"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)
Friday, May 27, 2005
Everyone agrees that Ligaya Lagman is a Gold Star mother, part of the long line of mournful women whose sons or daughters gave their lives for their country. Her 27-year-old son, Army Staff Sgt. Anthony Lagman, was killed last year in Afghanistan, but American Gold Star Mothers Inc., has rejected Lagman, a Filipino, for membership because — though a permanent resident and a taxpayer — she is not a U.S. citizen.
"There's nothing we can do because that's what our organization says: You have to be an American citizen," national President Ann Herd said Thursday. "We can't go changing the rules every time the wind blows."
Here's some information about American Gold Star Mothers Inc.:
American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. a federally-chartered organization, is a member of the National Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service Advisory Committee. The 150 chapters of Gold Star Mothers throughout the United States give many hours of work and personal service in hospitals for the veterans, and to the veteran and his family. The organization works closely with and is respected by all veterans organizations. The American Gold Star Mothers, Inc., a non-profit, patriotic organization, receives funds from dues and donations only.
That last claim is interesting, because the AP story cited above says that "the mothers' organization has received federal assistance." Anyway, you might also be interested in what Ann Herd has to say for herself on her "From the desk of..." page:
Mothers, I promise to serve this office as your newly elected National President with Pride, Honor, Humility, Dignity, and Respect. I promise to represent our organization at all times. We must reach out to all of our military, wherever they are serving.
We must reach out to all of our military, except for the funny looking ones or those with strange accents. And, by the way, I wonder when Ms. Herd is planning on getting around to that "Pride, Honor, Humility, Dignity, and Respect" thing, because Sgt. Lagman's mother is still waiting.
(Thanks to PSoTD for the tip.)