Anti-War Protester Sheehan Leaves
Crawford to Help Mother From Associated Press
2:34 PM PDT, August 18, 2005
CRAWFORD, Texas ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Â The grieving woman who started an anti-war demonstration
near President Bush’s ranch nearly two weeks ago said today she was leaving
because her mother had a stroke.
Cindy Sheehan told reporters she had just received the phone call and was
leaving immediately to be with her 74-year-old mother at a Los Angeles
“I’ll be back as soon as possible if it’s possible,” she said. After
hugging some of her supporters, Sheehan and her sister, Deedee Miller, got in
a van and left for the Waco airport about 20 miles away.
Sheehan, whose 24-year-old son Casey died in Iraq, said the makeshift
campsite off the road leading to Bush’s ranch would continue. The camp has
grown to more than 100 people, including many relatives of soldiers killed in
Sheehan had vowed to remain there until Bush met with her or until his
month-long vacation ended. Her protest inspired candlelight vigils across the
country Wednesday night.
Bush has said he sympathizes with Sheehan. White House spokeswoman Dana
Perino said earlier Thursday that the president said Sheehan had a right to
protest but that he did not plan to change his schedule and meet with her.
Two top Bush administration officials talked to Sheehan the day she started
her camp, and she and other families met with Bush shortly after her son’s
death and before she became a vocal opponent of the war.
Michelle Mulkey, a spokewoman for Sheehan, who lives in Vacaville, Calif.,
said Sheehan hoped to be back in Texas within 24 to 48 hours. Mulkey said
Sheehan’s mother, Shirley Miller, was in a hospital emergency room and Sheehan
didn’t yet know how serious her condition was.