
She does not agree with the Arlington West volunteers who say the cross can offer comfort to Capt. Argel's fellow service members who visit. Some of Capt. Argel's remains were buried last week at Arlington National Cemetery with the four other men killed in the plane crash with him, and he will also have a burial site in Lompoc. That, his mother said, is a "real place" for people to pay their respects.
"My sympathies are with the families who have lost their loved ones," said Mr. Anderson, a Vietnam War veteran. "But my efforts at Arlington West are focused as well on the men and women who did not get invited to the funeral or memorial, who need to touch the name of their comrade. I ask Debbie Argel Bastian to consider carefully before she removes the name."
Mr. Anderson sent Mrs. Bastian an e-mail Wednesday outlining his thoughts on the issue. She read it but remains convinced Arlington West is designed as an antiwar statement.
"Their web page says 'Wage Peace,' " Mrs. Bastian said. "I think they're trying to convey victims of war. Derek is not a victim of this war. He is a grown man, well-trained; he knew what he was doing. He would not want his name associated with an antiwar movement."
Mr. Anderson conceded that the display started out as a demonstration about the cost of war.
"It became a memorial because of the soldiers and families coming to it," he explained. "They made it a memorial. We complied with their needs. They taught us to listen, to keep our distance. ... All across America there are different (displays) ... Very few people remain convinced ours is antiwar once they've seen it."
Mrs. Bastian has been giving national interviews since the News-Press wrote about her request Tuesday. She symbolizes the flip side of the public vigil by Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq.
Ms. Sheehan, who opposes the war, remains camped outside President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, seeking an audience with the president. In Crawford, as in Santa Barbara, rows of crosses memorialize the war dead. Mrs. Bastian also wants her son's name removed from that display.
The Lompoc mother said that Ms. Sheehan "can demonstrate however she wants to" as long as Capt. Argel's name is removed.
MIKE ELIASON/NEWS-PRESS Lane Anderson of Veterans for Peace with Capt. Argel's marker.
His mother has taken a moment to write a thread on FR.
This story says a lot of a mom, a son is proud of.
(Note: there are no "official" words to Taps above are the most popular.)
Thank you for the ping. I wish I could wrap my arms around this mother and her family. I'm humbled by people like her and her son. Words fail me.
She is even raving that her son died to benefit Israel and the neo-con agenda.
Now, the leftist anti-war groupies have found a live one, and are jumping on the bandwagon from near and far.
The groupies have created quite a sizeable coalition at Sheehans campout in Texas. Some of the headliners include Gold Star Families for Peace, Code Pink, Veterans for Peace, Military Families Speak Out and the Crawford Peace House.
All of these groups are on the steering committee of United for Peace and Justice, a major anti-war organization.
Also with a presence on UPJs steering committee is the Communist Party USA. Makes for interesting bedfellows, doesnt it?
UPJ was the brainchild behind the march on the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York.
When 253 of its protesters were polled by the New York Sun as to whether they felt that Iraqi attacks on Americans occupying Iraq are legitimate resistance 67 percent answered yes.
This means Sheehans coalition thinks the kind of attack that killed her son is perfectly okay. - Source
This is quote from the show transcript at democracynow.org
they have been disrespectful to such a degree it's unbelievable. They have put now a fourth cross with Gary Quallss son's name on it, before he just repeated it a minute ago. And it's disgusting. They have no respect. And we have issued a challenge to Cindy Sheehan to debate Gary Qualls. And evidently, she may not have the grit to do it because she knows Garys got her number.
Operation Iraqi Freedom Air Crew
NEWS RELEASE from the United States Department of Defense No. 543-05
June 1, 2005
Media Contact: Air Force Public Affairs - (703) 695-0640
Public/Industry Contact: (703)428-0711
DoD Identifies Air Force Casualties
The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of four airmen who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. The airmen died May 30 in the crash of an Iraqi air force aircraft during a training mission in eastern Diyala province. They are:
Major William Downs, 40, of Winchester, Virginia, assigned to the 6th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Florida.
Captain Jeremy Fresques, 26, of Clarkdale, Arizona, assigned to the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Florida.
Captain Derek Argel, 28, of Lompoc, California, assigned to the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Florida.
Staff Sergeant Casey Crate, 26, of Spanaway, Washington, assigned to the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Florida.
The cause of the crash is currently under investigation.
For further information related to this release, please contact the Air Force Special Operations Command Public Affairs Office at (850) 884-5515.
Iraqi pilot buried at Arlington cemetery
Airman buried with four Americans is first Iraqi interred
Saturday, August 13, 2005
An Iraqi pilot and four U.S. airmen were together aboard an Iraqi Air Force plane when it crashed in May. Their remains were buried together this week in Arlington National Cemetery.
