Everyone agrees that Ligaya Lagman is a Gold Star mother, part of the long line of mournful women whose sons or daughters gave their lives for their country. Her 27-year-old son, Army Staff Sgt. Anthony Lagman, was killed last year in Afghanistan when his unit came under fire during a mission to drive out remnants of Taliban and al-Qaida forces.First of all, yes, Ms. Herd, you can change the rules every time the wind blows -- if that's what your organization feels is appropriate.
But the largest organization of these women, the American Gold Star Mothers Inc., has rejected Lagman, a Filipino, for membership because -- though a permanent resident and a taxpayer -- she is not a U.S. citizen.
"There's nothing we can do because that's what our organization says: You have to be an American citizen," national President Ann Herd said Thursday. "We can't go changing the rules every time the wind blows."
Secondly, the phrase used by Ms. Herd ("every time the wind blows") seriously cheapens what we're talking about here. A more accurate statement would be: "We can't go changing the rules every time a soldier is killed."