Another year has flown by, and one thing remains the same — the governor's adamant support of our troops. Governor Jim Doyle says he's proud of our men and women in the military, and their service to our country. In a sign of respect, Doyle has attended many funerals of Wisconsin's soldiers who died in Iraq, and he has gotten to know the families pretty well. "You can see where these men and women have come from and where their values of patriotism and service and duty have come from. And they're wonderful families and, you know, it's just one of the saddest parts of my job. But in an unusual way it's also one that just fills me with pride because I just see just the character of the people of Wisconsin."
The latest Wisconsin soldier to die in the war is Marine Corps Captain Kevin Kryst of West Bend, bringing our state's total GI deaths in Iraq to 64. The 27-year-old was killed in combat Monday. Doyle says the holiday season is an especially difficult time of year for the families of fallen soldiers. "And, in particular, I know at this time of year, you know, our thoughts and prayers go out to these wonderful families that have lost loved ones."
The governor says he won't let the debate over the war detract from this state's admiration, respect and support for our troops. Doyle proved that when he signed into law the Funeral Dignity Protection Act in February of this year. The measure criminalizes protests that take place within 500 feet of a soldier's memorial service or funeral, with a penalty of $10,000 dollars and nine months in jail. The governor is looking forward to continuing his support of our troops in his second term.