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Writings from a new kind of base: an update from Camp Casey
By Tim Goodrich
U.S. Tour of Duty
August 16, 2005
The last five days have been like nothing I have ever experienced. When I made the decision to go to Crawford, Texas last week, I thought I was going to a protest against the war that would be similar to the previous ones I have attended. I couldn¹t have been more wrong. What I found at Camp Casey was something that can only be described by traveling there and experiencing it for one's own self. The feeling of love and peace permeated the air. The support from people across the United States has been breathtaking. The people and the stories they have of why they felt the need to make this peace pilgrimage will evoke emotion from me thirty years from now. This is a memory that will not fade.
A woman called her mother at the last second to let her know she would not be attending the family reunion in Washington as planned, but would instead be driving 24 hours from California. A man heard a Gold Star family member¹s story on the radio and was so moved that he promptly jumped into his car and drove from Florida to see and console this victim of an unnecessary war. Stories like this abound at Camp Casey. It is truly a life-changing experience. I can¹t count the number of times I heard someone exclaim that they haven¹t had this feeling since protesting Vietnam.
I am on an airplane headed back to Los Angeles right now and am trying hard to keep myself from becoming emotional just thinking of these stories and the incredible experience. And this is coming from a veteran hardened and accustomed to witnessing stories of death, injury, fear, pain, loss, and hardship on a regular basis. [It was a futile effort; I didn¹t make it through this paragraph without having to dry my eyes by rubbing them and tilting my head back into the flow of dry air from my overhead vent.]
Things have changed. This is a pivotal moment in the anti-war movement. We have Bush and his warmongers with their tails between their legs and on the run. They don¹t know how to respond or what to do. We must now continue to increase the pressure until the war criminals in our administration feel the political pain equivalent to that of the families who have suffered because of this war. In the battle between good and evil in the universe, the good will always prevail.
Tim Goodrich is an Air Force combat veteran who helped with the intensified bombing leading up to the occupation of Iraq. After being honorably discharged, he traveled to Iraq as a civilian to see the human cost of war. Upon returning, he co-founded Iraq Veterans Against the War and continues working to bring the troops home.