Yesterday John noted that the Minneapolis Star Tribune (and the Washington Post) had failed to carry a single word on the mission to Capitol Hill of hometown hero Pete Hegseth (above left). Today in her Star Tribune column Katherine Kersten profiles Hegseth: “Minnesota warrior takes his fight from Iraq to Washington.” Kathy provides some background on the journey that took Hegseth from Forest Lake, Minnesota to Guantanamo, Iraq, and Washington:
Hegseth’s path to Capitol Hill was circuitous. He attended Princeton University after graduating from Forest Lake High School, and then landed a job in New York City as an equity capital markets analyst for Bear Stearns, one of the world’s largest investment banking and brokerage firms.
But the chance to make a bundle on Wall Street wasn’t enough for Hegseth. From his youth, he longed to serve his country — “a heart pang that never went away.” He traces it, in part, to childhood trips to see his grandfather march with other World War II veterans in the July 4th parade in Wanamingo, Minn.
“It was a powerful sight to watch people lining that picturesque, old-fashioned main street — their hands over their hearts to honor the men who had fought for their freedom. I wanted to do my duty, just as they had.”
At Princeton, Hegseth joined ROTC and the National Guard. But the opportunity to serve came sooner than he expected. In March 2004, three days after he started at Bear Stearns — and three weeks after he married Meredith Schwarz, his high school sweetheart — he was called up.
Hegseth was sent to the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
For most of us, a year would be enough to say we’d served our country. Not Hegseth. Three months after his return from Cuba, he experienced a moment of truth in Bear Stearns’ swanky offices high above Manhattan.
“I was drinking my coffee, and I opened the paper to read that a suicide bomber in Iraq had just blown up 18 kids and one American soldier,” he said. “It hit me: this is the face of pure evil. An enemy that would something like this has to be defeated.”That day was one of the most difficult of my life, ” he added. “I had to go to my wife and say, ‘Meredith, I love you, but I’m seeking your permission to volunteer for duty in Iraq.’ ”
Ten weeks later, Lt. Hegseth of the Army’s 101st Airborne Division was leading a platoon of 40 men in helicopter assaults on Al-Qaida safe houses in Baghdad.
It’s a great, inspirational story. More people should know it. However, the mainstream media have somehow left it to a Minneapolis Star Tribune metro columnist to tell.
UPDATE: Reader Steve Robbins writes:
Regarding your post about Pete Hegseth, you should also note that in the AP’s story about the Senate all nighter debate and vote in the morning on the Levin/Reed bill, the AP included a paragraph long plug for MoveOn.org, noting that:
MoveOn.org, the anti-war group, announced plans for more than 130 events around the country to coincide with the Senate debate, part of an effort to pressure Republicans into allowing a final vote on the legislation. A candlelight vigil and rally across the street from the Capitol was prominent among them, with Democratic leaders attending.
And yet, AP didn’t make a single mention of the grassroots success of the Veterans for Freedom, who fanned out throughout the Capitol, and whose presence may have been quite instrumental in the defeat of the legislation. One would think their success alone would garner them a mention over MoveOn.org, whose efforts failed miserably.
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