FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 2, 2007
Contact: John Rankin
Brownback Welcomes Sesker
Family to Ames Straw Poll
Encourages straw poll attendees to support fallen soldiers
DES MOINES – U.S. Senator Sam Brownback, Republican candidate for president, today announced that family members of Army National Guard Sgt. Daniel L. Sesker of Ogden, who was killed earlier this year in Iraq, will appear at the Brownback tent at the Ames straw poll on August 11.
The Seskers will lead a brief memorial for Iowans who have fallen in battle and join Senator Brownback in asking straw poll attendees to support Operation First Response, a volunteer organization that provides assistance to loved ones before VA benefits begin to arrive. Sesker family members expected to attend include Sgt. Sesker's aunt, PJ Sekser-Green, and her husband Randy; Sgt. Sesker's cousin, Julie Sealine; and Bob and Linda Reynolds.
"There are many ways to support the men and women who are serving our country now, who have served in the past, and especially those who have fallen," said Brownback. "My campaign is about strengthening families through reforms to Social Security and income taxes that will make all Americans' lives better, and the sacrifices of the men and women in uniform worthwhile. I ask everyone attending the Ames straw poll, and not just those visiting my tent, to give generously to Operation First Response."
After Daniel's death, family members learned that it routinely takes up to 15 months for the families of wounded soldiers to receive the VA benefits they desperately need and richly deserve. In an effort to help fellow survivors, the Seskers organized the Sesker Family Golf Open, a charity event to benefit Operation First Response. Their first event, held last month, raised $56,000. Senator Brownback was honored to attend the benefit as an invited guest of the Sesker family.
Sgt. Sesker, a gunner, died 30 miles northwest of Tikrit in April 2006 when a roadside bomb exploded near his vehicle. Sgt. Sesker served in Kosovo and was adamant about continuing his service to his country by going to Iraq. Only 22 years old, Daniel stands with more than 50 fellow Iowans who gave their lives to protect ours.
In addition to the memorial program and collection for Operation First
Response, PJ Sesker-Green will provide quilts for visitors to sign with
messages of encouragement for our fighting men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan.