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Local Women To Join Vigil At President's Ranch


Families Of Fallen Soldiers Want Audience With Bush
NBCSandiego.com

SAN DIEGO -- Two San Diego women will join the mother of a fallen California soldier in a peace vigil outside President George W. Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas.

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IMAGES: San Diegans Join Texas Peace Vigil
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Tiffany Strause and Julie Decker arrived at San Diego's Lindbergh field early Tuesday. They said they would to fly to Texas to join Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a fallen U.S. soldier who is holding a roadside peace vigil near President Bush's ranch. Sheehan, 48, of Vacaville, Calif., has vowed to follow the president until she can personally ask him what her son died for.

Neither Strause nor Decker have family members serving in Iraq, but both said they support what Sheehan is doing.

"You don't have to have a personal investment to feel strongly about human life, American, Iraqi, civilian or otherwise," Strause told NBC 7/39. "I really do feel strongly that it's time. It's not early pullout. It's been over two years."

"We're going to support her, to try to get other Americans involved, to get support in Crawford, Texas, for her, and to put a spotlight on that story," Decker said.

Sheehan has been in Crawford hoping to talk to the president since Friday. Her son, Casey, was killed in Sadr City, Iraq, on April 4, 2004. Dozens of peace activists and others who have lost loved ones in Iraq have joined her vigil.

Since then, she said, various government and independent commission reports have disputed the Bush administration's claims that Saddam Hussein had mass-killing chemical and biological weapons -- a main justification for the March 2003 invasion.

"All of those reports prove my son died needlessly," said Sheehan. "This proved that every reason George Bush gave us for going to war was wrong."

Sheehan, who formed a group called Gold Star Families For Peace and has spoken out against the war across the nation, talked for about 45 minutes on Saturday with Steve Hadley, Bush's national security adviser, and Joe Hagin, deputy White House chief of staff, who went out to hear her concerns.

Appreciative of their attention, yet undaunted, Sheehan said she planned to continue her protest along the road during Bush's stay through the end of the month.

"If he doesn't come out and talk to me in Crawford, I'll follow him to D.C.," she said. "I'll camp on his lawn in D.C. until he has the courtesy and the integrity and the compassion to talk to somebody whose life he has ruined."

Strause and Decker told NBC 7/39 that they are prepared to stay with Sheehan as long as it takes for her to get her audience with the president.

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