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Question of the day

Friday, Feb 29, 2008

[I’ve bumped this to the top and made it the QOTD. Instead of a question today, let’s send Rep. Watson our best wishes and our hopes for his speedy and safe return. Thanks.]

* Rep. Jim Watson sent me an e-mail frome Iraq this week and he told me yesterday that I could post it here. Watson is with the U.S. Marine Corps 3rd Civil Affairs Group in Fallujah.

Bethany Jaeger did a brief update on Rep. Watson at Illinoize this week. Watson was intending to blog at Illinoize himself, but he explains why that may not be possible…

Greetings from beautiful Fallujah. Things are going well here. I don’t think I will be able to blog because I doubt I will have the time to do it justice, but I sincerely appreciate the offer. Seems like most of my spare time is spent on e-mails from the office or calling in to check on things.

I also couldn’t blog because of the classified nature of the information that I handle. What I can tell you is that I am working on governance… I analyzed the three key pieces of legislation that recently passed the Council of Representatives: the FY08 budget (which is about $45-50 billion, yet only 12 pages long), the Amnesty Law, & Provincial Powers Law (which defines relationships between different governing bodies). Have given briefs to Marine Commanding General and that was certainly interesting.

Attended the Fallujah City Council meeting yesterday … felt like I was back in Springfield. Actually they have made amazing progress when you consider that 8 months ago the Marines had to repel an insurgent attack on the council meeting and the previous two council leaders were assassinated. Yesterday could have been a council meeting anywhere (with the exception of the Marine presence). Hope all is well in Springfield & I appreciate your website as it helps keep me abreast of the scene. Take care, Jim

Stay safe, man.

* Bethany also had this photo of Watson…

* And this explanation…

What’s in the bag? Watson said it held some of his gear. [Ben Jackson in Watson’s legislative office] said Watson replied, “Hey, you have to work with what’s available around here!”

As Rep. Watson said, he’s checking the blog. So you can use this opportunity to wish him well in comments.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Dan S, a Voter - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 7:31 am:

    Rep. Watson, stay safe and Thank You sir for your service to our Country.

  2. - Snidely Whiplash - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 7:54 am:

    When you hear things like that, it makes you appreciate your country even more, and put its problems into perspective. Thank you.

  3. - jerry 101 - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 8:16 am:

    12 pages?! its no wonder there is so much corruption there. nobody knows where the money’s going!

  4. - Ghost - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 8:23 am:

    Stay safe, and don’t play with the little green pineapples!!

  5. - Enemy of the State - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 8:26 am:

    Semper Fi.

  6. - Sen. Jeff Schoenberg - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 8:33 am:

    Hey, Jim. I just knew all that time we spent together in House Appropriations becoming budget geeks would eventually come in handy for you. Stay safe, and know that our prayers and good wishes are always with you.

  7. - Siyotanka - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 9:09 am:

    God speed Jim…watch yer back.

  8. - Rev. Bob - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 9:16 am:

    Thanks for your willingness to serve. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  9. - Jimmy D - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 9:16 am:


    Good to hear from you again. Thanks for all you are doing. Come home sound and soon.

    Take care, my brother,

  10. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 9:22 am:

    Where the rubber meets the road. Admirable service.

  11. - Don Moss/Gathers No - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 9:43 am:

    Jim - Come back safely; we need you in Springfield also. Don Moss

  12. - Illinois College of Optometry - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 9:55 am:

    Rep. Watson,
    Did you bring a replica John Wayne statue for good luck ? ;) Stay safe and God Bless you

  13. - VanillaMan - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 10:04 am:

    Our Prince Harry!

  14. - Larry McKeon - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 10:11 am:

    Jim: My prayers and best wishes for a true patriot. I hope to see you soon after your safe return.

  15. - Esteban - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 10:13 am:

    Is this better than attending all of those
    “special sessions”? Keep your head down and
    get back soon. God bless!

    The Carlinville Flash

  16. - sine die - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 10:24 am:

    Take care Jim, we’re all very proud of you!

  17. - RMW Stanford - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 10:27 am:

    Good Luck and all of Illinois is behind you.

  18. - so-called "Austin Mayor" - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 10:34 am:

    Best wishes and good luck.

    And don’t work too hard on that whole “governance” thing. Remember, you’re not just a representative from the USA — you’re a representative from Illinois!

