Fort Hood GIs Visit Cindy Sheehan in Crawford, Texas
Coretta Scott King and Rosa Parks Contact Cindy

The items below, from Thomas Barton’s “GI Special” web site, were forwarded to us by Fred Feldman, who comments: “I cannot remember anything from the home front in the Vietnam war, despite the broad, mass character of those protests, that had the genuine ‘people’s’ class character of this confrontation in Texas. Helps put the split in the antiwar movement into perspective—as an obstacle but NOT a fatal blow to the struggle—although I do kind of fantasize that Cindy Sheehan’s moral authority may reach the point where she could demand that the two coalitions get together and they might not be able to resist.”

Fort Hood Soldiers Come To Support Cindy Sheehan

[This is from an August 12 blog entry by Sheehan herself, printed in The Daily Kos.]

Three active duty soldiers from Ft. Hood came to visit me and tell me that they really appreciated what I was doing and that if they were killed in the war, their moms would be doing the same thing.

That made me feel so good after all of the negativity I had been hearing from the righties.

I also got to hold a couple of toddlers on my lap while their mom or dad took pictures of us. I am honored that people have resonated with the action that I took to make our mission of ending the war a reality.

We are here at the Crawford Peace House now and there are dozens and dozens of people here. We are giving each other hugs and kisses and we are all feeling great, full of energy and so filled with hope that this is something that is really going to change the world.

I came here so angry and I have been so encouraged and overwhelmed by the support from all over. I was thinking that there is no reason for us progressive liberals to be angry anymore. We have the power.

One mom has shown that we can be the change in our government. We deserve to hold George Bush accountable, no one else does.

We have to make sure he answers to us. If he doesn’t have to answer to Congress, or the media, we will FORCE him to answer to us. The absolute hubris of him that won’t!!!

Mother’s Stand Becomes A Movement

[This item is from the August 14 issue of Inside Bay Area, by its staff writer Jason Dearen.]

Wearing a hat with supporting messages from friends, Cindy Sheehan of Vacaville, California, takes a moment’s rest in the ditch on Wednesday, Aug. 10. On Friday afternoon, Aug. 12, she was contacted by Coretta Scott King and Rosa Parks.

CRAWFORD, Tex.—A crooked straw hat shielding her face from the relentless Texas sun, Cindy Sheehan stands on the grassy edge of a rural highway, greeting a line of cars that stretches as far as the eye can see.

The 6-foot-tall Vacaville woman who has become a public relations challenge for President George W. Bush borrows a cell phone from a nearby well-wisher and dials a number.

“You would not believe it, there’s a line of cars down a five-mile road and hundreds of them are going by,” she says with a wide grin. “Ah, this is just crazy...It’s like an outpouring of love. I can’t believe it.”

Across the road from Sheehan and her flock, about 100 people organized by a Dallas-based conservative talk radio station came out to support the president and his decision to keep U.S. forces in Iraq.

But by late afternoon, as most of the pro-Bush people left the site, the number of Sheehan’s supporters continued to swell, and dwarfed the 10 or so pro-war demonstrators.

As protest music filled the air, Sheehan hopped up onto the bed of a pickup truck, holding a folded United States flag, and addressed the crowd of all ages and races that had flocked to see her.

“Who knew the end of the occupation of Iraq would begin in Crawford, Texas, last Saturday?” she asked, eliciting cheers. “Who knew America would stand up and say ‘We’re sick of this s--, bring ’em home!’“

As Sheehan’s story grabbed headlines nationwide [and internationally] “Camp Casey” grew consistently throughout the week from two lawn chairs to a small village of tents and camper vehicles. A man from Fort Worth, Texas, donated cases of water. Others sent sandwiches and fruit.

Many on hand traveled a long way to be there. People from Maine, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Washington State, Pennsylvania, New York and many other states made what has become a pilgrimage.

Jean Prewitt, 54, of Birmingham, Alabama, came to be with Sheehan and share in her grief. Prewitt’s son, Kelley Prewitt, 24, died in April 2003 while driving an ammunition truck that was ambushed by insurgents.

Prewitt, who voted for Bush in 2000, said the mounting evidence showing the Bush administration lied about Saddam Hussein’s cache of “weapons of mass destruction” had changed her mind.

Then she saw Sheehan on CNN and decided she had to add her support.

“I wasn’t against the war when Kelley got killed. And it didn’t change my mind for six months after his death,” said Prewitt in a thick Alabama drawl. “But my mind changed with proof of the war’s lies,” she said.

Oakland-native Tiffany Strause, 29, was at work in San Diego when an e-mail arrived with a story about Sheehan. “There was literally a physical response. This month has been the bloodiest month in Iraq, and I just got fed up.” So Strause and a friend hopped on a plane.

Iraq war veterans Tim Goodrich, 25, and Benjamin Hart Viges, 27, were so appalled by what they saw during their tours of duty, they have joined the antiwar movement.

Viges, who served in the U.S. Army in Fallujah, joined in the fight after the terrorist attacks in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. But his service in Iraq changed his mind about the war.

“To think of children killed by my mortar rounds. That is not a burden anyone should have to carry around,” he said, his voice shaking.