From Holden:

Chimpy ignores another war mother.

Latseen Benson, in the 101st Airborne, was struck Sunday by a roadside bomb in Tikrit, north of Bagdad. Monday night, the 26-year-old he had not regained consciousness, Diane Benson said from her Eagle River home.

Benson said her son’s first four-year tour was over Oct. 31 and that he was forced to extend his service under the controversial Stop-Loss Program.

“My son is now fighting for his life with half a body left,” Benson said.

Latseen lost his legs and possibly part of an arm on Sunday, and was in a coma Tuesday night in a hospital in Germany, according to Ruth Sheridan, a family friend.


Diane Benson said she wrote letters to U.S. Rep. Don Young, Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Sen. Ted Stevens asking them to intercede after his first tour, so her son could return home. She was not successful. Latseen decided he couldn’t abandon the rest of the soldiers in his unit, who were also forced to serve the extra time.

“This is criminal when we have people who are not willing to step up to the plate to take over,” she said. “It must not be that critical when nobody wants to serve.”


Diane Benson said her son had plans in January to attend college in Texas and marry his girlfriend, before he was ordered to serve until 2007.

“Stop-Loss is a very ugly lie,” she said. “They drafted my son so he could go over there and get blown up.”

President Bush’s speech in Anchorage on Monday added to Benson’s anger and heartache.

“I would have appreciated a little house call while he was here,” she said. “To tell me why a very fine boy has to be fighting for his life.”