If I had been in that briefing room when White House Chief of Staff and retired Gen. John Kelly stated that only journalists who had a personal connection to a fallen soldier were allowed to ask a question, I could have raised my hand.
But that would have cheapened the memory of a Marine, my beloved nephew, treating his life and death as currency in an unholy transaction.
But to have used that ticket I wish I did not possess for advantage would have betrayed the values of the America my nephew served. That America is one where a journalist or any citizen is certainly allowed, even encouraged, to question a government official who is beholden to the U.S. Constitution — not the man sitting in the Oval Office.
Though I think of that gentle young man often, I hesitate mentioning him at all. His is my sister’s story to tell, and I respect that. It is the late Marine’s father, her Vietnam veteran husband’s story to tell.
So I called her to ask.