On April 11th, 2007, I helped organized one of the most heart warming experiences of my entire life. The Washington State University College Republicans and I hosted the movie OUTSIDE the WIRE. This was a story that you would not hear in the news. It was an authentic documentary with the only sources being from that of the troops, their families and friends. Although I consider myself to be an “Ultra-Conservative” that is sometimes biased, I can honestly say that this was the most non-partisan documentary I have ever seen.
The night started out with introduction from the Washington College Republican Federation East Vice Chairman of the College Republicans, Dan Ryder. Dan Ryder’s introduction talked about the amazing background of the movie as well as the possibility of Iraqi Veterans sharing their personal experiences in Iraq and hosting a question and answer session if they were willing.
Various young democrats sitting in the front row rudely interrupted Dan Ryder's introduction before he could finish. The young democrats expressed vivid interest in expressing opinions and producing questions to us, the WSU College Republicans. Dan Ryder and I articulated to the young democrats that no such exchange would take place in any shape or form. I was unequivocal in expressing that this documentary should leave you to derive your own opinions of the troops/war and that the WSU College Republicans did not feel qualified in hosting questions. After all, we did not serve in Iraq.
The young democrats “staged” a walkout upon hearing our truthful and legitimate response. This was a display upon epic proportions of the infantile demeanor of such a group that preaches the freedom of expression, ideas, opinions, etc. Their actions were pusillanimous in nature and a flat out slap in the face to the attendees, our organization, our great country and more acutely speaking, the Veterans of our brave service men and women present. They are a sickening disgrace. A classic display of uncouth trash.
Approximately 130 people showed up for the screening; there was only standing room in the last few minutes before the movie started. The nonchalant faces of the attendees turned to awe and captivation as soon as the movie started. It was apparent that many of the students had never seen this side of the war. The stories from the Marines produced goose bumps, goose bumps of pride. They reminded everyone of where we came from, where we are and the future of where we could be. The underlining message of the movie was that “freedom was not free” and that they, our armed forces, are fighting for us. We all should be so proud, so fortunate, of our heroes then and now. Let us never forget their sacrifice. God bless America, the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Three Iraqi Veterans came up to speak following the movie. The captivated attendees asked questions pertaining to the movie and war. “Was the movie an accurate example of what is really going on over there?” One Vet replied with, “Yes, I think this was probably the most accurate example of what is going on over there.” The Vets also dismissed assumptions that the troops were not getting the equipment that they needed. One question that never came up was “can you support the troops if you don’t support the war?” After the question and answer session ended a Vet replied, “Absolutely not, how can you support someone if you don’t support what he or she is doing?” In all, the Vets painted a positive picture of Iraq.
Personally, it was an honor to be amongst heroes. It was one of the most heart-warming experiences of my entire life. If you would like more info on the movie please contact me or the link below:
Daniel F Schanze
WSU College Republican Political Action Chairman