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Cindy Sheehan became a Gold Star Mother when her son, U.S. Army Specialist Casey Sheehan, age 24, was killed in the Iraq War on April 4, 2004. "I'm not a political activist," she said. "I'm a broken-hearted, disillusioned and angry mom. George W. Bush betrayed my son, my family, this country, and the world! George Bush has betrayed every young American soldier; every Air Force person, every Navy person, and every Marine. He has exploited their sense of duty and loyalty to their buddies in order to line the pockets of the Bush family and his friends."

Cindy Sheehan and her daughter are traveling around the country in the weeks before the election, urging people to vote George Bush out of office. "I'm asking you to reach out to every person you know in the swing states and convince them to vote for Kerry!" she implored.

 

 
  Shouts of "No more Bush!" rang out from the crowd of veterans, military families, and their supporters as Cindy Sheehan spoke of the loss of her son. Inspired by anger at George Bush's September debate statement that "It's hard for me to commit troops to war, " Cindy said "He doesn't know what "hard" is! Hard is knowing my courageous, honest, and honorable son was sent to fight and die in an illegal and unjust war!"

 

 

 
 

Nadia McCaffrey became a Gold Star mother when her son, Sgt. Patrick Ryan, age 34, was killed on June 22, 2004 in Iraq. Instead of complying with George Bush's policy that dead soldiers return in their coffins from Iraq without fanfare, Nadia informed the media of her son's impending arrival at the airport, and the event was given attention and honor.

"Why did I do that?" Nadia asked. "I was not about to hide my son-- I was proud of him! It's for families to decide if they want their sons to be received with honor and piety!" Nadia's son, Patrick Ryan, joined the National Guard right after 9-11, because "he wanted to make a difference for his country and for all of us. He was my only child.I have two grandchildren and I don't want this to happen to them!"

"I waited too long to speak out, but now I am going to do it! Kerry is going to need all the help he can get and we will be there for him! We have to stop this stupid war!"


 
  Veterans for Kerry-Edwards gathered in a light rain at the South steps of the State Capitol.

 

 
  "I'm a veteran of three wars. I'm angry and distraught at the way the country's being run and I want it changed! Kerry can change it."-- Lt. Colonel James Warren, author of "The Freeman Field Mutiny: A Tuskegee Airmen's Story".
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