DECATUR, Ga. - Her voice suddenly steadying, Mary Ann MacCombie blinked through her tears Thursday and took a very public stand against the war in Iraq that cost her son his life.
Surrounded by TV cameras and reporters, MacCombie blasted the U.S. involvement in Iraq in honor of her son, Sgt. Ryan Campbell, who was killed in April 2004 in a car bombing in south Iraq.
"It's too late for my son, but not for his best friend and thousands of other soldiers," said MacCombie, who was part of a procession of mothers that protested the war outside a veteran's hospital.
"It is time to answer the call and say no more pain, no more false leadership and no more war," said Patricia Roberts, whose son, Spc. Jamaal Rashard Addison, was killed in Iraq in March 2003.
Many in the crowd of 50 or so supporters held aloft signs proclaiming "I stand with Cindy Sheehan," the grieving mother camped outside President Bush's Crawford, Texas ranch whose 24-year-old son was killed last year in Sadr City.
Sheehan, 48, has been camping out along a road near President Bush's ranch since Saturday, vowing to remain until his Texas vacation ends later this month.
Some demonstrators hoped Sheehan's stand would further illuminate what they called an "illegal war."
"My only wish right now is that I could be in Crawford, Texas now with Cindy," said Howard Wolf, a Vietnam veteran and member of Veterans for Peace.
MacCombie said she's disagreed with other mothers of soldiers in online chatrooms over her stance. But she and other demonstrators, some who brought their toddlers, said speaking against the war is just maternal instinct.
"I think they took the only stand you can take if you're a mother that has any conscience," said Ronda Reynolds, a protester.
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