    – SCAM

  19. - TB - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 10:36 am:

    Welcome aboard Rep. Watson!! Its good to have family over here!! See you soon.

    TB MND-CS, Iraq

  20. - downstateyp - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 10:44 am:

    Keep up the great work! You are someone to be admired!

  21. - POA's BFF - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 10:45 am:

    May God surround you 24/7 with His hedge of protection and bring you home safely for another Special Session.

  22. - Kent Hawley - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 10:57 am:


    Thank you for your service to our country and for your service to our district. We are proud and pleased to have Jim Watson as our representative.

    Godspeed, Jim.

  23. - Leigh - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 10:59 am:

    Thank you.

  24. - unclesam - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 11:03 am:


    I am glad to hear that you are safe, and know that if Iraq is to get a solid foundation on how to properly govern itself… there is not better person for that job than you.

    We miss you here. Come home safe.

  25. - cynically anonymous - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 11:09 am:

    Thanks for all you are doing - come back safe and sound. (Perhaps a Marine presence would help in Springfield?)

  26. - Len Lieberman - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 11:36 am:

    hey Jim - Stateville is shutting down. All the toughest cons are coming down to Jacksonville. (I’m kidding!)

    John Shimkus says that he enjoyed his R&R in Israel — get over there if you can. Otherwise, just stay low.

  27. - Dan Beiser - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 11:48 am:

    Good to hear that things are going well. Still in my prayers. Look forward to seeing you again on the House floor. Proud of you.

  28. - Adam Smith - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 1:09 pm:

    No matter our politics, we all have to respect and admire those who will drop it all when duty calls. Godspeed to Rep. Watson.

    And for those who have not heard, another old friend to many in Springfield, Major Jerome Clarke has departed for his THIRD tour in Iraq.

  29. - Anon - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 1:32 pm:

    Jim be safe and get back soon. The rumor on the rail is the Four Tops and The Gov. say we are in session until Jim comes home. God Speed.

  30. - DeepFriedOnAStick - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 1:37 pm:

    Rep. Watson,

    God love you, and thanks for your service.

  31. - MIDSTATE - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 2:04 pm:

    Glad to hear you are doing well. Will miss taking your money next week at the card game.


    Stay safe brother,


  32. - Dan O'Brien - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 2:08 pm:

    Jim, Thank You! Take care and be safe.

  33. - SockPuppetExpress - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 2:23 pm:

    Jim: you may want to hold onto that garb for your return to IL
    BTW the BB Countdown Clock is at 10 month, 13 days 21 hours and 17 minutes.

  34. - Huge in Japan - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 2:24 pm:

    Keep fighting the good fight, Marine. Looking forward to planning your welcome home party…

  35. - Blago's Going Down - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 2:25 pm:

    God bless you and you’re fellow soilders

  36. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 2:39 pm:

    The first thing my brother did when he got off the plane back was take off his shoes and walk barefoot in the grass.

    My advice: pretend all of that sand is one, big beach.

    Take Good Care.

  37. - Anon - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 3:05 pm:

    Semper Fi, Watson. Keep your weapon clean to avoid jams. Its never worth it to have extra bullets after a firefight. Be sure to empty your magazine when necessary.

  38. - Commonsense in Illinois - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 3:20 pm:


    Keep the uniform…you can loan it to Tom Cross to use for leader meetings with the Governor…

  39. - Hero - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 3:34 pm:

    Jim, you are an American hero. We love you and God loves you.

  40. - SouthernILRepub - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 3:39 pm:

    Thanks, and bring us back some of those high tech Marine suit cases.

  41. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 3:59 pm:

    Best wishes, and I’m sure this will be a life changing experience as it is for most who see combat. We can only dream and pray of a promised land where there is no war, but we are faced with human nature for better or worse while we inhabit this ball.

  42. - SpfldDemocrat - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 4:33 pm:

    Rep Watson,

    Thank you for your service to our country. I wish you a safe return.

  43. - amy - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 4:33 pm:

    Representative Watson:

    Thank you for your service to our state and country. It’s busy over there, and, of course, there is concern over safety. I have friends who have returned from tours in Iraq. I hope, like them, you also get to enjoy some of the beauty of Iraq, the people and the views of amazing history, the land of Abraham. Thank you for making history that you are sharing with all of us. Stay safe out there!

