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Free Republic DC Chapter | August 30, 2005 | <b>By Albion Wilde, with photos by Gadsdenman and TgslTakoma</b>

Posted on 08/30/2005 4:04:37 PM PDT by Albion Wilde

WASHINGTON, DC, 8/26/05 – They are tall and muscular, with tanned arms bare to the shoulders. Their black leather vests are encrusted with insignia from their exploits, in the military and on motorcycles. Virile men with long gray hair and weathered skin, they are ageless bad boys with cordially menacing attitudes. They are bikers, and not just any bikers; they are three of the five board members of DC’s Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Rally and Thunder buddies from North Carolina, and they have just arrived, with heart-stopping engine roars and banshee brake stops, in a hospital zone. They have come to join our FReep of ultra-left Code Pink’s weekly, morale-sapping “vigil” at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the nation’s preeminent military care facility, where wounded personnel are brought to heal.

DC Chapter FReepers swelled from the usual 20 or so to more than 70 individuals last Friday, August 26, thanks to an article by reporter Marc Morano of (article and video here.) After 18 weeks of media indifference, FreeRepublic’s counterprotests of Code Pink’s despicable choice of location for their weekly demoralization and anti-war venom finally hit the airwaves Wednesday and Thursday. The story was picked up by Drudge Report, the radio shows of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Glenn Beck and others (including several area bloggers), and televised on FoxNews Network by the John Gibson, Brit Hume and Hannity & Colmes shows. 

DC Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Rally Board member Don “Smitty” Smith, center, accompanied by other members of DC and North Carolina Rolling Thunder, arrives at the entrance to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Georgia Avenue at Elder Street, NW. Photo by tgslTakoma

Ted Sampley, noted Vietnam veteran activist, traveled from Kinston, NC, to face the anti-war demonstrators. Margaret Talev of McClatchy News service, right, wrote that Sampley said, “a hospital should be off-limits for political demonstrations, no matter the message.” Photo by tgslTakoma

Anticipating more participants and increased tensions, four DC Police vehicles stationed themselves around the scene even before FreeRepublic set up our MOAB (mother of all banners). This was the first en masse monitoring by police, but we welcomed it. We, too, had done advance work. TgslTakoma secured permits; five of us wore yellow “marshal” sashes; and our calm-tempered Angelwood, DC Chapter co-leader, herded kitties. Before Code Pink even got their bloody banners unfurled, an explosion of FreeRepublic supporters had already taken the other three corners of Walter Reed’s entrance intersection, to demonstrate appreciation for our troops – and to FReep Code Pink’s taunting of the wounded for political gain.

MOAB’s up! (DC Chapter’s Mother of All Banners) on northeast corner, facing the hospital. Posters up! From left: lurker Joan, Fraxinus, BufordP, Landry Fan, beandog, Hellinahandcart (rear), unknown guest Freeper, Sauropod (in Gitmo cap), unknown (rear), Maica. Photo by Gadsdenman

Veterans turn out in force against all enemies, foreign and domestic

In Marc Morano's CNSNews interview last week, Code Pink’s “Luke” absurdly claimed, “most of the George Bush supporters have never spent a day in uniform, have never been closer to a battlefield than seeing it through the television screen.” That's debatable: at least half our record turnout of more than 73 men, women and children had served or had family in the military. Some, like Coast Guard reservist GAB1955, are still active in one of the services or the DOD. One of our regulars is a former Army nurse, married to an Army physician. W04Man, a retired Air Force Colonel, already having sent banners to the next day’s pro-troops rally in Crawford, TX, also brought signs, leadership and photography skills to this FReep – recent heart surgery had not slowed him down.


Retired Air Force Colonel O.P. Ditch (W04Man, center), enjoying the troop-support mission at Walter Reed. Photo by tgslTakoma.

As I mingled with the newcomers, one after another related their military connections. Xavier, a Hispanic Marine combat veteran, held a sign saying, “Gracias, Soldados!” Bill from Virginia, whose dad, a 3rd Infantry Division VN veteran, said that when his dad died at Walter Reed, the hospital “treated him like gold.” Beverly drove in from West Virginia. Her mother, father and brother were all Army; the family was stationed in Viet Nam during her childhood “just as the war broke out.” A Marine Corps veteran of Iraq was one of a Rolling Thunder group that came in from North Carolina. G. R. Quinn, veteran of Vietnam and Desert Storm and brother of FReeper Flora McDonald, had the warmest smile, but the most “in your face” sign of the evening, “Cindy Sheehan, Bride of bin Laden.” Tanker Tod, Army Reservist, is the son and brother of servicemen. Rick saw combat in Afghanistan. A government employee still in shirt and tie had formerly served “in country” on the Iraq Provisional Authority (IPA), setting up temporary services until free Iraq’s government is up and running.


