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Vets for Freedom Heroes Tour spurned by Minneapolis high school; Update: VFF’s David Bellavia speaks

By Michelle Malkin  •  March 25, 2008 09:33 AM

Update: We got the audio of VFF’s David Bellavia discussing the cancellation with Mike Gallagher this morning. Listen here.


I told you about the non-partisan Vets for Freedom National Heroes Tour last week. Jim Hanson at Blackfive has a blood pressure-raising update on how some of your fellow Americans are responding to the tour. He minces no words:

The National Heroes Tour is in Minneapolis today for a number of events however we will not be visiting Forest Lake High School, because the right of whiny left-wing buttheads to censor the troops out weighs the right of American students to hear from and meet the folks who have risked their lives for the freedoms we all enjoy. This is Pete Hegseth’s High School and he had personally arranged for a non-partisan event where students could hear from the vets and ask them questions about their service. This so offended the delicate sensibilities of the usual suspects that they began hassling the Principal and threatening protests.

From the Star Tribune:

Steve Massey, the school principal, said the decision to cancel was prompted by concerns that the event was becoming political rather than educational and therefore was not suitable for a public school.

He said the school had received several phone calls from parents and others, some of whom indicated that they may stage a protest if the event took place.

“The event was structured to be an academic classroom discussion around military service. We thought we’d provide an opportunity for kids to learn about service in the context of our history classes,” Massey said. “As the day progressed, it became clear that this was becoming a political event … which would be inappropriate in a public setting.
“We decided to cancel,” Massey said. Organizers of the National Heroes Tour then scrambled to relocate the event to the American Legion building in Forest Lake. The visit, which U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Stillwater, had been scheduled to attend, is sponsored by Vets for Freedom, a national organization run by Pete Hegseth, a 1999 graduate of Forest Lake Area High School who served with the 101st Airborne in Iraq in 2005-06.

“I think it’s extremely unfortunate that a school would bow to the political pressure of outside groups and not bring in a veterans organization,” Hegseth said. “Are we saying that patriotism and duty and honor have no place in our public schools?”

Yes, that seems to be the message, doesn’t it?


Kathryn Lopez says it was Democratic Underground nutballs who harassed the school. She adds:

If I were a parent of a student at Forest Lake Senior High School, I’d be mad. And if I were a Social Studies teacher anywhere in the country, I’d get on the horn and invite the Vets for Freedom to my classroom.