Family urges war support
Many in her country had turned against the war. The mayor of her city was organizing a protest against the president. And the insurgents in Iraq, Amy Galvez feared, were growing bolder by the day.
Galvez decided she had heard enough.
Hoping her words might persuade those who support the president, the war and the troops in Iraq to assemble in a great demonstration of patriotism and support, Galvez sat at her computer and began to type.
"My son, who is a resident of Salt Lake City, is now in Iraq," she wrote in an e-mail to The Salt Lake Tribune on Sunday. "American lives have been lost in this war because the enemy has been emboldened by our own words, actions and lack of support for our own mission."
Galvez was still sitting at her computer when she heard a car door close outside her northwest Salt Lake City home. Peering through the window, she saw two Marines coming up the walk.
Adam Galvez, 21, was killed Sunday in Iraq's volatile Al Anbar province in a roadside bomb attack that claimed the life of two other members of his battalion.
His death, the 2,607th U.S. fatality confirmed by the Department of Defense, comes as his hometown is bracing for the arrival of President Bush, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who are scheduled to address the national convention of the American Legion next week at the Salt Palace Convention Center.
The city's mayor, Rocky Anderson, has pledged to protest the visit and has invited Cindy Sheehan, a prominent war protester who lost her son in Iraq, to speak at an anti-war demonstration.
Inside her home, now adorned by a flag at half-staff, on Tuesday, Amy Galvez said she was more determined than ever to ensure the mission for which her son fought and died is supported back home.
"I don't want Cindy Sheehan and Rocky Anderson to be the only voices the world hears," Galvez said Tuesday evening from the living room of her home in northwest Salt Lake City, not far from the airport where Air Force One is scheduled to touch down next week. "I want our voices to be heard. I want the world to know that our troops are wonderful."
And, she said, she wants people to know that her son made a choice to serve his country and was proud of his mission in Iraq.
The day after Adam Galvez was killed, family members were given a copy of a letter, written to a close friend, in which the Marine confirmed his support for the war in Iraq, Galvez's parents said.
That support remained, they said, even after Adam Galvez - trained as a mechanic but often assigned to patrols of Anbar's dangerous streets - stood above the rubble of a U.S. military post struck by a suicide bomber and listened as, one by one, the voices of several fellow Marines fell silent.
Galvez told his parents he was suffering from nightmares about the July 29 attack, in which he was injured and four others were killed.
Still, the parents said, their son remained confident that his mission was just.
And Tony Galvez said he had remained confident his son, the second of three children in the Galvez family, would return home safely.
"I had no doubt he was coming home," the grieving father said. "It never crossed my mind that he wouldn't come home."
Adam Galvez, who attended West High School and the Horizonte Instruction and Training Center, where he graduated in 2003, was due back from Iraq next month.
But Tony Galvez also believed, as his wife did, that the insurgents his son was fighting were growing more dangerous. And he, too, believes that those who question the justness of the war have gone too far.
"You can't support the troops but be against the war," he said.
"It just doesn't work."