Delegate fighting 'misguided devotion'

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A Utah delegate attending the Democratic National Convention is turning a devastating experience into a political commitment.

Kathy Snyder of Logan is a devoted Democrat and a devoted mom. She's also devoted to seeing Barack Obama elected. The reason is his commitment to end the war that claimed the life of her son.

Delegate fighting 'misguided devotion'

In 2006, 31-year-old Brian Freeman was kidnapped in Karbala and later executed. Freeman was an army captain, husband and father who loved his country. But like his mom, he had doubts about the war in Iraq from the very beginning.

Since his violent death in Iraq, she has become a gold-star mother. Snyder has moved beyond her own grief. She is angry. She firmly believes the war is causing or exaggerating America's most serious problems, like soaring national debt and health care costs, high gas and food prices, a drooping economy, a looming social security crisis and so on.

Snyder strongly believes Obama's commitment to end the war is more responsible than John McCain's more open-ended stand.

"I think you need to be committed to bringing them home. I think you need to be committed to ending the war. It's no secret, as far as I'm concerned, that this war should never have started," Snyder said.

Her fellow Utah Democrats attending the convention, going to parties, and posing for photographs together have differences over which issues are priorities. But for Snyder, the biggest change that needs to be made is what she calls misguided devotion to the war.

"John McCain a few months ago said we will return when we can do so honorably. And I know my family has no more honor to give," she said.

Snyder is obviously not shy about voicing her views on the war. To her, it goes beyond politics, and deeper even than the loss of her son.


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Richard Piatt


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