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Bring Them Home Now Tour: Central Tour in Cleveland & Pittsburgh
Central Tour: Cleveland & Pittsburgh
September 11th, 2005
By Bill Mitchell, GSFP
On Saturday a group of us went to Oberlin, a progressive town near Cleveland with an activist school. It’s a beautiful little town – there were lots of community people and some students there, and it really confirmed that we should be reaching out to more college students. The community there has been having vigils every Saturday since 9/11. Saturday there were three times as many people as normally attend.
Afterwards we had a great lunch that gave us a chance to have more intimate conversation with people. They are so moved by our stories, and by our experiences on the bus tour. Everywhere we are going, people are saying – we’ll see you in DC, we’re planning buses! There’s so much electricity – we empower people and they empower us right back – we have a movement here!
Today we went on to Pittsburgh where we had a rally with over 1000 people! When I spoke I gave the chronology of my son’s involvement in the Army. We lived in a small cow-town and I knew when he turned 18 he would move on. He and his best friend enlisted in the Army. He went to Germany and met a woman, on one of his leaves we talked about how in love he was. She visited him at Fort Hood – and they decided to get married.
On April 3rd 2004 Mike packed his stuff to return home to Germany where he was to be married three months later. Mike went running that day – when he got back there was a buzz among the troops - They knew something was going on. His commander came and told him that there were 20 soldiers that had been ambushed, 20 soldiers that had been in Iraq for only 5 days. Mike volunteered to go in on a rescue mission. He was killed that day. My son was a strong man, but he was really sensitive – I know that had he survived he would have been irreparably damaged and scarred by what he saw and did that day.
I introduced Cindy who really rallied the crowd. Cindy talked about Camp Casey and her adventure there. Her first couple of days, she said, “what have I gotten myself into!