Iraq veteran Jason Lemieux might not be marching in the 11th annual Long Beach Veterans Day Parade on Saturday. The Marine, who served three tours of duty in Iraq and is now against the war, was hoping to march as a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, a national organization that calls for immediate withdrawal of troops in Iraq.
The group’s application, however, was rejected last month because of its political views, parade coordinators said.
“I wanted to march like the rest of the Iraq veterans,” said Lemieux, a 24-year-old Anaheim resident. “I served my country. I’m a veteran of a foreign war. I think I deserve that respect.”
Iraq Veterans, along with the groups Veterans for Peace and Military Families Speak Out, applied to march together in the parade this year under the entry “Military Patriots.”
After reviewing each group’s mission statement, the Veterans Day Parade Committee, a non-profit group that organizes the event, voted unanimously to reject the application, said parade coordinator Martha Thuente.
“They do not fit the spirit of the parade,” she said. “The spirit being one of gratitude for what the veterans have done. We do not want groups of a political nature, advocating the troops’ withdrawal from Iraq.” Parade coordinators work hard to keep the event free from politics, Thuente said.
“We’re not allowed to take a political stance.”
Now there’s the stupid excuse of the year by Ms. Thuente. She tries to keep the parade free of politics by keeping out anyone who is in political disagreement with the President? What a load of crap. That woman should be fired for stupidity, much less for disrespecting our veterans of the failed War in Iraq.