RUSH: This is Jeff in Davenport, Iowa. Jeff, welcome. It’s great to have you on the program.
CALLER: Oh, thank you, Rush. Mega dittos to you, sir. You are a great American, and please don’t ever stop what you’re doing for us, okay? You know, I first of all wanted to thank you for coming out there to Kandahar. I was actually stationed at a little fire base in a place called Lashkargah, but I was able to be in Kandahar when you got there. We knew a few days ahead and I was able to get on a chopper and get out there. You have no idea how much that meant to us, sir, so thank you very much for that (Rush Reports From Afghanistan).
RUSH: It’s the other way around. I wanted to do this trip specifically to be able to talk to you people over there, all of you, I was going to say you guys, but there were a lot of women in the audience as well, and the number of people trooping in the rec hall there — and that’s a nice rec hall in Kandahar, by the way.
CALLER: Yeah, it is.
RUSH: That was a very, very nice rec hall. The popcorn machine was going and everything.
RUSH: The crowd got bigger and bigger and bigger, and I remember when the Q&A started, I must have gone an hour and a half. That must have been an hour and a half long, and then anybody that wanted photographs or that sort of thing stayed for it. Mary Matalin was there, and it was just fabulous, and the thing that was meaningful to me, and I remember saying this to you guys, you people in that group — as I get older I have a… How old are you?
CALLER: I’m 44, sir.
RUSH: You’re 44, and how long have you been in?
CALLER: I volunteered in 2002.
RUSH: So are you Reserves?
CALLER: I am. I’m National Guard, sir.
RUSH: National Guard. So you volunteered to go over in 2002. The older I get, see, I had the chance. I was 18, 19, in the late sixties, and I didn’t do what you did, and I had a chance, and I didn’t. And as I’ve gotten older, my awe for people who do what you do continues to grow, and the older, the more mature I get, the more solemn is my appreciation for what people like you do, because it’s all volunteer, be it Guard, be it whatever else. There is no conscription. There’s no draft, and you volunteered to be over there, and I came back and I told people, “I don’t want to hear any more talk about poverty in this country. I don’t want to hear anymore about how hard our lives are, how tough we have it,” because the circumstances I saw in that country — and the Kandahar base is a pretty nice base, it’s a big base, but still, it’s not home.
CALLER: You know what, Rush, people have absolutely no idea whatsoever, and I can’t tell you how badly it hurts me and the people I was over there with to see us used as pawns right now by the Democrats. I mean, it’s unbelievable. We are doing so much good over there and it just seems like absolutely none of it’s reported. I’m a medical sergeant and I went on many, many, many missions, you know, to provide care in remote villages, places where they’ve never seen doctors; they’ve never had medicines. We did so much good over there — and, you know, I gave up 18 months with my own children — I have four kids — to serve in that mission. I volunteered to go because it was the right thing to do, period, and because I love my country and what we have so much that I wanted to give some of that away to those people over there, but I cannot tell you that there was no way for them to prepare us for what we saw over there. It is poverty on a level that is just unbelievable. People really cannot comprehend it. It’s unreal.
RUSH: Not only that, by our standards, yeah, it’s poverty, but to them it’s their way of life. They’ve never known anything better, and they very much appreciate your presence and our presence there, hope that we don’t leave. I heard that everywhere I went from Afghanistan people. But, anyway, I’ll never forget. We got there at like three or four in the afternoon, and we’re running really close on our schedule, and we got there three or four in the afternoon, I think we were set up to start at three o’clock. We were just a little bit late. We got up there and during the Q&A what amazed me — and you might remember this. During the Q&A, I started getting political questions from people.
RUSH: — and there were a lot of Democrat soldiers in that group.
CALLER: There were. There really were.
