Bush to dead soldier's mom: "How do you know his life would have been good?"
By Jeff Norman
August 11, 2005
Cindy Sheehan is not the only Gold Star mom who felt disrespected after a visit with George W. Bush. Dolores Kesterson, whose son Erik was killed in Iraq in November of 2003, was among several military families who last year were invited to meet with Bush as a group. Each family was allotted ten minutes with the president, but because she is divorced from her husband, Dolores asked to speak with Bush one-on-one.
Dolores reports exclusively for U.S. Tour of Duty that she waited alone in a small partitioned area, wondering if her request would be granted, before a Bush aide suddenly announced, "The president will now see you." As the commander in chief strode briskly toward her, it seemed to Dolores that he was trying to intimidate her. "He came marching in and got right in my face...eyeball to eyeball, and said, 'I'm George Bush, the president of the United States, and I understand you have something to say to me in private.'"
Dolores tried to give Bush a sense of what type of person Erik had been. She described her son as a "comedian" whose favorite saying was, "Life is good." The president replied, "How do you know his life would have been good?"
Dolores was shocked by Bush's eagerness to question the value of her son's life. She told the president, "Nobody wants to die."
Before he concluded their meeting, Bush proclaimed to Dolores, "We won't know in our lifetime whether or not Iraq was a success."
[See a video clip of Dolores Kesterson describing her meeting with President Bush at www.ustourofduty.org.]