Rolling Thunder infrastructure adds gravitas to our message to Code Pink: “Get out of Dodge.” DC Chapter leader Angelwood, right, wears a yellow marshall ribbon. Photo by Gadsdenman

Army Sergeant John L. Lawton served in Iraq. He is currently a patient at Walter Reed who brought two bottles of champagne to us FReepers a few weeks ago. Although touched and honored, we sent the bubbly back for him and his buddies to share. Sgt. Lawton crossed over to our main northeast corner Friday evening to watch from behind the lines as dozens of commuters honked and waved, and FReepers shouted “Thaaaaaanks!” to service personnel motoring out of Walter Reed. Sgt. Lawton extended his cell phone to Angelwood and Albion Wilde.

“Talk to my mom,” he smiled.

Hearing the shouts through the phone, an elderly woman’s voice said, “You’d better be on the side that’s supporting my son!”

Three, count’em, three FReepin’ corners

Code Pink showed up late (again) to take the southwest corner, where they have their permit. For the first time in 18 weeks, they hand-held their banners instead of attaching them to Walter Reed’s property, its iron fence. A few new volunteers showed up, but if Rolling Thunder weren’t enough, the Pinko newbies were ashen-faced at the sight of 3-to-1 odds.

Southwest corner occupation: nine Code Pinkos, almost half of them newbies, show up after their announced starting time, opening with some of their milder “cut and run,” anti-Halliburton messages. Photo by Gadsdenman

Code Pink newbies learn the ropes. FReep-supporter, in baseball cap and Protest Warrior shirt, casually lurks behind their line. Photo by tgslTakoma

Most importantly, the pressures of increased publicity forced this week’s Pinkos to soften their image – they had ditched all but one of their most shamefree, bloodthirsty signs in favor of the socialist whines of the professional victim class: “Up V.A. Benefits” (translation: The Bush Administration Is Victimizing You), “Veterans for Peace” (We’re Cowards, So You Should Cut and Run), “Save Walter Reed” (What’s the Harm in Throwing You a Sympathy Bone), and the ACLU-overlooked Biblical standard, “Blessed Are the Peacemakers.” To counter that last one, Sauropod and Hellinahandcart brought a favorite FReep banner: “Blessed Are the Peacemakers: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines.”

Northwest corner freedom fighters face the traitors at the other side of the gate. From left: Walter Reed entrance guards left rear, awesome Rolling Thunder passenger hog, Jan from NC, two bystanders (jogger and face behind flag), Iraq Vet, G.R. Quinn, Young Republican, Jimmy Valentine’s Brother (in Gitmo cap), NC biker, Young Republican, DC Chapter leader Angelwood (in black behind sign), Marine vet Xavier, Young Republican, government employee. Photo by Gadsdenman

Lots of new faces joined us after CNSNews reporter Marc Morano’s story broke in the media. This group of young conservatives is from Northern Virginia. FReepers W04Man (second from right) and Fraxinus (behind flag) are facing Code Pink directly. Photo by tgslTakoma.

A revolving group of attractive women held down the southeast corner, which was graced much of the evening by Helen Blackwell, Arlington Republican Committeewoman and State Chair of the Eagle Forum of Virginia, as well as by Virginians Amanda, Stephanie and Jessica, artist Annie of DC, and Ida from Maryland and her daughter Jessica and marshaled by Fraxinus or Albion Wilde.

Jimmy Valentine’s Brother marshaled activity on the crowed northwest corner, where bikers, bloggers, a lobbyist, several veterans and a bureaucrat waving pro-Bush signs alongside stylish professional women from the Young Republican Federation of Virginia. Nearby, Jan Barwick held up a large American flag. “I speak with family members of the wounded and KIA’s [killed in action] daily,” said Jan, who works with the online military news source U.S. Veteran Dispatch. “They don’t deserve that, she said, her eyes narrowing as she surveyed the two dozen Code Pink demonstrators. “The families resent it terribly when they come here and see that.”

After dark, Code Pink reaches full strength – about 21 people (the two in center with backs to camera are CNN reporters). Slogans advocate Code Pink’s vintage 1938 European appeasement policy.

A CodePink regular, with one of his kinder, gentler signs. Photo by Gadsdenman

All four corners saw lots of action from bloggers who were there not just to write about the event, but support the Iraq war policy and troops. Sirius Satellite Radio host and blogger Cam Edwards, who attended with two of his Sirius colleagues, Joel Brewer and Mike Aitken (the son of a veteran), said of Code Pink’s demonstration, “This shouldn’t be the only message the soldiers get to see.” More with us again Friday, and so was GunNut. ConservativeProgaganda's “Tantor”, a former Air Force officer, chatted up all four corners. Tom Seeman of Warm ’n’ Fuzzy Conserva-Puppies wrote about the FReep and the many reasons for it. We thank all those commentators for giving not just bandwidth but personal commitment to the ongoing show-down, and the many others who are picking up the story.

