August 11, 2005
By Tim Goodrich
U.S. Tour of Duty
Good things come in small packages. Camp Casey in Crawford, Texas may not have the people of a 500,000 strong anti-war march, but it's making at least as powerful a statement. This is only my first day here outside the ranch, but this has already been one of the most moving events I have attended.
Almost immediately, I recognized the standard tactics of the right wing; deceit and hatred. Upon waking up at the Crawford Peace House, I noticed a news van for the local AM radio station sitting outside. I watched him for a while, but he never bothered to step outside of the van. Later on, I heard the radio station reporting that the people at the Crawford Peace House had chased him away by throwing bottles and rocks at him. This was obviously a lie; designed to paint us, who have gathered peacefully, as militants.
Upon arrival at Camp Casey one of the first new people I met was a Gulf War Marine veteran who now works driving truck out of Augusta, Georgia. While listening to his satellite radio, he heard about the encampment here in Crawford. Since he was running ahead of schedule and didn¹t have to be to San Antonio until the next morning, he took a detour to investigate. As a few of us veterans had a good conversation with him, I realized one important thing: He gets it. This former marine was just another of countless veterans across the United States that realize the war in Iraq is a tremendous waste of life and resources.
The weather is very hot and humid here, as evidenced by the few who succumbed to heat stroke. Despite the lack of most creature comforts, the spirit and will of the people here amazes me. In the end the world will know the truth, but in the meantime, I have a request for my former Commander-in-Chief. Come meet with us who served in your imperial war. Come meet with the military families who have loved ones serving in Iraq. Come meet with Cindy and the other Gold Star families. It¹s about time you¹re honest with the American people.
Tim Goodrich is an Air Force combat veteran who helped with the intensified bombing leading up to the occupation of Iraq. After being honorable discharged, he traveled to Iraq as a civilian to see the human cost of war. Upon returning, he co-founded Iraq Veterans Against the War and continues working to bring the troops home.