A Soldiers Wife

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Military parents protest the war too...

Hinesville parents join anti-war protest at Bush ranch

Linda and Phil Waste, whose three sons have served in Iraq, join a California mother who wants the president to bring the troops home.

**SPECIAL TO THE SAVANNAH MORNING NEWS** Cindy Sheehan, right, shares a smile and hug with Philip Waste, left, of Shellman Bluff, Ga., at a roadside camp near the ranch of President Bush, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2005, in Crawford, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) TONY GUTIERREZ AP /AP


Linda and Phil Waste are doing something they never thought they would.

They're protesting the Iraq war.

Outside President Bush's Texas ranch.

The Shellman Bluff couple, who live about 25 miles south of Fort Stewart, Thursday joined a growing number of military families who are gathering there. They say they've been emboldened by the California mother who is attracting media attention by camping out in Crawford to mourn her soldier son's death in Iraq. More than 1,840 U.S. troops have died since the war began.

Cindy Sheehan has been camped along a road near Bush's ranch since Saturday, asking to talk to Bush about her son Casey and vowing to remain until the president's vacation ends later this month. Casey was killed five days after he arrived in Iraq last year. He was 24.

"She's a remarkable woman and I think she's touched a chord in this nation," Linda Waste said. "She's a great spokesperson for all of us."

By Thursday, about 50 people had joined Sheehan's cause, pitching tents in muddy, shallow ditches and hanging anti-war banners; two dozen others have sent flowers. Sheehan's name was among the most popular search topics Wednesday on Internet blogs.

"Before my son was killed, I used to think that one person could not make a difference," Sheehan said Wednesday from beneath the tent where she has slept since arriving. "But one person that is surrounded and supported by millions of people can be heard."

The Wastes weren't always against the war.

They are proud military parents.

They have three sons in the U.S. Army. One is in Iraq on his second deployment with the 3rd Infantry Division. Another leaves for his second tour in November, while the third trains National Guardsmen.

Two of their grandchildren also serve in the military.

"Our family has already given 57 months in deployments to this war," Linda Waste said. "When this war started, we supported it. And we are here to support our troops. But our feeling is our troops are in Iraq under false pretense and they need to come home."

Linda Waste said her sons are "completely supportive" of their parents' participation in the protest, organized by a group called Military Families Speak Out.

"They understand you can support the troops at the same time you oppose the war," she said.

"The whole idea that we can't have this debate; that we all have to be behind this war or else we're against the troops, is ridiculous."

President Bush said Thursday he understands and respects Sheehan's views, but said it would be a mistake to bring U.S. troops home now.

"I sympathize with Mrs. Sheehan," Bush said. "She feels strongly about her position, and she has every right in the world to say what she believes. This is America. She has a right to her position, and I thought long and hard about her position. I've heard her position from others, which is: Get out of Iraq now. And it would be a mistake for the security of this country and the ability to lay the foundations for peace in the long run if we were to do so."

Immediate withdrawal "would send a terrible signal to the enemy," the president said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. -->

To learn more about the groups organizing the protest outside President Bush's Texas ranch, visit:
Military Families Speak Out

Gold Star Families for Peace

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Sean Harder912.652.0496
sean.harder@savannahnow.com -->


At 9:39 PM, Blogger subutane said...

Hi Christina, first time on your blog. I'd like to thank you for sharing this.

Right now Camp Casey needs some sort of shower system in the worst way. If you can get the word out that would be great.

They could also use, folding tables, folding chairs, handwipes, garbage cans, garbage bags(contractor type)

oh and candles ;)


At 9:41 PM, Blogger subutane said...

Oh, one more link for people to donate to:

They mobilized and were able to get onscene in less than 12 hours!

They deserve a lot of credit.


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