American Morning

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September 7th, 2009
08:00 AM ET

A soldier's sacrifice

Two of the biggest challenges of the Obama administration intersect in our story, “A soldier’s sacrifice.”

Back in July, Army Specialist Greg Missman was killed in Afghanistan when his convoy was hit by an IED. The explosion cut short what was Missman’s second stint in the Army. He had left the military 11 years ago but came back for one reason: health insurance.

Last year, Missman lost his job as a computer consultant. And Missman’s father Jim says his son was worried about providing health insurance for his family. Specialist Missman had a four-year-old son, Jack.


Filed under: Afghanistan • Health • Politics
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Brooke Missman

    My name is Brooke and I was Greg's former wife (we were no longer married at the time of his death) and I am the mother of his 4 yr old son Jack. I would like to 100% back what my mother in law Donna Turner is saying. I am horrified at what CNN is reporting and the inaccurate information that Greg's dad is reporting. Greg did NOT re-enlist because of healthcare. That is a total lie. He was a wonderful solider and re-enlisted because he missed being in the military, he was SO GOOD at his job and because he wanted to help support our son FINANCIALLY. I am devastated that my son might someday think he was in any way responsible for his daddy's death. For the person that said "if anyone would know why Spc. Missman re-enlisted, it would be his own father" that is absolutely NOT TRUE. There is a lot more to this story than you know. Rest in peace Greg. We love you and miss you everyday. God Bless.

    September 21, 2009 at 9:28 pm |
  2. James Roy Berryhill jr.

    Greg 's ex wife is who carryed healt insurance on there son Jack, not Greg .he joined the U.S.A.R. to serve his country and for only that reason , Just as I did in NAM. We both knew the risk's when we went in .

    He and his brother both lived with his mother Donna they NEVER live ith there dad , he had dam little to do with them . they live in union township .

    September 21, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  3. Dawn Waggoner

    I am Greg's sister, and would like to thank Mom for her post. It's been truly remarkable the manner in which she's been all but left out of the media coverage concerning Greg. This video is shameless, as is the political intention associated with it.

    Additionally, the completely false nature of the claim is, at best a disgrace to Greg and his sacrifice . It's amazing what incredible lows some people will sink to to further their ideologies and/or bask in the media limelight of an attention-getting personal agenda.

    This completely false allegation of re-enlisting to obtain health insurance is a travesty, and grossly dishonorable toward Greg and his true motivations. May God bless him and keep him forevermore.

    September 21, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  4. Anna W

    Donna, I can hardly believe you have the presence of mind to respond to this. I am so sorry your precious son is gone. Do you realize that most Americans who post on these cites have no clue what it is like to lose a child to a war?

    Having said that, I believe it is your husband (ex-husband Jim's?) comments that led to this debate which the MSM ran with. You and I both know why our sons joined the military. Their service (much less sacrifice) should not be used to further any political position. I have had 3 sons who have chosen to serve in the Army. Two have served 15 month tours in Iraq and now my youngest son has volunteered for a dangerous mission in Afghanistan and I find most days I have a hard time breathing normally. I can't imagine what your life must be like now, post son. Your grandson will be fine and his father's memory will not be tarnished by this political silliness. Your last sentence broke my heart: "Jack asked his Mom if they could take a plane to heaven so he can hug his dad". My heart is breaking for you as I worry about my own son tomorrow, and on Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week. Please don't concern yourself with all the idiots out there who could care less about your son, or my son. Peace to you.

    September 20, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  5. wow

    Wow, Jim Missman has sunk to a new low to get some more limelight from his sons death. Its is sick... Even sicker CNN wants to also capitalize from it to push Obama`s junk health care and reform the US Government to Communism tactics.

    Cnn should do a story on the trust fund money that was supposed to go to Gregs son Jack. Jim has control of and is not honoring Gregs wishes.
    Dont forget to ask about Jims new blood red saturn.That was purchased after the check showed up.

    Gregs death was very unfortunate and he will be missed. I`m sure as he watches from above he will see to it that justice is done.
    Has anyone wondered how Gregs son Jack will be affected by this false reporting ?
    Greg joined to serve his country , the health insurance and bonuses for re enlisting were only benefits .He did not join for only healthcare,has anyone bothered to talk to Gregs mom about this, that is where Greg actually lived.

    R.I.P. SPC Greg Missman ...

