The Honorable John Murtha

MurthaYou probably heard about Rep. John Murtha's (D - PA) comments last week calling for the U.S. to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq.

The White House and Republican leaders attacked him immediately and challenged his patriotism. This despite the fact that he is a retired Marine who was awarded 2 Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star for Combat.

Rep. Murtha called the Bush administration's management of the conflict "a flawed policy wrapped in illusion," and said the continued presence of U.S. troops in Iraq is "uniting the enemy against us."

"It's time to bring the troops home," he said, noting that a withdrawal would take about six months to complete.

He also took a swipe at Vice President Dick Cheney and President Bush, who have accused Democratic critics of playing politics during a war.

"I like guys who've never been there who criticize us who've been there," Murtha said. "I like that. I like guys who got five deferments and never been there and sent people to war and then don't like to hear suggestions that what may need to be done."

You probably heard all of this last week. However, you are probably not aware that Congressman Murtha was born in New Martinsville, WV, and lived in Paden City, WV, prior to his family moving to southwest Pennsylvania.

Who was one of his teachers during these formative years?

None other than my grandfather, Owen "Mack" McKay.

Semper Fi, Mr. Murtha. Semper Fi.