**UPDATE - 09/28/08 PM**
Barack Obama played the "me too" game during the Friday debates on September 26 after Senator John McCain mentioned that he was wearing a bracelet with the name of Cpl. Matthew Stanley, a resident of New Hampshire and a soldier that lost his life in Iraq in 2006. Obama said that he too had a bracelet. After fumbling and straining to remember the name, he revealed that his had the name of Sergeant Ryan David Jopek of Merrill, Wisconsin.
Shockingly, however, Madison resident Brian Jopek, the father of Ryan Jopek, the young soldier who tragically lost his life to a roadside bomb in 2006, recently said on a Wisconsin Public Radio show that his family had asked Barack Obama to stop wearing the bracelet with his son's name on it. Yet Obama continues to do so despite the wishes of the family.
Radio host Glenn Moberg of the show "Route 51" asked Mr. Jopek, a man who believes in the efforts in Iraq and is not in favor of Obama's positions on the war, what he and his ex-wife think of Obama continually using their son's name on the campaign trail. (h/t D. Keith Howington of www.dehavelle.com)
Jopek began by saying that his ex-wife was taken aback, even upset, that Obama has made the death of her son a campaign issue. Jopek says his wife gave Obama the bracelet because "she just wanted Mr. Obama to know Ryan's name." Jopek went on to say that "she wasn't looking to turn it into a big media event" and "just wanted it to be something between Barack Obama and herself." Apparently, they were all shocked it became such a big deal.
But, he also said that his ex-wife has refused further interviews on the matter and that she wanted Obama to stop wearing the reminder of her son's sacrifice that he keeps turning into a campaign soundbyte. This begins at about 10 minutes into the radio program. (Download radio show HERE)
Brian Jopek: Because of some of the negative feedback she's gotten on the Internet, you know Internet blogs, you know people accusing her of... or accusing Obama of trying to get votes doing it... and that sort of thing.
Radio Host Moberg: Yeah
Jopek: She has turned down any subsequent interviews with the media because she just didn't want it to get turned into something that it wasn't. She had told me in an email that she had asked, actually asked Mr. Obama to not wear the bracelet any more at any of his public appearances. Which I don't think he's...
Moberg: It has been a while since he's brought it up.
Jopek: Right. But, the other night I was watching the news and he was on, uh, speaking somewhere and he was still wearing it on his right wrist. I could see it on his right wrist. So, that's his own choice. I mean that's something Barack Obama, that's a choice that he continues to wear it despite Tracy asking him not to... Because she is a Barack Obama supporter and she didn't want to do anything to sabotage his campaign, so, if he's still wearing the bracelet then, uh, that of course is entirely up to him.
Moberg: Maybe there's a difference between wearing it and making a point to bring it up in your speeches?
Even the snow job that the radio host tried to pull off to cover for Barack's refusing the wishes of the family of the KIA soldier who's bracelet he wears doesn't pass the smell test. After all, now that Obama has made it a big point in the debates, I guess the silent observance of Sgt. Jopek is no longer so silent and Obama is back to exploiting the death of a soldier even when he was asked NOT to do so by that soldier's parents.
To pile insult onto injury here, the Mother doesn't even want to force the issue of telling Obama to stop exploiting her son because she wants to see him win the election. Obama is not only taking advantage of this brave soldier's death, he is taking advantage of the good wishes of the man's Mother who doesn't want to hurt the campaign.
And, why is the media not playing this story? The radio show on which this interview is heard happened all the way back in March. How is it the media missed this? Is it because they are also don't want to hurt Obama's campaign?
I can only say that if the parents of the soldier whose bracelet John McCain is wearing had said in public that they want him to stop wearing their son's bracelet the news would have been coast to coast, and wall to wall, not just ignored in Madison, Wisconsin.
Obama's use of this soldier that fell in the line of duty is tainted by his ambition and callousness. And the media is letting him get away with it.
Jopek Mother Confirms She Asked Obama NOT To Use Bracelet in Campaign
This afternoon the Associated Press was at last able to contact Tracy Jopek, mother of Sergeant Ryan David Jopek, the KIA soldier on the bracelet that Barack Obama is using on the campaign trail. Ryan's Mother is confirming that she gave the bracelet to Mr. Obama, but is also confirming that she asked him to stop using her son's name on the campaign.
After Tracy Jopek gave Sen. Barack Obama a bracelet in honor of her son who was killed in Iraq, she asked Obama not to mention the bracelet on the campaign trail.
She did, however, claim that she was "satisfied" with how Obama discussed the bracelet in the presidential debates last week.
But, we have another little mystery with these AP reports. The original headline for this report was "Soldier's mother 'ecstatic' about Obama's bracelet," released at about 7PM the evening of the 28th. But a few hours later, the AP changed it to "Soldier's mom defends Obama's mention of bracelet."
Apparently, Jopek's mother did NOT say she was "ecstatic" about Obama continuing to use her son's name on the campaign trail even after she told him to stop. The AP had to change its headline to reflect the truth.
The fact remains, the woman has repeated that she asked Obama not to mention her son on the campaign trail and this AP report confirms that. Will Obama stop using her son, now that we are sure she said she wanted him to stop?
(Photo credit: Washington Post)