Soldier's Mom Loved Obama's Bracelet Nod

Wisc. woman asked him to keep mum, but calls criticism 'garbage'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 29, 2008 11:27 AM CDT
Barack Obama makes remarks during a community meeting, Feb. 16, 2008, in Wausau, Wis. Obama is wearing a wristband in memory of a soldier killed in Iraq.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
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(Newser) – Tracy Jopek says she was “ecstatic” when Barack Obama mentioned her late son in Friday’s debate, even though she’d once asked him not to. But she’s enraged at online critics who accused Obama of exploiting the bracelet she gave him. “I don’t understand how people can take that and turn it into some garbage on the Internet,” Sgt. Ryan Jopek's mom told the AP.

Jopek gave Obama the bracelet in February, and later emailed him asking him not to mention it. But she thought Friday’s reference was respectful and appropriate, since John McCain had introduced his bracelet into the discussion first. “He was just saying there's another side to the story, there's two different viewpoints.” She wouldn’t say if she hoped Obama would refrain from further mentioning the bracelet.