Lori Kimble, Steak and Patriotism
Date Added: May 10, 2004
Patriotic first-person accounts are popular chain-letter fodder. They are also incredibly hard to prove true or false, since there are often no objective third-person accounts to compare them to.
Subject: We All Should Be So Bold
The writer, Lori Kimble, is a 31 year old teacher and proud military wife. She is a California native who currently lives in Alabama.
It could have been any night of the week, as I sat in one of those loud and casual steak houses that are cropping up all over the country. You know the type -- a bucket of peanuts on the table, shells littering the floor, and a bunch of perky college kids racing around with longneck beers and sizzling platters.
Taking a sip of my iced tea, I studied the crowd over the rim of my glass. I let my gaze linger on a few of the tables next to me, where several uniformed military members were enjoying their meals.
Smiling sadly, I glanced across my booth to the empty seat where my husband usually sat. It had only been a few weeks since we had sat at this very table talking about his up-coming deployment to the Middle East? He made me promise to come back to this restaurant once a month, sit in our booth, and treat myself to a nice dinner.
He told me that he would treasure the thought of me there eating a steak and thinking about him until he came home. I fingered the little flag pin I wear on my jacket and wondered where at that moment he was. Was he safe and warm? Was his cold any better? Were any of my letters getting to him?
As I pondered all of these things, shrill feminine voices from the next booth broke into my thoughts.
"I don't know what Bush is thinking invading Iraq. Didn't he learn anything from his father's mistakes? He is an idiot anyway; I can't believe he is evenin office. You know he stole the election."
I cut into my steak and tried not to listen as they began an endless tirade of running down our president. I thought about the last night I was with my husband as he prepared to deploy. He had just returned from getting his smallpox and anthrax shots and the image of him standing in our kitchen packing his gas mask still gave me chills.
Once again their voices invaded my thoughts. "It is all about oil, you know. Our military will go in and rape and pillage and steal all the oil they can in the name of freedom. I wonder how many innocent lives our soldiers will take without a thought. It is just pure greed."
Full text omitted...
The version of this tale most commonly circulating via e-mail goes on to describe the author's growing frustration with the overheard conversation. According to the account, she puts the critical loudmouths in their places by pointing out that she dines alone because her husband is one of the soldiers they are maligning. The now-shamed critics are forced to slink out as she earns a round of applause (and a free dessert) from fellow patrons.
The author, Lori Kimble, is indeed real and these are her words. But, she isn't quite the "Jane Average" the letter leads you to believe and the veracity of her account has been questioned.
In addition to being "a 31 year old teacher and proud military wife," Kimble is also a featured opinion columnist for the Washington Dispatch. The text above was from her column appearing in the April 14, 2003 edition of that paper.
Her essay was copied and forwarded far and wide by folks inspired by her actions and similarly frustrated by those critical of the Bush Administration's policy in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, the popularity of this piece has cast some doubt on its authenticity. Initially available on the Dispatch web site, her article was pulled soon after and replaced by this notice:
"This article as been removed from the archives as questions have arisen regarding its validity. The author has been contacted on numerous occasions but has refused to provide any material that could resolve the issue."
Without knowing more about its origins and the reasons behind the author's reticence to provide more information about it, we have to categorize this one as rumor at best. Break this chain.
References: Washington Dispatch