RUSH: They came out, and they weren’t afraid to ask my opinion on things, and the thing that — you know, I worry. Look it, I’m not over here to discuss politics with them. This is an appreciation tour. I mean, I want to hear. I want to tell everybody that you’re not forgotten and just because the media is not doing stories on you doesn’t mean that people in the country have forgotten you. When you get back and you go through the airports people are going to give you standing ovations when you get off the airplane and walk through the terminal. The fact that the media is not in Afghanistan… In fact, I said this. The fact they’re not there covering what you’re doing is a sure sign that what you’re do is a good job because there’s nothing going wrong, there’s no reason for the media to be here and cover your actions.
RUSH: In the Q&A, they wanted to know about Social Security, they wanted to know about a number of things, and I had some pretty spirited questions from Democrat soldiers in the crowd, but I never got the impression from any of those Democrat soldiers that they resented being there, because they had all volunteered. I never got the impression from those who were obviously Democrats that they were upset with the policy that sent them there. Now, you probably know them better than I do, but they had a full opportunity to tell me they were upset with it, because they knew I’d be going home, and it was a wide open afternoon. I mean, there was no restrictions on me, the military let me say what I wanted to say. There was no restrictions on you guys in the audience, and the reason I bring this up because Harry Reid yesterday before he shut down the Senate said he knows a Democrat soldier, says they’re not all Republican and he knows a Democrat soldier, he knows a Democrat soldier. This Democrat soldier doesn’t like it, is miserable over there, thinks the military is basically phoning it in, and I didn’t encounter that at all.
CALLER: You know what? It’s like that woman that called in earlier. I guarantee you we knew every single day why we were there. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind why we were there, and we all felt good about what we were doing — and, yeah, it was dangerous, quite a bit dangerous, you know, a lot of times, but again we remember doing so much good for the people, and that was the underlying theme behind every single thing that we did. We understood the mission. We knew why we were there, and we just simply went out and did it, you know? We were able to get your website through our satellite onto our computers, and we would just rush for that website every night to get your updates because we didn’t have access to any other real news over there.
RUSH: I know. I saw the television. You had CNN. You had CNN delivered. Some of the places had CNN and Fox, but I’m sure whatever you were watching in the mainstream US media, you’re not getting an accurate picture of the American people’s opinion of what you’re doing. I guarantee that.
CALLER: Exactly, and, you know, I used your website as a matter of fact to convert somebody who was very much a liberal Democrat when we came over there. I converted him to being a conservative Republican and then talked him into going to the college that I went to in Davenport, Iowa, here with me. He was from California, and he’s now listening here with me and he’s actually gotten involved in a couple of political campaigns. So you had a hand in that.
RUSH: God love you. You’re doing the Lord’s work over there in addition to saving Afghanistan you’re saving little Democrats.
CALLER: (Laughing.) That’s right.
RUSH: Well, that’s (Laughing.) Good for you. Well, hey, Jeff, thanks for the call. I appreciate it. It’s great to hear from you.
CALLER: It’s an honor to talk to you, sir.
RUSH: Well, thank you. I will never forget that week in Afghanistan. The one place we didn’t get to was Bagram Air Force Base. The C-130 that we — in fact we left Kandahar the next day for Bagram Air Force Base, which is not far from where we were based, but there was a problem with the number four engine, and they had to kill it, and we spent some time in the air trying to — I’m up in the cockpit because this is all cool to me, trying to restart the engine, couldn’t, had to go back, had to wait for C-130, which is about six or seven hours and by that time the schedule was blown and Bagram was the one place that I wanted to get to and didn’t get to, so there’s a reason to go back.
Rush Photo’s and Commentary…
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<font color=”#000000″>&#149;</font> <a target=new href=”//home/eibessential/rush_reports_back_from_afghanistan.guest.html”>(Photos of Rush In Afghanistan)</a>
<font color=”#000000″>&#149;</font> <a target=new href=”//home/eibessential/rush_reports_back_from_afghanistan.guest.html”>(Rush Files Final Afghanistan Report: Visits Afghan Cities,<br> Entertains Troops, Meets with President Hamid Karzai -02.25.05)</a>