Our main center of operations continued to be the northeast corner, where tgslTakoma’s giant MOAB dominated the streetlamp spotlight. Dozens of creative FReeper signs spanned a distance of forty feet, brandished by the evening’s largest clump of right-thinking individuals, which included many of our enduring regulars, BufordP, Justanobody, Jack Deth, Bmwcyle and Appleblossom with their two daughters, Nina0113, lurker Joan, Beandog, veterans Trueblackman and Coop, as well as Fraxinus, Landry Fan, Maica, Ooh-Ah, GOPsincebirth, Our Man in Washington, EdinVA, Cathy with husband and two children, PRA (People’s Republic of Arlington)with wife and dog Sadie, Mr. Sarcastic and wife, and bukner98, all the way in from New Jersey. Other guests not previously mentioned were: Bill Lockhart, Virginians Wade, Kathy, Shawn, Greg and Debbie and their daughter, Sue and daughter Mollie from Silver Spring and several members of North Carolina Rolling Thunder.

I apologize for several omissions and any errors. We thank everyone who heard the story last week and came out with us, and hope to see you here again!


Taken behind “Pinko” lines by Gadsdenman, this photo shows Code Pink’s dwindling numbers, and their view of our MOAB on the northeast corner.

The view from Code Pink's corner: FReepers to the front of them, FReepers to the right…and that’s not counting the dozen FReepers out of camera range on the northwest corner! Photo by Gadsdenman.

Dusk to Dark, Shining the Light on Insurgent-Lovers

In spite of our disgust at the sophisticated cheese-eaters across the street, anger never overpowers FReepers’ enjoyment of greeting the troops. Code Pink’s faith-free “vigil” is a dour exercise in outmoded victimization theology and unresolved childhood slights; for us, it’s Love-the-Troops party time! Our reward comes when we spark grinning high-signs from recovering veterans and hospital staff as they enter and exit Walter Reed – and also from the vast majority of passersby, proof that you just can’t believe mainstream media spin about the war.

The high point of the evening, as in past FReeps here, was when the bus brought wounded warriors back to Walter Reed at 9:15 from their night on the town. FReepers chanted “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!” and were blessed by joyful waves and hoo-rah on our side of the bus. On the other side, the earnest socialist theories of Code Pink signs received all the helpful pointers they deserved (middle fingers) from the combat veterans. Seemingly relieved, the Pinkos rapidly closed up and skulked away. When one’s political theater is tasteless and shameless, can cluelessness be far behind? Since their weekly vigils began March 30, Code Pink has yet to learn that war policy is neither made, nor altered, at a hospital.

Fran O’Brien’s Steak House, in walking distance from the White House, generously treats wounded combat veterans to dinner every Friday night. A tour bus returns recovering warriors to Walter Reed. Guest Debbie waves flag out in front of FReep line. Photo by Gadsdenman

But to the departing Pinkos whom we had triple-threat outgunned, we graciously sang our consolation song, the 1983 disco smash, Na Na Hey Hey Goodbye. We also gave the remaining police three cheers! If you’re reading this, DCPD, we appreciated your professionalism. You kept a straight face as we “re-educated” the surrender monkeys’ Pink behinds.

End of summer. Another Walter Reed FReep decisively won – in the name of inclusiveness. While the brave make sure that Code Pinkos are free to worship the First Amendment instead of God, the DC Chapter makes sure FreeRepublic “speech” is also included. Consider it an “excess” tax. Freedom isn’t free.

This photo by tgslTakoma shows most of the nearly 50 who FReeped ’til the end, too many to name.

TOPICS: Activism/Chapters; Culture/Society; Editorial; Free Republic; Government; News/Current Events; US: Delaware; US: District of Columbia; US: Maryland; US: New Jersey; US: North Carolina; US: Pennsylvania; US: Virginia; US: West Virginia
KEYWORDS: aar; antiwar; armyhospital; cheeseeaters; codepink; codepinkdc; dcchapter; freepcodepink; infinitefreep; marcmorano; operationhero; protesters; rollingthunder; rush; supportourtroops; surrendermonkeys; walterreed
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It was a great big "Thank You" to our valiant wounded, and our best Walter Reed FReep yet!

But let's keep the pressure on the Pink melodrama across the street. We succeeded last Friday in outnumbering Code Pink, with their paid leadership and history of agitation, getting them to tone down their negative messages. But their underlying message, that the war is wrong, our President is wrong, the Iraqi people don't deserve our further help, and that the Iraqi combat deaths were for nothing, remained.

We invite the ongoing support of peaceful demonstrators for our messages, such as: We love our troops, we honor their service and sacrifice and we believe in their Commander-in-Chief's Middle East strategy. Common decency is revolted at the sight of leftist whinging in the faces of the wounded and their families.

