Speaking of Sheehan,lookie what I found.
Saturday, November 4th, 2006
Historic Trip to Iraq - NEWS RELEASE
Move America Forward - NEWS RELEASE
NEWS RELEASE - November 4, 2006
CONTACT: Ray Young - (916) 441-6197
SURPRISE IN IRAQ!
Families of Fallen U.S. Troops Make Stunning Visit to Iraq
* Group to Highlight News of Saddam’s Nuclear Weapons Program
* Rebut Senator John Kerry * Report on the Successes of U.S. Troops in Iraq
(IRAQ) – Under the cover of utmost secrecy, the parents of U.S. troops who died in Iraq have made a surprising and historic visit to Iraq. No other such coordinated trip to Iraq by families of fallen troops has ever taken place.
The trip comes amid new reports from The New York Times that Saddam Hussein had a nuclear weapons program under development. Some have suggested that Hussein could have been 1-2 years away from developing a usable nuclear weapon.
“The American people are shown a skewed picture of the situation in Iraq day after day by the international news media. We felt it was time to allow the families of U.S. troops who died in Iraq to come see the progress being made in Iraq and report it back to the American people,” said Melanie Morgan, Chairman of Move America Forward.
“Now we learn that our troops helped stop Saddam Hussein’s development of a nuclear weapon’s arsenal that would have been the envy of every terrorist group in the world,” Morgan said.
The trip also occurs following statements by Senator John Kerry, who suggested U.S. Troops serving in Iraq lack intelligence and are “stuck” there because of their limited abilities.
“I am spitting mad at John Kerry for insulting our troops. Duck and run was his specialty in Viet Nam,” said Gold Star Mother Debra Argel.
Joe & Jan Johnson, whose son Justin died in Sadr City, expressed their anger with Kerry: “These were grown adults we are talking about, not kids who didn’t know what they were doing. Contrary to Kerry’s belief, they made an “educated” decision to join the military, most of them after 9/11, so they knew the possibilities of going to war were pretty good and they chose to serve anyway.”
The trip will allow these parents to see the newly liberated Iraq that their children gave their lives for. A new Iraq is rising up from the ashes of what was once a state-sponsor of terrorism under dictator Saddam Hussein. Most provinces in Iraq are without the violence that is shown each day by international media outlets, but for some reason only the most negative developments from Iraq are regularly reported.
These family members will meet with U.S. Troops currently stationed in Iraq, and will offer their support. They hope to meet with both the Iraqi people as well as government leaders.
The “Gold Star Families to Iraq” trip is being organized by the nation’s largest grassroots pro-troop organization, Move America Forward (website: www.MoveAmericaForward.org
). Updated trip accounts, photographs, audio/video files will be continuously uploaded to the Move America Forward website.
This trip to Iraq has been in the planning stages for more than one year. It is being paid for by the contributions from thousands of Americans who gave money to Move America Forward to pay for this trip to take place. No government money has been used to finance this trip.
These family members have issued the following statements to explain in their own words why it is that they have made this unprecedented trip to Iraq:
“I want to see for myself what America has been able to accomplish to help the Iraqis help themselves. I will be asking the Iraqis what message do they want me to give for them to the people back in America. Finally, I came because I wanted to experience the same feelings that my son experienced when he was preparing to go to Iraq, sort of like walking in his shoes.”
“I want to carry a message of love, support and hope to our troops. I want them to know that despite the negative media and despite our loss, we are there for them with all of our hearts. I hope to take some pictures with some of the troops and send pictures and cards to their families when I get home. These cards will help their families know that someone cared to spend a little time with their soldier.”
“This trip is something that I will gain additional closure from. Losing my only son, namesake, and first born, has been the toughest thing in my entire life. I continue to gain strength from Mike Jr. When they say Marines are a different breed, they are right - this kid was as tough as nails, and a force to be reckoned with.
I want tell anybody that will listen, the good that we have done, and are currently doing. We cannot find security by turning a blind eye, or thinking that “if we leave them alone, they’ll leave us alone”. That’s utterly ridiculous.”
