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Karen Meredith to Rejoin Bring Them Home Now Tour
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 14, 2005
CONTACT: Ryan Fletcher 202-641-0277
Morrigan Phillips 202-258-1822
Army Reveals Truth around Soldier's Death 15 Months Later, Mom to Rejoin Cross Country Tour of Military Families, Gold Star Families, Iraq War and Other Veterans
Gold Star and Military Families, Iraq War and other Vets bring message to 51 cities in 28 States to Converge at Anti-War Rally in DC on September 24
NATIONWIDE - On September 19th, Gold Star Mother Karen Meredith will re-join the Bring Them Home Now Tour that is crossing the country along three routes from Crawford, Texas to Washington, DC. Last weekend on Sept. 9th, Meredith, of Mountain View, California, was informed by the U.S. Army that it had known for more than a year that her son 1st Lt. Kenneth Ballard was not killed in action as had been reported. The Army disclosed on Saturday that Ballard, 26, actually died of wounds from the accidental discharge of a M240 machine gun on his tank after his platoon had returned from battling insurgents in Najaf. An Army spokesman, Col. Joseph Curtin, said in an interview that separate investigations concluded only days after Ballard's death that it was an accident.
After a meeting with Army representatives, Meredith was heartened by the Army's approach "When I first heard the news I was stunned and appalled that the army took 15 months to tell me the truth about my son's death. After meeting with Army officials I am pleased to say that I feel that I have the ear of the Army. All members of the military that met with me were professional, sympathetic and empathetic," she said. "This, however, is just the beginning. This dialog needs to continue on many levels, starting with the President. There are thousands of families searching for the truth in this war based on lies. I hope the Bush administration and Congress can extend the good will the Army has showed me, by being accountable to the thousands of other families like mine whose lives have been ripped apart by this unjustifiable war."
Karen Meredith recently returned from Crawford, Texas where she joined Cindy Sheehan and other Gold Star and military families in a vigil next to the President's ranch. On the last day of the vigil in Crawford, Karen set out with other members of Gold Star Families for Peace, Military Families Speak Out, Iraq Veterans Against the War and Veterans for Peace on the Bring Them Home Now Tour.
This week, Meredith will rejoin the Bring Them Home Now tour on September 19th in Baltimore. "We are taking the hard questions about this war in Iraq to President Bush and to Congressional decision-makers around the country. We are spreading our truth about the Iraq war by sharing our first hand experience of its devastating effects. We are also searching for truth and demanding accountability for the loss of our loved ones," she said.
Within the next week the tour will travel to Philadelphia and Baltimore on the Central route; Raleigh-Durham, Fayetteville and Richmond on the Southern route; and Boston, New Haven and New York City on the Northern route.
Karen Meredith and other participants of the Bring Them Home Now Tour are available for interview.
For further information on the Bring Them Home Now Tour including a schedule of cities and dates, go to: http://www.bringthemhomenowtour.org