    Prairie gal Amy

  44. - Lou Lang - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 4:40 pm:

    Jim, get back here. The House floor is not the same without you and I may need that vote of yours that I ALWAYS count on in Committee. From my family to you-GODSPEED!

  45. - Justice - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 4:50 pm:

    Semper Fi!!

  46. - Larry Doll - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 4:55 pm:

    Thank you for your service. Stay Safe and God Bless.

  47. - Boone Logan Square - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 5:05 pm:

    Be well.

  48. - Independent - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 5:39 pm:


  49. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 5:49 pm:

    God Bless, Jim. Come back safely. We need every Republican we have back home.


  50. - Bud Man - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 5:59 pm:

    Rep. Watson,

    Thank you very much for your servie and I pray that you and all of our other troops return home safe.

    If you see any Springfield Marines, tell them we said Semper Fi!!

  51. - David Starrett - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 6:13 pm:

    Closed right hand to the chest for you. Thanks. Now let’s just find a way to resolve this thing.

    By-the-way: Bullets aside the 2008 session is looking eerily similar. I think you’ll be back from there before things are settled here.

    “Bullets aside,” hmmm. Never mind.

  52. - Lon - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 6:18 pm:

    Watson for Governor

  53. - Annonymous - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 6:53 pm:

    Take care, Jim! You’re in our hearts and prayers, and we’re looking forward to welcoming you back home soon. Thanks for keeping us safe and sound, and please be sure to thank the others for us, too.

  54. - Highway man - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 7:46 pm:

    Thank you

  55. - dis-connected - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 8:05 pm:

    God Bless keep your nose to the wind and your eyes on the horizon Kal & Todd

  56. - Ed Duffy - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 8:08 pm:

    Jim, you’re my hero. I look forward to the day that you return and and you can once again enjoy the freedoms that we are so blessed to enjoy back here. Just think while you’re over there protecting the freedoms that we enjoy, we’re worrying about the new name of Wrigley Field. God Bless you my friend hurry back and help us to focus on whats really important.

  57. - Illinois Veteran Foundation Board Member - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 9:16 pm:

    Rep. Watson,

    Thank you for your service and Semper Fi. We wish you a safe journey back home.

  58. - BDeck - Saturday, Mar 1, 08 @ 6:46 am:

    You make us proud. Hope to see you soon. Be good.

  59. - RB1 - Saturday, Mar 1, 08 @ 8:27 am:

    Cous: I’m proud of you man. I pray for your safe return. Say heloo to Tom for me if you get a chance. RB

  60. - Tom Cross - Saturday, Mar 1, 08 @ 11:11 am:

    Thanks for your friendship and service. Be careful and see you soon.


  61. - proudmom - Saturday, Mar 1, 08 @ 2:58 pm:

    Good to see the photo, as transportation was provided by my son’s unit HMM-268 soon to finish another tour. Well done marines!

  62. - prairiestatedem - Sunday, Mar 2, 08 @ 10:23 am:

    God Bless and stay Safe Representative…

    Enjoy the first class section of that CH - 46 behind you!

  63. - Warren R & Family - Sunday, Mar 2, 08 @ 9:13 pm:

    Great to hear from you via the Capitol Fax. We’ve been thinking of you and hope all is well. Sounds like you have had some interesting assignments. Stay safe!

  64. - Quizzical - Sunday, Mar 2, 08 @ 10:42 pm:

    Thank you, and all the people over there, for your service.

    When you get back, land on the tarmac, and are immediately kissed by Gov. Rod, ask that all IL veterans of this conflict get the moon.

  65. - Betty J - Monday, Mar 3, 08 @ 11:30 am:

    still mad you raised your hand, but you get all my prayers. Need an address so we can send cookies. with you daily! Beth

  66. - Marbley - Monday, Mar 3, 08 @ 8:19 pm:

    Semper Fi.

  67. - bob - Tuesday, Mar 4, 08 @ 9:37 am:

    kvazhj hi nice site man thx

  68. - AFSCME Local 3549 (Jacksonville C.C.) - Tuesday, Mar 4, 08 @ 6:42 pm:

    We are all thinking of you and are in our prayers. Thank you for your service to our country and our district. We are proud to have you as our rep. and can’t wait to see you back here safely.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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