Friday, August 26, 2005

Gold Star Mother Speaks from Camp Casey

My last day in Crawford, for this visit, began at 6:30 a.m. with a radio interview on the Bill Press Show and later at 7:10 for Air America, and 8:10 for KSOW in Oregon.

I had met up with some great folks from Colorado, Tony & Kimberly who agreed to drive me from the hotel. We headed off to Camp Casey II, and we had to drive by Camp Casey I. The Pro Bush/ Pro War people have grown their site, I believe, in preparation for the large crowds of both sides expected to arrive for the weekend. The first evidence of this expansion was the increased number of canopies/tents and a portapotty. Previous to this time, we had let anyone use our facilities (so don’t let anyone say that we were anything but downright friendly) Until Wednesday, I hadn’t ever seen more than a handful of people, and at sometimes only 1 person holding vigil at their site. It seems like the more vociferous, rowdy people are already in attendance across the street from our Camp I. They have also added a lot of signage. Beginning exactly where the white crosses start across the street, they have placed Pro Bush signs, the campaign kind, very slick, very business like and very much a contrast to the crosses, which just seem to fit standing proudly, representing the sad human cost of this war. I will miss being in Crawford this weekend. If they think we are looking to engage the Pro Bus/ Pro War crowd, they won’t find that from anyone who I met.

I do want to remember some of the people who traveled to Crawford. As people sadly headed home, there were plenty who came to fill their places. I would say about 50 or more new people arrived every day. I would ask people where they were from and why they came. One petite woman, who I recall was from Texas said she *had* to be there, although she had no one in her family in the military. She pulled up her shirt to show me the rubber gloves that were tucked into her jeans pocket. She told me she brought her rubber gloves in case she was assigned to scrub toilets; she just * had* to come and she would do anything to help the camp run smoothly. A family traveled from Ithaca, NY. They had 3 children including a 6 week old baby, but they *had* to come, too. One person was very sad to leave. He got all the way to the airport in Dallas- 2+ hours away, was standing in line to turn in his rental car heading back to Los Angeles. He was overcome with sadness at the thought of not being in Crawford and got into his car and headed back. It really is hard to explain the pull to Crawford, but it is there.

A press conference was scheduled at 10:30. The Blue Star Moms/ Wives would speak to the press followed by the Gold Star Moms/ Wife. Basically, the message was, I am so and so from this place, I believe as Cindy does and want to know what the noble cause is, etc…. The Gold Stars were allowed more time to speak, and this was the first official time that Cindy spoke to the press since she had returned to TX. Marq Anderson from AFSC in Philadelphia flew in on Wednesday to bring Casey’s actual boots and 50 other pair of boots to represent the loved ones of members of Gold Star Families for Peace. Marq is a good friend from when the exhibit Eyes Wide Open was in SF and Sacramento. I also flew out to Philadelphia for 4th of July to participate in the exhibit there as well. Marq presented Casey’s, Ken’s and John’s boots to Cindy, me, and Melanie & Susan House. We walked over to the crosses with our son’s names and placed the boots beside them. It was very emotional. The press took photos and video. Many of my new friends were very nearby for support. I gotta tell you; these peace people know how to give real, “I mean it” kind of hugs! As emotional as it is to be in Crawford, there is always a soft place to fall. I will be eternally grateful for that.

As we left Crawford, the home of the Crawford High School Pirates, I knew I would return shortly. It will be hard to leave next Wednesday for the final time.

Karen Meredith- Gold Star Mom
Proud Mom of Lt Ken Ballard- KIA 5.30.04
www.ltkenballard.com
Mountain View, CA

12 Comments:

At 2:39 AM, Blogger Quit Smoking said...

I found you while surfing for interesting blogs. I like it, good content. I've left an invitation to you to visit me if you are into ebooks - Thanks, Neil

 
At 2:42 AM, Blogger Quit Smoking said...

I found you while surfing for interesting blogs. I like it, good content. I've left an invitation to you to visit me if you are into ebooks - Thanks, Neil

 
At 9:38 PM, Blogger sdRay said...

San Diego is having a Hot Rod Halloween on Sunday, October 30. If you love classic project car then you will want to be there! All kinds of classic project car will be in attendance. For more information go to classic project car
See Ya There!!

 
At 9:55 PM, Blogger sdRay said...

San Diego is having a Hot Rod Halloween on Sunday, October 30. If you love extended auto warranty then you will want to be there! All kinds of extended auto warranty will be in attendance. For more information go to extended auto warranty
See Ya There!!

 
At 3:10 PM, Blogger Erik Mann said...

I was searching for blogs that had Dallas, TX in them and came across yours. I live in Dallas and have a self defense school. I like the posts on your blog, so I've bookmarked it to stop back by periodically. Take care.

 
At 2:15 PM, Blogger Bill Adams said...

Veteran's Day is November 11th and I hope that EVERY American will be flying the flag in honor of our troops fighting in Iraq and around the world to preserve our freedoms!

I can even tell you where to get one for free! Visit AmericanFlags.com right now and they'll send you a FREE American Flag. These flags were $19.99, but now they are FREE. You pay just for shipping/handling and they'll ship one to your door. (Actually - I've ordered more than 20 from them to give to my neighbors, as gifts, etc!)

Get your free flag now: **FREE AMERICAN FLAG**

Semper Fi!

Bill Adams

 
At 2:51 PM, Blogger sdcoastal said...

Hi: Interesting blog. I’ll save it in my favorites. I too have a blog about San Diego downtown condos . Through this site you can view every San Diego mls listing offered for sale. Another new site is about San Diego vacation attractions Our third site is, guess what? Yes, also about San Diego. This site is an information site devoted to San Diego cosmetic surgery doctors. Needless to say, please stop by and visit our sites. Thanks Bob

 
At 9:42 AM, Blogger The Blah Brain said...

Hey, you live in Ithaca? So do I! ha

 
At 4:14 PM, Blogger David Pakman said...

Hey, excellent website. A great Iraq resource is Deaths in Iraq. It breaks all of the casualties down by age, race, branch of the military, country, etc.

 
At 11:31 AM, Blogger Editor Choice said...

Excellent Blog. Well Done.
Here a site on Car Rental:
Car Rental, Cheap Car Rental, Discount Car Rental, Limousine Rental, Luxury Car Rental. Available for many destinations: Chicago Car rental, New-York Car rental, London Car rental, Paris Car rental, Rome Car rental, Boston Car rental and much more

 
At 11:36 AM, Blogger Editor Choice said...

Enjoyed your Blog. Well Done. Keep the good job.
Here a site on Car Rental:
Car Rental, Cheap Car Rental, Discount Car Rental, Limousine Rental, Luxury Car Rental. Available for many destinations: Chicago Car rental, New-York Car rental, London Car rental, Paris Car rental, Rome Car rental, Boston Car rental and much more

 
At 6:34 AM, Blogger Erik Mann said...

I was looking for blogs referring to Dallas and found yours. Great blog! I'm in Dallas and here's some info about me

 

Post a Comment

<< Home