Sunday, August 7, 2005

MFSO, Pacific NW supports Cindy Sheehan at Crawford ranch

posted at Washblog,at Pacific Northwest Portal

A thank you to Brian for permitting me to guest author at his Washblog. Readers if you aren't aware of what Cindy Sheehan, GSFP, Mother of a Fallen Soldier is doing in Crawford, Texas, you might be missing an important piece of breaking news. You might want to do more than just know the news, you might even want to lend your active support to her 'camping out' Vigil in Crawford. She plans to literally camp out in a tent until the President comes out of the 'ranch' to hear her message. Last night was her first night sleeping in her camp tent about 4-5 miles from the Bush ranch. She doesn't plan to leave and has cleared her August schedule to stay as long as it takes.

As a member family of Military Families Speak Out (MFSO, I am with the MFSO Pacific Northwest chapter. Two member MFSO families in Texas accompanied Cindy Sheehan yesterday and phoned me this morning to give a first-hand report of the events yesterday. Cindy Sheehan and a delegation of approximately 50 people made up from Gold Star Families for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace, Military Families Speak Out, Code Pink and Crawford Peace House got aboard the Peace Bus to go from Dallas, Tx VFP conference to drive to the Bush ranch in Crawford, Tx. A caravan of cars followed behind the bus.

As Sherry Glover, MFSO family in Texas, reports the events that unfolded, I'm not sure I can get the fullness of the story into shortened form. Essentially, the Crawford Sheriff offered to deliver Cindy's message but Cindy wasn't having it. Concession made was that Sheriff would escort delegation to a point, a left hand turn in the road. From there the delegation would have to walk and could not walk on the road, but were confined to walking in a ditch alongside the road.

Okay, stop there and think for a moment. Proud veterans, disabled veterans, military families, and military families who have lost their loved ones in Iraq along with Cindy, Mother to fallen soldier in Iraq, Casey Sheehan, made their pilgrimage consigned to a ditch alongside the the road, at some place 3 feet high with brush. Contrast this with the full blown regalia of the President's inauguration replete with a show of the military in formal dress and the supposed support of the troops for the CIC, the War President.

I don't need to posit the questions, they should come to you as you image the contrast.

But to borrow from Sherry Glover's statement, this administration 'ditched' the veterans again.

You can read the details to this unfolding event in any number of online accounts and by last evening, this event found it's way into mainstream news, the big ones, the local ones and there is global interest now in Cindy's Vigil. For myself, I'm blogging on this at my own blog since yesterday morning, Dying to Preserve the Lies also at the Portal, as well as working it at Daily Kos, Democratic Underground, and within my own MFSO netroots networking.

In the interest of brevity at Brian's Washblog, I wanted primarily to call attention to Pacific Northwest Portal readers that the Cindy Sheehan story may indeed be the event that ushers in the tipping point in our efforts to end the Iraq war and Bring The Troops Home. Over the past 2 + years our activities and those of other activist groups have brought together the pebbles one by one, sometimes in despair, sometimes in faith, sometimes in survival, sometimes in optimistic hope, sometimes in sheer determination. Those pebbles have grown to become a mountain, one we couldn't see, but the support nationally and globally for Cindy Sheehan's Vigil in Crawford shows there is ever-growing support for our collective efforts.

Search out the stories for yourself, and support Cindy's Crawford Vigil by staging a support event in your community. If you can't travel to Texas to stand with Cindy on this as she braves the 100 + degree temperatures by day and sleeps in a tent by night in Crawford; you can think up something creative to do in your own hometown as a show of support. Cindy will know about the support for her efforts out there across the nation. Let her see the Pacific Northwest give a visible show of support for her efforts. She will camp out until the President meets with her, she says, and I know her well enough to know she means it!

Much in the way of helpful suggestions have gone out to Cindy on how to sustain in the heat, and while you are thinking of Cindy and supporters in the hot Texas heat, remember to think of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan in the 140 degree desert, in full gear, 40 lb packs, kevlar jackets (for those that have them), full combat dress. Surely we can endure some small discomforts locally and show our support for our troops. What Cindy is doing transcends partisan politics, it's not about pro or anti, it's about real humanity for ourselves and our deployed troops and their families.

Thank you, Brian, for the use of your blog. You have been a supportive friend to me and to MFSO, Pacific NW, our military families and our troops these many months.

Lietta Ruger, member family MFSO

military family, with 2 Iraq Veterans facing second deployments to Iraq under Stop Loss orders



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