Thursday, September 24, 2009

I Hate The War

In the September 17th snapshot, we noted Kristin M. Hall (AP) report Hotaru Ferschke, a military widow. Her husband, Sgt. Michael Ferschke, died serving in Iraq August 10, 2008. They had tried to have children for some time and when they learned she was pregnant, he was already in Iraq so they got married by proxy and the US military recognizes the marriage but the US Immigration and Naturalization Service plays dumb. She and their son Michael "Mikey" Ferschke III, are now facing deportation. INS is stating that the proxy marriage could be a fake because it wasn't consumated. Consumated? He remained in Iraq and they're not counting their long relationship prior to the proxy marriage. Her mother-in-law, Robin Ferschke told Hall, "She's like my daughter. I know my child chose the perfect wife and mother of his child."

Bob Yarbrough (Volunteer observes, "Too bad we can't legislate common sense. If we could, Hotaru Ferschke would be raising her son in Maryville without fear of being kicked out of America." Tim Morgan (National Ledger) adds, "What should become of her and her son - should they not get to stay in the US for her husband's ultimate sacrifice? Right now Hotaru Ferschke, and the baby are living in Tennessee with his parents." Matthew Stewart (Daily Times Staff) reports that Second Battle, a documentary about Hotaru's struggle and those of another military widow, was shown at Maryville College:

Ferschke and his bride had been together in Japan for more than a year, and she was pregnant when he deployed. They married by signing their names on separate continents and did not have a chance to meet again in person after the wedding, which a 57-year-old immigration law requires for the union to be considered consummated.
"She is being denied because they are saying her marriage is not valid because it was not consummated -- despite the fact that they have a child together," said Brent Renison, an immigration lawyer in Oregon who has advised the family.
Robin Ferschke, the mother of Sgt. Ferschke, said the family was approached several months ago by representatives from Brave New Foundation about their interest in participating in a documentary. Filmmakers shot their story in mid-June during the Flag Day weekend, she said.

Okay, so picture yourself in her shoes. You've lost your husband. You've got a newborn son. And the country your husband died serving is telling you that you and your son have to leave, they're saying that your marriage -- recognized by the US military -- is not real. Because your husband was serving in Iraq when you married and you never consumated your 'love'. That's it, right? That's what a marriage is supposed to consumate, love? Seems the child is proof of a consumated relationship.

But now you're fighting to stay in the country and, let's be honest, you're fighting to have your legal marriage recognized. Because not only are they trying to kick you out of the country, what they're saying is that you and your husband weren't really married.

It would seem INS would have more pressing issues to address and would stop harassing a young widow raising a small child. It would seem that way. And if they didn't, it would seem that someone in the executive branch could task them with a duty to focus on instead.

It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)

Last Thursday, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 4344. Tonight? 4346.

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