Iraqi Air Force Captain Ali Hussam Abass Alrubaeye, 34, was the first Iraqi ever buried at the United States' premiere military cemetery.
"This will signify that these warriors were training together, they went into battle together, they died together and it's only proper that they be buried together," Lieutenant General Michael Wooley, commander of the Air Force's Special Operations Command, said before the service.
A silver casket covered with an American flag contained Abass' remains as well as those of Major William Downs, 40, of Winchester, Virginia; Captain Jeremy Fresques, 26, of Clarkdale, Arizona; Captain Derek Argel, 28, of Lompoc, California, and Staff Sergeant Casey Crate, 26, of Spanaway, Washington.
Even after resorting to DNA tests, officials were unable to identify some remains of the five men killed May 30. 2005, when their single-engine plane crashed in eastern Diyala province. Separate funerals with remains that could be identified were held earlier by each of the airmen's families. The four had been assigned to Hurlburt Field, Florida.
The unidentified remains were buried with full military honors, including the presentation of Iraqi flags to Abass' parents and widow by Iraqi Air Force Commander Major General Kamal Abdul-Sattar Barzanjy. The 30-minute service included a procession by an Air Force band ahead of a caisson carrying the casket, a flyover and a 21-gun salute.
"It's the right thing to do," Tom Sherlock, the cemetery's historian, said of the group burial. "This person was shoulder-to-shoulder with American airmen."
The crash is still under investigation but is not believed to have been the result of hostile fire, Wooley said. The six-seat Iraqi Air Force Comp Air 7 SL aircraft had been on a mission to survey potential emergency landing sites in the region.
U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Alton Phillips, who served with Abass in Iraq this spring, said the captain would have wanted his death to be part of efforts to bring about positive change in Iraq.
"He was very dedicated about doing this mission, about getting the Iraqi Air Force, rebuilding it and making it viable," Phillips said in a telephone interview from Kirkuk, Iraq. "If anyone deserves such an honor, it is certainly Captain Abass."
Phillips said Abass was a quick thinker and displayed it when the two were forced to land on a dirt road 25 miles from Kirkuk after an engine failure. Fearing what might happen as the two men saw vehicles approaching the aircraft from both directions, Abass told Phillips to hide behind a nearby sand berm so he could deal with locals and allay any concerns.
"That he had the presence of mind to think of this and the courage to be willing to protect me, I thought that was absolutely incredible," Phillips said.
There have been eight group burials at Arlington involving 19 foreigners, according to Sherlock. There are 43 individual foreigners also buried there, he said.
In 2002 the unidentified remains of three Americans and seven South Vietnamese soldiers were buried following the discovery in 1990 of a helicopter crash site in Laos where the crew went down in 1968.
Thursday's burial brought the total number of people involved in Operation Iraqi Freedom buried at Arlington to 184.
A U.S. soldier was killed Saturday by a roadside bomb in west Baghdad, according to the U.S. military, bringing the number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq to 1,846 and the number of American troops killed in August to 47.
Web sites that estimate Iraqi military and police deaths based on government and media reports put the total at more than 2,800.
An Iraqi pilot and four U-S airmen, including one from Arizona, were buried together today at Arlington National Cemetery.
Captain Jeremy Fresques (FREHS'-kes) of Clarkdale and the others were killed May 30th when their Iraqi Air Force plane crashed.
Their remains were buried together in a silver casket.
The commander of the Air Force's Special Operations Command says it was only proper that the five be buried together given that they had trained and gone into battle together.
The Iraqi Air Force captain is the first Iraqi ever buried at the United States' premiere military cemetery.
Even after resorting to D-N-A tests, officials were unable to identify some remains.
The four U-S airmen had been assigned to Hurlburt Field, Florida.
For the first time, an Iraqi national has been buried at Arlington National Cemetery outside Washington.
The man was a pilot who died in May with four U-S airmen aboard an Iraqi Air Force plane that crashed in eastern Iraq. The men's remains were buried together today in a silver casket with full military honors.
As Arlington cemetery's historian put it, "It's the right thing to do." The Iraqi pilot was "shoulder-to-shoulder with American airmen."
The crash is still under investigation but is not believed to have been the result of hostile fire.
10 August 2005:
Captain Derek Argel to be buried at Arlington
Air Force Capt. Derek Argel, 28, a Lompoc native who was the town's first resident killed in the Iraq war, will be honored in burial services along with three other American servicemen and their Iraqi pilot at 11 a.m. Thursday, August 11, 2005, at Arlington National Cemetery.
