Break the Chain George Bush and Sam Kettler

Created 3/20/2004 (3/22/2004) At a time when e-mailed platitudes both praising and criticizing President George W. Bush's character run rampant, this one has garnered some well-deserved skepticism. Unlike many others, this one is mostly true and accurate.

SAMPLE CHAIN LETTER TEXT

Hello Everyone.

I just wanted to pass this information along to each of you so you know

what a truly compassionate and caring man we have in President Bush.

My first cousin, Shawn Kettler, and his wife, Suzanne, and daughter, Laramie, lost their 6 year old son, Sam, in a drowning accident this past Saturday (March 6th), outside Gatesville. They all live within a few miles of the President's place in Crawford TX.

Sam and a young friend of his were walking around a tank when the mud gave way and Sam fell in the tank. The tank is a spring fed tank, and Sam was sucked under the water into a "sink hole" where the spring came into the tank. His little friend tried to get him out but was unable to reach him, so he ran about 200 yards to his house and told his grandmother. The grandmother called 911 then went to the tank, but was unable to even see Sam.

Sam's father and a volunteer fireman arrived first and began diving into the tank but were unable to locate Sam (I believe they said the water was about 10 feet deep). The Deputy Sheriff that received the 911 call was at the entrance to President Bush's ranch when the call came in. He told the Secret Service agents at the gate what was happening and they, in turn, radioed the ranch house. President Bush told them to "Go - take all the men and equipment you need and just go". He also sent his personal physician and his helicopter over to the tank.

Sam was finally located and pulled from the water by one of the Secret Service agents (I believe there were 5 agents there all total). There was a faint pulse but they could not revive little Sam. President Bush's doctor began working on him and they loaded him into the Presidential helicopter and took him to Hillcrest Hospital in Waco. The doctors there worked on him for awhile, but he had been under water for 45 minutes, so there was really no hope for his recovery. And, had he survived, he would never have been the same. Sam was truly a unique little boy who lived life to the fullest. And he loved the fact that "George Bush, the President" had chosen to live so close to his house.

When the family went to the funeral home in Gatesville on Sunday to make the arrangements, they were told everything had been paid for by an anonymous donor. After much "detective" work, it is believed that President Bush is that anonymous donor. I just wanted all of you to hear this story so you know what a true gentleman our President is. And I ask that you pray for my family as they deal with this tragedy. And, lastly, please pray for our ountry and President Bush as he attempts to hold it all in place.

Don't ever forget to tell everyone close to you and possibly, some of those not so close, how much you love them. Tell them everyday because life is short and very unpredictable. I love each of you. Debbie Barnes

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The piece above was written by Shawn Kettler's first cousin and accurately describes the circumstances behind little Sam's tragic death. Here are the facts, according to an Associated Press report:

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  • Sam Kettler was walking with his grandfather near President Bush's Crawford, Texas, ranch on March 6, 2004, when he fell into a stock pond.

  • Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers and Secret Service agents from the Bush ranch two miles away responded to the 9-1-1 call.

  • When it was revealed that the local fire department did not have the scuba equipment needed to effectively find Sam, the Ranch's special response team was called in.

  • Ten military medics and secret service agents arrived and a Secret Service diver recovered Sam.

  • A blackhawk helicopter from Bush's ranched ferried Sam to the Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center while rescuers performed CPR. Unfortunately, Sam was pronounced dead on arrival.

However, the assumption that the funeral was financed by an anonymous donor is erroneous, and the assertion that the benefactor was likely President Bush was only conjecture on the part of the author. According to Snopes.com, the funeral home that handled Sam Kettler's arrangements has a long-standing policy of not charging families that have lost a young member for their services. This led some distant family members to assume that President Bush covered the costs, when in fact it was the funeral home itself.

What Do You Think?

Category: Political Ponderings
References: Snopes.com

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