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Bring Them Home Now Tour Stops in Rochester, NY
Army wives want troops to pull out of Iraq
(September 14, 2005) — In her dreams, Tammara Rosenleaf sees coffins.
"And I know my husband is in one of them," said the tearful Army wife from Texas as she stood in front of Downtown United Presbyterian Church.
Almost 300 people crowded the sidewalk outside the church Tuesday as a national tour of antiwar activists made a stop in Rochester.
Stacy Bannerman a Washington state resident whose husband, an Army National Guard member, returned from Iraq in March, said supporting the troops doesn't mean keeping quiet about the war.
"Silence is not support. I guess I've got a little bit different definition of support than the current administration. I say we make decisions to send them in harm's way as if their lives actually matter. I say we send them into combat with a clear mission."
The Bring Them Home Now Tour is a spinoff from the weeks of antiwar protests outside President Bush's Texas, ranch.
A parade of speakers decried not only the war and the Bush administration but also corporations outsourcing jobs. Most of all, they want troops withdrawn from Iraq.
"I know it would be easier if I could believe (being in Iraq) is a noble cause," said Rosenleaf, whose husband is stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, and is scheduled for deployment to Iraq this fall. "But I don't have that comfort."
The Bush administration has said that it doesn't plan to withdraw troops from Iraq until Iraqi security forces can maintain law and order there.
The bus is one of three on the Bring Them Home Now Tour, and it is scheduled to be in Albany today. All three are to be in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 24 for a national demonstration.
The downtown crowd was heavily antiwar. One person handing out a leaflet criticizing peace activist Cindy Sheehan, whose presence outside Bush's ranch led to the tour, was heckled. Sheehan's son was killed in Iraq last year.
Marla Mangla, 23, of Victor, Ontario County, came to learn more about the war. Her husband is in Army National Guard boot camp now, she said. "So I'm a little scared."