The five men were killed in a plane crash May 30, 2005, northeast of Baghdad while on a mission to find and survey remote landing sites. The cause of the crash remains unknown.
Argel, an outstanding Cabrillo High School water polo player, and the other airmen were awarded the Bronze Star posthumously for his service in Iraq. Argel also was has earned the Air Force Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Medal.
His mother, Debbie Argel Bastian, and his stepfather, grandmother and brother still live in Lompoc.
Argel also left behind a wife, Wendy, and a baby son, Logan, of Fort Walton Beach, Florida, near Hurlburt Field, in the Florida panhandle, where he was stationed with the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron.
This will be the second ceremony to honor the downed flight crew. Argel and his comrades were honored in a June 2 ceremony in Florida. A memorial service on June 9, 2005, was attended by friends and family from across the country and as far away as Italy.
The identifiable remains of Argel and the four members of his flight crew, Major William "Brian" Downs, 40, Captain Jeremy Freques, 26, Staff Sergeant Casey Crate, 26, and Iraqi Air Force pilot Captain Ali Hussam Abass Alrubaeye, ave already been returned to their respective families. The Air Force is holding the group burial because some of the remains could not be identified. All five names will be on the grave marker.
In this undated photo provided by the U.S. Air Force, Iraqi Air Force Captain Ali Abass is shown. The remains of Abass, along with four U.S. special operations airmen, Major William 'Brian' Downs, 40, of Winchester, Virginia, Captains Jeremy Fresques, 26, of Clarkdale, Arizona, and Derek Argel, 28, of Lompoc, California, and Staff Sergeant Casey Crate, 26, of Spanaway, Washington, were buried, Thursday, August 11, 2005, at Arlington National Cemetery. Their plane crashed May 30, 2005, on a mission to find and survey remote landing sites about 80 miles northeast of Baghdad
U.S. Air Force flag bearers carry American flags, and an Iraqi flag, during funeral services in honor of U.S. special operations airmen, Major William 'Brian' Downs, Captains Jeremy Fresques, 26, and Derek Argel, 28, and Staff Sergeant Casey Crate, 26,and Iraqi pilot Captain Ali Abass, Thursday, August 11, 2005, during funeral services at Arlington National Cemetery.
A U.S. Air Force flag bearer carries an Iraqi flag as he follows a cassion carrying the remains of U.S. special operations airmen, and Iraqi pilot Captain Ali Abass, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2005, during funeral services at Arlington National Cemetery.
Members of a U.S. Air Force Honor Guard carry the remains of four U.S. special operations airmen and an Iraqi pilot killed when their plane crashed in Iraq, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2005 during funeral services at Arlington National Cemetery.
U.S. Air Force Honor Guard carries the remains of U.S. special operations airmen, Major William 'Brian' Downs, 40, Captains Jeremy Fresques, 26, Derek Argel, 28, and Staff Sergeant Casey Crate, 26, and Iraqi pilot Captain Ali Abass, Thursday, August 11, 2005 at Arlington National Cemetery.
Lindsay Fresques, second right, holds an American flag that was presented to her by Lieutenant General Michael W. Wooley, left, during funeral services for her husband Captain Jeremy. J. Fresques., at a funeral service, Thursday, August 11, 2005, at Arlington National Cemetery. Sitting with resques are her father-in-law, Nick Fresques, and Debra Bastion, right, mother of Captain Derek M. Argel.
Honor guard Airmen carry the remains of four U.S. Airmen and an Iraqi Airman who died May 30, 2005, in an aircraft accident in Iraq. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Amber K. Whittington
Major General Kamal Abdul-Sattar Barzanjy, Iraqi Air Force commander, presents the Iraq flag to General and Mrs. Hussam Abass Ali, the parents of Captain Ali Hussam Abass Alrubaeye, during a funeral held here August 11, 2005, for the captain and four U.S. Airmen who died May 30, 2005, in an aircraft accident in Iraq. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Amber K. Whittington
Linda Crate, mother of Staff Sergeant Casey Crate, reflects during the August 11,2005, funeral held here for her son and three other U.S. Airmen and an Iraqi Airman who died May 30, 2005, in an aircraft accident in Iraq. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Amber K. Whittington
You are preaching to the believer not the converted but it still makes me ill of the comments this mother is saying. Goodness did I hate the slow news cycle. Never want anything to happen in the news but it was nice to get a breather from her and those who support her.
As always thank you for the comment.
