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Rumor: The father of a fallen Marine returned a condolence letter from President Obama with a stinging handwritten rebuke.

Published Jan 8, 2015

Claim:   The father of a fallen Marine returned a condolence letter from President Obama with a cutting handwritten response.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, January 2015]

Fallen marine's father , Steve Hogan, returns letter of
condolence to president Obama. True ?


Origins:   On 3 January 2014, the website IJReview published an article titled "While Obama Boasts of Ending War in Afghanistan, Marine Family's Letter Puts It In Perspective." The piece was a commentary on President Obama's December 2014 written statement about the end of combat operations in Afghanistan:

For more than 13 years, ever since nearly 3,000 innocent lives were taken from us on 9/11, our nation has been at war in Afghanistan. Now, thanks to the extraordinary sacrifices of our men and women in uniform, our combat mission in Afghanistan is ending, and the longest war in American history is coming to a responsible conclusion.

The site highlighted a July 2012 letter of condolence sent by President Obama to Steve Hogan, the father of Lance Corporal Hunter D. Hogan, and the elder Hogan's purported reply. Below the letter sent by the President to Mr. Hogan was a handwritten response that read:

Mr. Barrack Hussein Obama,

I am deeply saddened that you are the President of the United States. You sir are an embarrassment to the Oval Office. My son, as well as most Marines I know, despise you and your lack of representation for our military.

Your ridiculous rules of engagement have caused the massive amount of casualties on your watch in Afghanistan. While we watch your media pander to your administration and clearly sweep things under the rug for you, I fully understand Marines die. You have tied their hands & feet!

I am thankful I did not serve under a Comm. in Chief such as you. I am sickened that my son had to. I wonder ... I doubt that you will see this, I hope you do though!

Steve Hogan

Above the letter was an additional note: "I wonder how many of these get returned to you!" The site did not explain where the putative reply originated, why it had emerged more than two years after Lance Cpl. Hogan's death, or when the reply might have been written. The commentary is not fully out of line with a statement attributed to Steve Hogan and Hunter's widow Brittany, printed on 14 July 2012 in the York News-Times. That statement read in part:

We as family and friends of Lance Cpl Hunter and other service members want to know why the media in our country has coddled instead of covered this Teflon coated administration!

We listened every night on the news for 8 years with the previous administration the casualty reports. With the present administration nothing is reported!

With the news of our recent loss of

HD and others in his battalion, many people have made statements like, "I didn't think anything was going on there anymore."

"I thought the Marines were leaving there," etc. Here are the statistics in Afghanistan for the 8 years of George Bush.

The total killed in action under him is 660. Barrack Obama in 3 years and 5 months the total killed in action is 1,398.

Wounded under George Bush is 2,637 in 8 years. Wounded under Obama up to Jan. 31st of this year is 11,529.

Why isn't the media covering this instead of covering the protestors of these brave service men and women's funerals?

The policies of this current administration and the rules of engagement are a huge factor with these casualty reports. The limited air and artillery support our men received.

The limited company level support such as mortars, as well as the approval to return fire are hampering and adding to the danger they are in daily.

Not to mention the severely limited night operations, that are approved, because they scare the Afghan people.

Let the military run the war, they are the professionals, or get our people out of there. How many more black walls full of names are we going to build?

The response attributed to Steve Hogan circulated heavily in January 2015, but few mentions of it on the internet exist before the article linked above. Hogan criticized the Obama administration's handling of combat operations in Afghanistan in a published editorial in July of 2012, but the wording is not the same as the above reply with which he has been credited. If the reply is genuine, it's not clear where the site obtained it or why it was not uncovered until more than two years after the original letter from President Obama was sent.

Last updated:   9 January 2015

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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