May 8, 2007

Via Guardian Unlimited:

Officer Robert Tim Buckman was rushing to warn rural residents about the approaching storm when the tornado swept up his squad car and flung it 300 yards into a field.
The 46-year-old officer hung on long enough for his daughter's wedding at his hospital bedside, then died of his injuries at a hospital Tuesday morning, his son, Derick Buckman, told The Associated Press.

Sadly, the family's pain didn't end there. Buckman's son-in-law, Army Pfc., Seth Cole had been scheduled to deploy for Iraq on Tuesday and stunningly, was initially denied permission by the Army to remain in Kansas to attend Buckman's funeral. This was a devastating blow to Cole and his family and as you can imagine, they were furious - and still are.

Cole - who has three daughters, ages 8, 7 and 4 - had spoken to The Associated Press by phone as he packed his bag for the flight to Iraq and had been upset.

``According to them, they have enough support in her family that one more person isn't really going to matter, even though my kids are there and they're asking for me,'' he said. Read more...

While Cole was eventually allowed to stay for the funeral, the military waited until the last minute to tell him. It's my guess that someone at the White House got on the phone and squashed this to avoid a PR nightmare just before President Bush's planned trip to Greensburg to survey the damage.

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