You came to the right place. ((((debbieargel))))
***..... To feel anointed. In other words: To be progressive is itself the most satisfying narcissism.
That is why it is of little concern to them that their socialist schemes have run aground, burying millions of human beings in their wake. That is why they don't care that their panaceas have caused more human suffering than all the injustices they have ever challenged. That is why they never learn from their "mistakes." That is why the continuance of Them is more important than any truth.
If you were active in the so-called "peace" movement or in the radical wing of the civil rights causes, why would you tell the truth? Why would you tell people that no, you weren't really a "peace activist," except in the sense that you were against America's war. Why would you draw attention to the fact that while you called yourselves "peace activists," you didn't oppose the Communists' war, and were gratified when America's enemies won?
What you were really against was not war at all, but American "imperialism" and American capitalism. What you truly hated was America's democracy, which you knew to be a "sham" because it was controlled by money in the end. That's why you wanted to "Bring the Troops Home," as your slogan said. Because if America's troops came home, America would lose and the Communists would win. And the progressive future would be one step closer.
But you never had the honesty-then or now-to admit that. You told the lie then to maintain your influence and increase your power to do good (as only the Chosen can). And you keep on telling the lie for the same reason.
Why would you admit that, despite your tactical support for civil rights, you weren't really committed to civil rights as Americans understand rights? What you really wanted was to overthrow the very Constitution that guaranteed those rights, based as it is on private property and the individual-both of which you despise.
It is because America is a democracy and the people endorse it, that the left's anti-American, but "progressive" agendas can only be achieved by deceiving the people. This is the cross the left has to bear: The better world is only achievable by lying to the very people they propose to redeem. ......Source
She should just not go there. The issue with Capt. Argel's mother is not with Sheehan or even in TX folks took this action in well California so there is no excuse but it is what some of the liberal communities are doing.
A mother of a Veteran should not have to ask/beg to have a group not use his name.
It is just mind numbing. Thanks for the comment.
So eloquently said. I am also of the thought that Sheehan is enjoying her 15 minutes of fame and the left is getting a bit tired of what THEY created.
They are their worst enemies.
Thanks for the ping. God Bless this mother and parents like her. They are the unsung heroes "keeping the home fires burning".
Peace group to mail marker to fallen airman's family
By NORA K. WALLACE
NEWS-PRESS STAFF WRITER
A small metal marker bearing the name of Air Force Capt. Derek Argel will be in the hands of his family by this weekend, following a controversy over a veterans group's display of crosses for those killed in the Iraq war.
Capt. Argel died on Memorial Day in a plane crash in Iraq, and his mother this week demanded that his name be removed from Arlington West, a memorial of crosses bearing the names of the dead.
"Because he is not here to speak for himself, it is our duty to speak for him," the captain's mother, Debbie Argel Bastian, said. "A man's good name should not be used to prove someone else's point after his death."
On Thursday, Veterans for Peace representative Lane Anderson corresponded with Mrs. Bastian by e-mail and agreed to put the metal marker into the mail. The group, which erects the crosses in the sand each weekend at Santa Barbara's West Beach, said it will continue to have a blank cross representing Capt. Argel as one of the more than 1,800 U.S. men and women killed in Iraq.
Mrs. Bastian, a Lompoc resident, has said that Capt. Argel, an Air Force Academy graduate and special tactics officer, would not want his name associated with anything that could be perceived as an antiwar statement.
"My son would be the first to welcome each and every one of us to demonstrate or protest," Mrs. Bastian told Mr. Anderson, a Vietnam War veteran. "It is the right of each of us in this great country. We do not feel, however, that a man's name should be used for display without the consent of his family."
Mr. Anderson said the expansive display of small white crosses has come to mean so much more as it evolved from an antiwar statement into a solemn place of mourning.
"Our Arlington West is a community effort now and the men and women who pitch in have individual perspectives, but all support our military personnel regardless of sentiments about policy," Mr. Anderson told Mrs. Bastian.
"Most are veterans and many have served in wartime. I am sure that I can speak for all when I offer you condolences on your loss."
Mrs. Bastian also does not want the Veterans for Peace to allow anyone to make a temporary marker for Capt. Argel's cross, for photographic purposes or other remembrances; it was an alternative the group had proposed on Wednesday.
"We don't need the heartache," Mrs. Bastian said. "Our family doesn't want anything else going up."
In her note to Mr. Anderson, Mrs. Bastian thanked him for honoring "the wishes of a true hero, and one that can no longer speak for himself."
NORA K. WALLACE/NEWS-PRESS FILE
Air Force Capt. Derek Argel's name was removed from Arlington West at the request of his mother Debbie Argel Bastian.
The first link takes you to a fabulous website honoring Capt Argel who received the Bronze Star Medal.
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