Tuesday, March 21, 2006


I was reading something on another blog regarding Cindy Sheehan's interminable disgraceful antics, and I came across a description of how Casey died and the names of the other soldiers that were killed that day. I'm sure I've read that before, but this time it nearly made my heart stop when I read on of the names.

CPL Forest Jostes

I know that name. And I know his face. One of the hundred faces in my "garden". In his basic training picture, he doesn't look any older than twelve years old, baby face, glasses, innocence.

All I really knew about Forest was that he was an Illinois veteran. I did a little research, and found out there is much more to his story than just serving with Casey Sheehan. This is from Families United Mission, an organization of Gold Star families, Blue Star familes and veterans.

“When we heard that Forest would be going to Iraq, we were concerned like any parents would be whose son was going into harm’s way,” explained Diane Ibbotson. “Von and I knew when Forest signed up for active duty after the September 11, 2001 attacks, there was a distinct possibility he would be serving in a war zone. We were not surprised when he participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom.”

Forest Jostes joined the National Guard at the age of 17, and served during his senior year in high school. While in boot camp at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, he was the youngest and smallest of all the men serving at that base. “He told me that he learned a lot about what it meant to ‘soldier on’ during boot camp,” remembers Mrs. Ibbotson.

The Ibbotsons’ son, Army Cpl. Forest Jostes, was killed while on a volunteer mission to set up a medical evacuation point for fellow soldiers wounded and trapped in an abandoned building. The 16 soldiers were on a routine patrol in Sadr City, Iraq, when they came under enemy fire and called for an evacuation unit. Two rapid response teams answered the call.

“From what we learned later, the first team made it through; my son was in the second team,” recounted Mrs. Ibbotson. “There were four men in his group. Enemy fire wounded two men; the third member of the team assisted one of the wounded. My son, the fourth team member, was wounded and died while engaged in battle with the enemy.”

Cpl. Forest Jostes died in battle side by side with Casey Sheehan, son of anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan. He was 21 years old when he was killed on April 4, 2004.

The firefight between U.S. soldiers and the enemy went on into the night. Unarmed Iraqi civilians went into the line of fire to assist the wounded U.S. soldiers and bring them to safety.

“The day we received the news that Forest had given his life for his country, my family determined that we would continue to serve God and country. We would pick up the fight against terror that our son gave his life for,” stated Mrs. Ibbotson. Originally, the Ibbotson family set up a scholarship fund to assist those with military interests.

However, the night before Forest died, he had called home and spoke briefly to both of his parents. In that last conversation, Forest and his parents had the opportunity to say “I love you.” Forest ended the call because he had only one minute left on his calling card and he didn’t want the call cut off.

“When we thought about that later,” described Mrs. Ibbotson, “we realized how important and valuable that last phone call was. We wanted other soldiers and their families to have the opportunity to talk as often as possible. So, we began to collect calling cards to send to the men and women overseas, and to the wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Hospital,” explained Mrs. Ibbotson.

It's too damn bad that people like the Ibbotsons get so little press for their truly good works when the media fall all over themselves for a whore like Cindy.


At 3/21/2006, Blogger Richmond said...

CPL Forest Jostes -- another hero whose name I *now* know.

I just don't understand the mentality of the Cindy Sheehan's of this world. I really don't. And I guess I'm glad that I don't. (But I *sill* want to smack her....)

Oh, and Susan Sarandon is slated to play CS in an upcoming movie. Blech.

At 3/22/2006, Anonymous Emily said...

Cindy Sheehan is a disgrace to all military familys. I can only imagin what her son would say to her if he were to come back for only a moment. You're right she does not deserve the publisity she is getting, when so many other people are doing so much. Lord forbid you try to help the cause. The press can't stand that. Yes we all want our soldiers home, who would want them hurt? But we have no right to put down what they are doing. They love this country, and they even love the morons who are against the war. RESPECT, LOVE, STAND UP, for our soldiers.

At 3/24/2006, Blogger Politics of a Patriot said...

I know Cindy Sheehan certainly does not speak for me and my family. I'm so sorry to hear about Cpl Jostes, but he is a hero and will forever be remembered.

At 7/06/2006, Anonymous Ben Jostes(brother to CPL. Forest Jostes) said...

Thank you all for the uplifting comments


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