“I am proud of my son and his service to this nation. He made the ultimate sacrifice so that each of us may live in peace, blessed with freedom. America has carried the torch for freedom, fighting for individual liberties against Communism, Fascism, Totalitarianism and now once more against Terrorism. If we cut and run from Iraq, that will deal a devastating blow in the war against terrorism. Will any terrorist group ever fear us again, or will they know that they need only outlast us. We must stand by our heroic military men and women in Iraq and the mission they are serving there.”
“I’m anxious but excited...after all, it is still a war zone over there. I want to go see for myself what is going on over there. I have heard from a lot of people, both ways, and I want to be able to say I personally have been there and saw it first hand.”
“I want to be able to tell the troops that there are Americans who still believe we are doing the right thing by being here. We want them to know that there are people back here who are supporting and praying for them daily.”
NOTE: The following are short biographies on each of the individuals traveling in the “Gold Star Families to Iraq” delegation.
THE DELEGATION OF GOLD STAR FAMILIES
IN IRAQ INCLUDES:
GOLD STAR DAD JOSEPH WILLIAMS
His son, Marine Lance Cpl. Michael J. Williams, died: March 23, 2003.
Michael was 31 years old and fromYuma, Arizona; assigned to 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
He was killed in action near Nasiriyah, Iraq. Lcpl Williams was older then most of his fellow Marines, and took an active part in taking care of them and guiding them while in combat duty in Iraq, even sacrificing his life protecting his fellow Marines.
Joseph Williams currently is active in letting the American public know how important it is to support the effort of the nation in supporting the War on terror and the American Armed Forces.
GOLD STAR DAD JOHN HOLLEY
His son Army Spc. Matthew J. Holley died: November 15, 2005.
Matthew was 21 years old and from San Diego, California; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky.
He died of injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated near his Humvee during combat operations in Taji, Iraq.
John Holley was instrumental in having a provision added into the 2007 Defense authorization bill that states that all fallen military personnel who perish in the line of duty, be flown on military aircraft to their final resting place, unless designated otherwise by next of kin.
GOLD STAR DAD MIKE ANDERSON
His son Marine Corps Cpl Michael D. Anderson, Jr died: December 14th, 2004 .
Michael was 21years old and from Modesto, California; assigned to 3rd battalion 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California.
He died of injuries from small arms fire while protecting his fellow Marines from enemy action in the Anbar Province of Iraq.
Mike Anderson has been very active in his son’s unit upon their recent deployment to Iraq, and has been adopted into his son’s unit. For Veterans Day 2006, Mike Anderson has been invited to Quantico, Virginia to be part of the new Marine Corps Museum dedication.
Currently he is active letting the American public know how important it is to support the effort of the nation in supporting the War on terror and the American Armed Forces.
GOLD STAR PARENTS DEBRA & TODD BASTIAN
Their son Air Force Capt. Derek Argel died: May 30, 2005.
Derek was 28 years old and was from Lompoc, California; assigned to the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla.;
He died in the crash of an Iraqi air force aircraft during a training mission in eastern Diyala province, Iraq.
Currently Debra Bastian is the Military Outreach Coordinator for Move America Forward, and she speaks throughout the country in support of the War on Terror and especially in support of the men and women of the United States Armed Forces.
GOLD STAR PARENTS JANET & JOSEPH JOHNSON
Their son Army Spc. Justin W. Johnson died: April 10, 2004.
Justin was 22 years old and was from Rome, Georgia.; assigned to 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.
He was killed when his patrol vehicle hit an improvised explosive device (IED) in Baghdad.
Upon the death of his son, Joseph Johnson decide to enlist in the in the Georgia National Guard which he was assigned to the 48th Infantry Brigade, then deployed to Iraq and served in and around the Baghdad area. His story has been detailed in the new book, “American Mourning” written by Move America Forward Chairman, Melanie Morgan, and Vacaville Reporter columnist, Catherine Moy.
Justin Johnson was very close friends with Casey Sheehan, son of the well-known anti-war activist, Cindy Sheehan.