Sunday, August 14, 2005

Real Men Don't Talk To Cindy Sheehan, Day 8

Cindy was tired from an unexpected call at 5:30 from the Today Show and the heat and sun exhaustion from the day before. The first question of the morning pool came from a young soldier who had just returned from Iraq.

He was polite, addressing her as Ms. Sheehan. Surrounded by cameras he told her he was sorry for her son's death, he said he had lost many friends in the Iraq War also. "Death is a part of war and what we are doing is more important, bringing freedom to the world. Think of all the people who died for the freedom we enjoy. So your son's life is just a drop in the bucket."
Those of us standing behind the cameras gasp, but Cindy's face continued to listen to him calmly and openly. Forced by the gasp he quickly said "but I feel for your son."

At this moment Cindy put her arm on his shoulder and holding him to her side they walked out into the field together, she asked the press to give them some privacy. They honored her in a way that I have never seen before, they were still shooting photos as the 2 walked away. Cindy drew the young man close like a mother, they spoke for about 5 minutes during which the shift in his feeling was palpable. He stepped away and pulled a book he had written about his experiences in Iraq and gave it to her. Then they hugged a long deep embrace, you could see the conversation continuing.

She walked back towards us and the press as he left. Yet again, this woman had made me cry with her strength her love and her courage (oh I forgot to mention everyone else in the camp had tried to keep this young man from confronting her).

As we walked back to our make shift office in Casey's camper I was pouring my heart out in awe of her, she stopped me and said "do you know what that young man said as we were hugging? He said his mother agrees with me. She told him that if he had been killed in Iraq she would have done the same thing ...and then he called me Mom."
I wept. Welcome to Camp Casey. Come have your heart blown wide-open daily.

As Eve Ensler said today after I told her the story, "It isn't really about truth, it's about love." And Cindy's love not only for her son, but for truth and for all the mother's, father's, sons and daughters of the world.


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