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Scores Texas-bound

Coloradans to join war protest camp near Bush's ranch
By Deborah Frazier, Rocky Mountain News
August 20, 2005

GOLDEN - Karen Trietsch squatted in her living room Friday, finishing the lettering on her neon-pink sign that proclaimed: "Bush lies, Thousands die."

"We can no longer view this war as a Nintendo game on CNN," said Trietsch, 37, who leaves today for Crawford, Texas, with more than a dozen friends.

"Code Pink" is emergency room-speak for a child in danger. The name and color were adopted by women, including Trietsch, opposed to the war in Iraq.

Crawford is the home of President Bush's ranch, where he is spending five weeks on a working vacation. It's also where Cindy Sheehan camped for two weeks seeking a personal meeting with Bush to ask that he withdraw troops from Iraq. Her son, Army Spc. Casey Sheehan, was killed in Baghdad in April 2004.

Bush refused such a meeting.

Sheehan left Thursday for California after her 74-year-old mother suffered a stroke.

Since Sheehan arrived in Crawford, more than 100 people have joined her camp vigil and hundreds more stop by each day, filling area motels.

Trietsch is one of more than 100 people from Colorado driving and flying to Texas in the next few days, according to accounts from anti-war and veterans' groups. There's no central organization for the vigil, so there's no formal estimate.

"There were going to be four of us going, but now there are 12 of us," said Trietsch, a data-base manager.

There may be more. Trietsch's phone rang incessantly Friday.

And groups of friends, former soldiers and families from Colorado Springs, Grand Junction, Aspen, Boulder, Fort Collins and other towns plan pilgrimages to Crawford for the remainder of August.

Trietsch, who has a "Support Our Troops - Bring 'em Home" banner over her sofa, said she wanted to continue Sheehan's vigil to draw attention to the deaths of fathers, mothers, sons and daughters on both sides of the war.

As she packs her tent, sleeping bag, sunscreen, bug spray and clothing, Trietsch said she's carrying the most important items in her heart.

"I carry the grief for the families of the 1,861 soldiers who have died. I carry grief that more people in America are not demanding we get out of Iraq," she said.

Trietsch also will take more than 75 e-mails from people who wanted to join thousands expected in Crawford this weekend, but couldn't.

Trietsch also packed CDs, including Sister Seven, a Texas band that wrote songs about the first President George Bush.

"They just put out a song called Junior's Got a Smith and Wesson Love," she said.

Camping in central Texas in August is not for the faint-of- heart, said the Texas native. She expects to encounter flying, biting insects, high temperatures, fire ants and snakes.

"You can't complain about any of it, because what kind of conditions are our soldiers living in the deserts of Iraq?" she said.

"Most Iraqis haven't had water or sewage in more than a year. Many have lost their homes and their families," she said. "This is the least I can do for them." or 303-892-5308


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