Thursday, July 17, 2008

Help Leander Honor a Fallen Marine

Honor a Fallen Marine in Leander ISD - And Battle Back the Liberals
(By Eric Stratton)

Recently, the Leander ISD Board of Trustees took a bold stand to honor one of their own, a fallen hero in the recent battlefront of Iraq in the Global War on Terror. The Board voted unanimously to name the newest high school set to be built in the Steiner Ranch area "Lt. Matthew Vandegrift High School." This tribute came after the usual public comment period in which Lt. Vandegrift received the most votes from constituents throughout the Leander Independent School District.

Lt. Matthew Ryan Vandegrift (USMC) – a Leander High School honors graduate (Class of 1999) and athlete – was killed in Iraq in April 2008. 1st Lt. Vandegrift grew up in the Steiner Ranch community and graduated from Texas A&M with honors and a degree in international business, before enlisting in the United States Marine Corps in August 2005. He was killed just four days shy of his 28th birthday.

Unfortunately, since the Board's action, liberals who oppose not just the Iraq Battlefront but also Matthew Vandegrift's very act of patriotism to enlist and serve in the first place have given the Board tremendous flack and put a great amount of pressure on the school district to reverse their decision.

One such email reads in part, “Naming the school after someone who signed up to serve in an illegal war promotes the board's political pro-war message. If you are set on honoring a service person, honor a fallen fireman or policeman. For many of us who are, and have been from the beginning, against this war, this is not the message that we want to send to our kids. Both my sons will attend this school. Both of them will know that it was named after someone who willingly signed up to take part in an illegal war defending, mainly, business interests. While I feel terribly sorry for both Lt. Matthew Vandegrift and his family for their loss, I cannot agree with their actions.”

It is precisely for this reason why we must take action ourselves and come to the defense of these men and women of integrity who chose not only to honor the memory of a young man whom we should all aspire our youth to emulate but who also chose to respect the wishes of the vast majority of the people of Leander ISD.

While the Board and other school district officials have heard many public comments from folks living in Williamson County, they have not as of yet heard much positive feedback from the people in Travis County in whose backyard this school will be built. That is why I urge you, if you live in Travis County and Leander ISD to take action NOW by doing one or all of the following:

1. Email the LISD at and thank them for naming the new high school after Lieutenant Vandergrift, or call them at (512) 434-5000 and ask for the Superintendent's Office to leave a comment.

2. Contact your friends and associates and ask them to do the same.

3. Attend, and encourage attendance at the next LISD Board meeting and give public comment in favor of the Vandergrift honor. The meeting will start at 6:15 THIS THURSDAY, July 17 at the Cedar Park High School Auditorium. Citizen’s comments are normally around 7PM. Ideally one person would speak briefly and a large group would stand to show their support for our heroes. (I am sure that those opposed to supporting our soldiers will do the same for their cause.)

There is a strong chance that the naming of the school will come up for reconsideration by the Board. It is up to Americans like you to stand up and recognize the honor, courage and sacrifice of service members like Lieutenant Vandergrift.

Lieutenant Vandergrift stood up for you . . . so stand up for him the way the Leander ISD Board of Trustees already has.

1 comment:

Tony Dale said...

Last night the Leander (TX) Independent School Board met in their regular meeting. I and others participated in public comments and thanked them for naming the new high school after Lieutenant Matthew Vandergrift. I am very please to say the no one was in attendance who was in opposition to the naming. I have been given strong indications that they will stick to their decision and not reconsider the name.

Thank you for participating in giving thanks and courage to the board members. It is rare that public servants are thanked for their work and your efforts have made a difference.

With kind regards,

Tony Dale
Cedar Park, TX