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  • Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal

    Thursday, September 09, 2004

    The answer is coming 

    President Bush's National Guard has changed. So has the U.S. Army Reserve. At a moment when the president's Vietnam-era service in the Texas Air National Guard is again being called into question, Dennis and Donna Grella of Medina can tell their fellow Ohioans just how much service in the Reserves has changed.

    The National Guard and Reserves used to be what the names implies. These soldiers served mostly at home. The
    question regarding President Bush is: Did
    he even do that?

    No one has to ask this question about Pfc. Devin J. Grella. The son of Dennis and Donna, Devin has become one of more than 1,000 Americans who have given their lives in Iraq. Devin Grella, serving with the Army Reserve 706th Transportation Company out of Mansfield, died when an improvised explosive devise detonated near a fuel truck he was driving. He had joined the Reserves to make money to attend college, and, as his ex-Marine father explained, because he wasn't a young man who would run away but one who accepted that part of his responsibility was to serve his country.

    Today, in the final weeks of the presidential campaign in a state often referred to as ground zero, the battle references ring hollow. For 35 Ohioans and their families, including five from the Akron-Canton area, ground zero means something entirely different.

    In 2002 President Bush came to the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal to make his case for the the need to go to war against Iraq if the United States and the world were to be safe. The decision did not make Devin Grella's world safer, and such personal costs, Democratic challenger John Kerry pointed out on Wednesday, also in Cincinnati's Union Terminal, are being paid by all Americans in lost opportunities for education, health care and job creation, all sacrificed to fund a $200-billion war.

    When the candidates want to talk to America, they come to Ohio. On Nov. 2, they will have to listen to America and the voice they will hear, at least from Ohio, will be informed by Devin Grella and others like him.

    - Steve Love

    posted by Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal at 9:39 AM

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