Walter Reed Vigil Report No. 3
The Vigil continued to be maintained with dignity, good humor, and tonight with music and song. Many new faces and some old and familiar ones were on the line tonight. One white bus passed into WR-this is the bus with the driver who waves and honks to us. His smile tells it all. He's glad to see us. We met two mothers of soldiers inside WR. One said she has been by her son's side for the last 7 months and that our presence has made her feel good. The second mother of an injured soldier inside WR encouraged us to keep the vigil going. We asked her to let those inside know we are not attacking them, that we are out front for them.
A passerby, who turned out to be on the Board of Pacifica Radio Station WPFW, parked her car and joined us. She was so incensed by the government's mismanagement of the disaster in New Orleans that she wanted to stand with us. "Give me a sign, any sign," she said. She stayed for the whole vigil and we had a chance to note that it was the same government that treated hurricane victims so poorly that was treating its soldiers poorly, as well as carrying on this terrible war. We all noted the irony that this government has announced that it will bring troops home now to shoot their fellow citizens.
Except across the street. The "psy war" tactics now include shouting to the vigilers that that they are being "used" by Code Pink (that commie, pro-terrorist, baby killer, blah, blah, blah organization). They psy war is aimed at sowing doubts but it is not working. We still receive support from people driving up and down Georgia Avenue (including the one police car that always gives us a friendly honk).
A member of the Plymouth UCC will bring up the Vigil at the Sunday Social Activism Committee meeting.
The two mothers of injured soldiers. John Bruhns, an Iraqi war vet who came back to stand with us. The WWII vets. And Perry who came back from London, England with his guitar and helped drown out the brown shirts with music-best of all-When the Saints Come Marchin' In with some new words made up on the spot.
Our vigil continues to grow in numbers and diversity. It is becoming clearer to people that standing out here is making an important statement. The fact that a vigil of only two hours once a week can draw the vehemence of the government's supporters in their orchestrated effort to shut us down, demonstrates how much further spread are the ripples of our presence. The fact that the soldiers inside WR may be restricted in having contact with us demonstrates how afraid the military machine is of our presence.
Our morale is very good. Our numbers reflect our continuing and growing determination to keep up the vigil as long as this war continues-and perhaps longer because we want every soldier to receive the proper care and benefits, and know that they are not alone and not forgotten-ever. The vets of the Iraq war will not tell stories of the bad treatment they received from the antiwar movement-just the opposite. The veterans will remember who really stood by them.