    September 20, 2009 at 9:07 pm |
  6. wow

    If anyone asked Greg why he re joined I think he would say to serve his country. The health insurance and bonuses for re enlisting were only benefits. Its sure is a shame how the media is turning a soldiers death into propaganda for Obama`s health care junk.

    Gregs dad Jim, is no prince, cnn should do a little checking into his backround and history of alcoholism and domestic violence.
    I know for a FACT. Jim Missman has enjoyed the limelight and attention that his sons death has brought him and now this . It is very sick and not right and to top that off Jim isnt supporting Gregs wishes to give his son Jack , 200k of life insurance to be put in a trust fund. Jim Missman , Gregs dad is not honoring this wish and even went out and bought a new car, red of course.
    Now report on this CNN I dare you ....
    Why havent CNN contacted Gregs mom she knows the real story...

    Greg , sorry to rant about your dad but Im sure as you watch from above you will see that good out does evil...
    You will be missed and have made the ultimate sacrifice for your Country and we thank you ...

    September 20, 2009 at 8:48 pm |
  7. Donna Missman Turner

    I'm Greg Missman's Mom and I can tell you I just can't believe all this BS about Greg joining the Army so that he could provide health coverage to his son, my grandson, Jack. When Greg lost his job and health coverage for Jack, Greg's ex-wife immediately had Jack covered under her health care plan at her place of employment. Greg joined the Army for many reasons – he was a warrior, he was highly skilled, he was brave, he believed in America and our way of life. He knew the danger he put himself in when he took the oath. He strongly believed in what he was doing. I had to finally speak out against all of this untrue information because I believe in the truth. He died doing what he believed it. If anyone wants to discuss Greg on TV, let them talk about what a great person, son, Dad and soldier he was, I would hate for my grandson to ever hear this false information – he probably would feel a great deal of guilt forever. Here's the real tragedy of Greg's loss of life: Jack asked his Mom if they could take a plane to heaven so he can hug his Dad.

    September 19, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  8. Anthem Free

    @ shawn

    Buy a catastrophic policy and invest the rest.

    September 9, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  9. Anthem Free

    @ Michael Ross

    Blame the policy that ties your health insurance to your job. If it was portable you could take it into retirement. In a truly free market you would have health insurance products that resembled life insurance; that is you would pay them off during your young working years and be covered the rest of your life.

    The real problem is that the government got involved in health insurance way back in the 1950s when they tied health insurance to jobs by giving a tax break to employers if they paid for health insurance but did not give the same tax break to individuals if they bought their own health insurance.

    Governemt creates problems and then declares that they are the only ones who can solve them. If they really wanted to help they should make health insurance a 50% tax credit. Even the poor can take a credit (as opposed to a deduction).

    September 9, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  10. Anthem Free

    Poor guy was brainwashed into thinking that the only way to buy medical services is with job supplied "health insurance". No one in the media talks about a type of insurance that you can buy yourself and is relatively inexpensive - catastrophic insurance - which covers all the bills in the case of a catastrophic illness or accident. It doesn't cover mundane doctor visits or minor injuries, but most people can cover those from their own resources.

    I just wonder how long it will be until the communists currently in power start agitating for "food insurance".

    September 9, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  11. shawn

    No man , no woman, no child no NOBODY should ever have to worry about if them or theirs will be able to afford medical treatment. We have come too far as a nation to let people be sick.

    My wife and I pay $1370 PER MONTH for our health care. I am 36 she is 28, neither of us smoke and we are in decent health not overweight diabetic or anything.

    It needs to be fixed..... SOME HOW SOME WAY! . not saying public option just saying it needs to be fixed. Every American needs pre-existing protection....the right to take your insurance with you if you switch jobs until your new jobs plan kicks in.....and if you get fired or laid off you should get health care WITH your unemployment.

    I don' t think anybody should live off the rest of us, but as a country we can help an American up if they need it.

    September 8, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  12. Blue

    And so the point of the story is... what? That SPC Missman was slaughtered unnecessarily because he didn't go to war of his own volition but because of the need to actually do something to take care of his family? What is the purpose of this allegation about his reason for enlisting? Also, why is hearsay from anyone other than the man himself suddenly compelling... but only if it suits a particular person's agenda?