Join us this Friday, September 2, as we continue our psy-ops attrition strategies against self-absorbed opponents too shortsighted to defend their own defenders.

1 posted on 08/30/2005 4:04:38 PM PDT by Albion Wilde
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To: Albion Wilde

ping for posts! thanks for the photos

2 posted on 08/30/2005 4:08:47 PM PDT by ArmyTeach (Pray daily for our troops...)
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To: Albion Wilde

Will be glad to show up Friday. Just tell me what time you all arrive and exactly where to look for you. How far away does one have to park?

3 posted on 08/30/2005 4:17:21 PM PDT by NRA1995 ("People do stupid things...." and I hear the Vonage music playing.....woo-hoo, woo-hoo-hoo....)
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To: Albion Wilde

Thanks for posting - great pictures. We're way at the other end - So. California. Thanks, I am sure our guys appreciated.

4 posted on 08/30/2005 4:19:59 PM PDT by newfrpr04
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To: Albion Wilde

God Bless you!

It's funny, as I read this to my hubby he said, "You would be there!"

He's right!

5 posted on 08/30/2005 4:20:19 PM PDT by netmilsmom (God blessed me with a wonderful husband.)
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To: Albion Wilde; Chieftain

This definitely needs a Kleenex alert!!!

Just AWESOME! You go D/c Freepers! The Freep Tradition Lives on!!!!

6 posted on 08/30/2005 4:20:22 PM PDT by Recovering Ex-hippie (Everything I need to know about Islam I learned on 9-11!)
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To: Albion Wilde

Big thanks!!! God bless our troops.

7 posted on 08/30/2005 4:24:08 PM PDT by bluesagewoman
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To: Albion Wilde

Tears of absoulute pleasure. What a great scene.

8 posted on 08/30/2005 4:26:09 PM PDT by Bahbah (Praying for all in Katrina's path, from St. Louis)
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To: Albion Wilde

I get the greatest feeling when reading and seeing this, Thanks so much!!!

9 posted on 08/30/2005 4:26:21 PM PDT by kendu
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Comment #10 Removed by Moderator

To: Albion Wilde

Woo0Hoo! It's inspiring to read about and see the pix of this most excellent FReep! Thank you DC FReepers!
We are praying for the swift recovery of our Brave Fighting US Soldiers!

11 posted on 08/30/2005 4:32:39 PM PDT by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: Albion Wilde

Thank you all,great work.

12 posted on 08/30/2005 4:35:41 PM PDT by mdittmar (May God watch over those who serve,and have served, to keep us free.)
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To: 1 Olgoat; 103198; 10Ring; 11Bush; 1stbn27; 2SterlingConservatives; 2yearlurker; 3D-JOY; ...

DC Chapter ping!

13 posted on 08/30/2005 4:39:46 PM PDT by tgslTakoma
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To: Albion Wilde
They are tall and muscular, with tanned arms bare to the shoulders.


Virile men with long gray hair and weathered skin, they are ageless bad boys with cordially menacing attitudes. They are bikers, and not just any bikers...

Folks, I think we're covered against the ouslaught of the pinko-girls...

14 posted on 08/30/2005 4:39:53 PM PDT by podkane
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To: Matchett-PI
WTF is that freak??????
15 posted on 08/30/2005 4:52:38 PM PDT by prophetic ("I think you can be an honest person and lie about any number of things."--Dan Rather)
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To: Albion Wilde
You could tell they were Union. They showed up late, and left early.

I also think some of their first timers were surprised at the soldiers opinion of them.
16 posted on 08/30/2005 4:54:09 PM PDT by Fraxinus
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To: Albion Wilde

God Bless all of you! You bring both tears and a smile to my face.

Prayers for all our brave troops recovering at Walter Reed....

17 posted on 08/30/2005 4:54:32 PM PDT by duckbutt ( If you let a smile be your umbrella, then most likely your butt will get soaking wet.)
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To: podkane; Albion Wilde; jan in Colorado

FYI, "Smitty" has a pin-and-patch stand up by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (at base of the Lincoln Memorial). I encourage any FReepers headed to the memorial to find his stand and thank him for his participation!

18 posted on 08/30/2005 4:58:44 PM PDT by Gondring (I'll give up my right to die when hell freezes over my dead body!)
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To: Albion Wilde; Angelwood
Take a look at RUSH LIMBAUGH'S main page, under the "Club G'itmo" heading!!

And then check out this Club G'itmo photo page, too!

19 posted on 08/30/2005 5:03:04 PM PDT by tgslTakoma
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To: Albion Wilde

Great job! Bravo. Thanks so much for all your hard work and for the great reporting.

20 posted on 08/30/2005 5:04:08 PM PDT by ElderEdda
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