Since Dan Judge's article appeared in the Vallejo Times-Herald (2 blogs down), we've distributed even MORE Crosses4Peace. I believe the number is approaching 280.
I heard from a delightfully vociferous Vallejo woman who's son(-in-law) was beginning his 3rd tour as a Marine, serving in Iraq. As you may know, the Marines asked to be moved to Afghanistan, but their request was denied by Defense Secretary, Gates. (cite below) She wanted to make it abundantly clear that she supported the troops 110% and she opposed the war just as much. But she NEVER, EVER wanted to see some of our country's greatest, bravest kids being treated as they were on returning from Viet Nam. I'm not quite old enough to remember, but I know a little about history and I couldn't agree with her more. She gave me permission to post this photo. She's, too, is an amazingly courageous lady. I'm beginning to believe the good guys are going to win, here, in America.
One quiet Sunday morning, I heard from Loana, who'd seen the article while visiting the Bay Area. She didn't have time to read it, so she stashed it in her suitcase to read when she returned to Louisiana. She called me to say she was going to build her own Cross4Peace. I told her about the directions on the main website, http://www.crosses4peace.org/. John's design works very well. It's a model of efficient engineering, particularly the pointed bottom that makes it easy for anyone with water and dirt to plant.
I want to officially offer my gratitude to Derek Cathron and his family and to every family grieving for a loved one lost in Iraq or Afghanistan. I will remember.
I want to offer my deepest condolence and sympathy to every family who lost an innocent relative or friend and to every person who’s lost his home and some sense of his dignity and security to these many conflicts in the Middle East.
I want to thank and support the wounded warriors like my friend’s brother (I don’t have permission yet to publish his name). He was wounded in Iraq, including injuries to his head. At some point during the military triage process, he said he was ambulatory, i.e. he could move and bath himself, etc. After all, many around him had lost legs or arms as he was not inclined to take scarce, but vital services away from his brothers and sisters in arms. He ended up in a large room where soldiers like him who had working limbs, were caring for others who had somehow claimed mobility, but couldn’t feed or get themselves to a bathroom. My friend, who’s seen plenty of ugliness right here, fights not to cry when she remembers how her brother was treated when he was most vulnerable. All he had was his family and his http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/ backpack. He clung to that backpack, she told me, like life itself. It had clean clothes, a calling card, a toothbrush and a cd player for company. I want to thank all you wounded warriors, and your families. I wish you all the fullest and fastest recoveries possible. May you always be remembered as the heroes you are.
I want to apologize to the people who have been unjustly imprisoned and tortured by our government and to their loved ones who must be tormented by not knowing, but imagining the worst. Too many of those who’ve had atrocities committed against them in our name were innocent. Some of them are still locked up in places like Guantanamo and other secret prisons around the world. I want you to know, many people are trying to stop this evil. We won’t forget. Torture is not about intelligence, it’s about control.
I want to thank and support the servicemen and women who are still there and those who are finally home safely. Whatever you’ve endured, I know you went there to do good and I’ll bet you did every chance you got. The Bible says there’s a time for war and a time for peace. I sincerely wish you less war and more peace. I can only offer you my respect, my gratitude and my tangible support. These organizations help me show my appreciation: http://www.anysoldier.com/ and http://www.votevets.org/
Finally, among the cornucopia of peace workers in the world is a particularly courageous, steadfast and INFORMATIVE group, the Friends’ Committee for National Legislation. http://www.fcnl.org/index.htm They provide information on military alternatives, how to become a conscientious objector, withholding taxes and other milder forms of protest like “Peace” bumper stickers and “War is not the Answer” yard signs. No matter how loudly the sabers rattled, the Friends (Quakers) have stood for peace and justice. Many folks ask “What Would Jesus Do?”. Too few do it.