    This is another case of a Soldier's sacrifice being used for someone else's purpose. It does not matter whether or not SPC Missman would want to be the poster child for nationalized health care. Maybe he would, or maybe he wouldn't; but now that he is dead, he is fair game for whoever wants to use his name and his deed for their purpose. As a serving Soldier currently in Afghanistan, there are a lot of us over here who do not want for ourselves and our choices to be used as someone else's tool just because we become inert... a thing... something to be used because we cannot endorse or refute the use of our memory, our image, or our sacrifice.

    People take jobs in the United States every day based on personal choices. They quit jobs for the same reasons. Are they now poster children? What happened to personal responsibility? One poster admonished above about Christ's commandments... but is it the government that is responsible for that, or is it YOU as an individual? Christ said nothing about compelling others to do the same; He appealed to each person to do his or her part, but said nothing about it being compulsory as a law. He also said, "Render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar's." Your duty as a Christian is not one of those things you can render unto Ceasar. So quoting Christ selectively as if it should be a driver in government is not compelling, either. It is lazy. Expecting the government to take care of your religious obligations is ridiculously lazy.

    The implication of this story is that if we had nationalized health care, this man would not have been forced into combat and would therefore still be alive. If this doesn't cheapen his service, I don't know what does. Could it be a lost Soldier's father seeking a reason to blame? As if that ever happens. Could the reporter find that this allegation supports his personal political agenda? Has that ever happened before? I think we could find cases where it has happened.

    Both sides cheapen a Soldier's service. A father's grief and search for answers or someone to blame can be understood, but using a Soldier's sacrifice for political gain is heinous.

    September 8, 2009 at 7:50 am |
  13. Anna W

    Scott, Michelle, Paul, Greg Missman's father said Greg re-enlisted in order to provide health insurance for his son. I think if anyone would know why Greg re-enlisted it would be his own father. I have 3 sons and a daughter-in-law. The only one with health insurance is my son who is in Afghanistan serving in the military. Everyone else makes only enough money at their jobs to buy food, pay rent, buy gas, pay utilities, clothes and shoes every six months for two young children and they still don't have enough money. YET NONE OF THEM ARE ON WELFARE!!! This is the reality of millions of Americans. They are called the "working poor" and they are living in the same towns you are. You just don't notice them because they are invisible until one of them ends up at the emergency room and then YOU get pissed off because these injured or sick AMERICAN CITIZENS have no choice but to seek medical help.

    September 7, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  14. Paul W

    First, My Condolences for Mr Missman's family.
    Why doesnt the adminstration just leave those of us alone that have health insurance and can afford it and help those that can't get insurance without taxing the rest of us!

    September 7, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  15. Michael Ross

    Wow JUST $200 a month! Geez it might as well be free. And does that cover his kid? And High Deductible? How high?
    I am a salary worker in a DOD facotry. I will work until I die or can no longer work because my wife has been ill. We will not be able to get health insurance if I retire. I work with at least three that I know of (Metalurgists to Low Mgrs.) that are working beyond retirmnet age to pay for insurance.
    Quit being a pawn of the Robber Barons and do what Christ commanded. "Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and heal the sick."

    September 7, 2009 at 9:01 am |
  16. Michelle

    Here we go again with the overwhelmingly biased Jim Acosta who couldn't be objective if his life depended on it. Everything he says and does is motivated by his agenda, and it comes through loud and clear every time CNN posts his stories. CNN – when are you going to figure out that people – at least independent thinking people – don't want to hear "news" from partisans on either side, on any networks. CNN should work to put people like Dana Bash, Heidi Collins, Don Lemon....folks that are so down the middle that you can't ever figure out what their personal beliefs are....on their broadcasts. Acosta on the other hand, is the most untrustworthy person on all of CNN because of his intellectualy dishonest approach to the "news" at all times. Even the left leaning Rick works to catch himself and compensate for his bias, but Acosta should be told to go work for the Huffington Post or Moveon.org.

    September 7, 2009 at 9:00 am |
  17. Scott Gerald Leander

    Army Specialist Missman was a Patriot and I thank has family for his sacrifice. But, if your asking me to believe he had no other options, but the military, to acquire health insurance I'm going to tell you your terribly misinformed and I questions either your motives for running this story or your professional competency as investigative reporters. He could have purchased an inexpensive STM policy or high deductible H S A plan for less then $200.00 a month! Start doing your homework and stop using your network as a propaganda tool!

    September 7, 2009 at 8:24 am |