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Soldier’s Father Says Mother Asked Obama to Stop Wearing Bracelet Bearing Son’s Name

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The father of Sgt. Ryan David Jopek, who was killed in Iraq, has said that his ex-wife (and mother of the slain soldier) gave the bracelet bearing Jopek’s name to Sen. Barack Obama but now has asked the presidential candidate to stop wearing it in public, according to Jack Tapper of ABC News. The bracelet had become a discussion point during Friday’s debate, and the mother does not want it to become a political talking point.

An audio clip of Brian Jopek is here. His comments are about 10 minutes into the clip.

But a month later, Ryan’s father Brian — who is no longer married to Tracy — told Wisconsin Public Radio that his ex-wife had misgivings about Obama wearing the bracelet and mentioning their son on the campaign trail. It seems as though just as Tracy Jopek supports Obama and wants to end the war, Brian Jopek has a different take on what should happen in Iraq and may be more inclined to support McCain.

After pointing out that he and Tracy are not married anymore, Brian says that “from what I understood from email exchanges with Tracy….she wanted to put a name, she wanted Sen. Obama to know Ryan’s name…She wasn’t looking to turn it into a big media event…She just wanted it to be something between Barack Obama and herself.”

Bryan Jopek went on to say that “because of some of the negative feedback she’s gotten on the Internet, you know Internet blogs, you know people accusing her of… or accusing Obama of trying to get votes doing it… and that sort of thing, she has turned down any subsequent interviews with the media because she just didn’t, she just didn’t want it to get turned into something that it wasn’t. She had told me that in an email that she had asked, actually asked Mr. Obama to not wear the bracelet anymore at any of his public appearances.”

Conservatives are now criticizing Obama for exploiting a fallen soldier whose mother has asked him to stop wearing the bracelet or mentioning her son’s name. I’m not sure what the reality is behind this story — I have a call into the Obama campaign and Tracy Jopek to find out more about this story, and will let you know what they say.


Written by newscycle

September 28, 2008 at 2:23 pm

Posted in Debate, Obama

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