Skip to comments.Bush supporters start camp countering war protesters [Fort Qualls, Crawford, Texas]
Posted on 08/20/2005 4:27:02 PM PDT by SwinneySwitch
A patriotic camp with a "God Bless Our President!" banner sprung up downtown Saturday, countering the anti-war demonstration started by a fallen soldier's mother two weeks ago near President Bush's ranch.
The camp is named "Fort Qualls" in memory of Marine Lance Cpl. Louis Wayne Qualls, 20, killed in Fallujah, Iraq, last fall. His father, Gary Qualls of Temple, said his 16-year-old son also wants to enlist, and he supports that decision.
"If I have to sacrifice my whole family for the sake of our country and world, other countries that want freedom, I'll do that," said Qualls, a friend of the local business owner who started the pro-Bush camp, Bill Johnson.
Cindy Sheehan of Vacaville, Calif., started the war protest Aug. 6 off the road leading to Bush's ranch. It has grown to about 100 core participants, and hundreds more from across the nation have visited, many staying a few days.
Sheehan remained Saturday in Los Angeles, where she flew Thursday after her 74-year-old mother had a stroke. Her mother has some paralysis on her right side but is in good spirits, and if she improves Sheehan may return to Texas in a few days, some demonstrators said.
In her absence, the rest of the group will keep camping out for the unlikely chance to question the president about the war that has claimed the lives of about 1,850 U.S. soldiers. Sheehan's 24-year-old son, Army Spc. Casey Sheehan, died last year just five days after arriving in Iraq.
Sheehan had refused to leave until Bush talked to her or until the end of his monthlong vacation, scheduled for Sept. 3. Bush has said he sympathizes with Sheehan but won't change his schedule to meet with her. She and other families met with Bush about two months after Casey died, before she became a vocal opponent of the war.
Large counter-protests were held in a ditch near Sheehan's site a week after she arrived, and since then a few Bush supporters have stood in the sun holding signs for several hours each day.
But Johnson, who owns the town's biggest gift and souvenir store Yellow Rose, said he created "Fort Qualls" as a larger, more convenient place for Bush supporters. The tent and a trailer on a vacant lot beside his store will be staffed each day, but people will probably not sleep there.
"A lot of people saw a problem (with the war protest) and said there needs to be relief," Johnson said Saturday afternoon, as patriotic music played at the tent containing a life-size cardboard cutout of Bush.
Qualls gained attention last week when he went to Sheehan's camp, which has hundreds of crosses as a tribute to troops killed, and removed one bearing his son's name. But he said protesters keep replacing it; he has yanked two more crosses, saying the protesters' views are disrespectful to soldiers.
Johnson and others at "Fort Qualls" have asked for a debate with those at the Crawford Peace House, which is helping Sheehan.
It's unclear if that will happen. But a member of Gold Star Families for Peace, co-founded by Sheehan and comprised of relatives of fallen soldiers, said her group would not participate.
"We're asking for a meeting with the president, period," said Michelle DeFord, whose 37-year-old son, Sgt. David W. Johnson, was in the Army National Guard from Oregon when he was killed in Iraq last fall. "We don't want to debate with people who don't understand our point of view."
even the... Sheehans of the world!
Fort Qualls Ping!
Please FReepmail me if you want on or off this South Texas/Mexico ping list.
They should put up crosses for victims of terrorism.
they're is disgusting in their adolescent posing---death to the left!
"We don't want to debate with people who don't understand our point of view."
Course Not! They may learn something worthwhile!!!
truer words have never been spoken.
There's not enough land.
Its sad that Ms Cindy "Its all about me" Sheehan has attracted so much attention. Even in an article supposely about her counter protesters half is about her
Where exactly is this Fort Qualls....near Crawford, or a different city..I couldn't get that?
It's the Yellow Rose store across from their bank. It sells antiques I think.
Probably with a strong arm, a ball player could just about hit the peace house where the ditch witch stays.
Excuse me, but then it isn't a debate! No matter what the subject, in order to even HAVE a debate, there must be at least two differing positions/opinions.
All those people really want to do is sit around and whine and console each other about how bad and awful President Bush and America are.
They should sue her.
"Defamation of character"
The need to put a big sign up saying: "we support our President and the Troops so the national media ignore us". Because you know old media will not give this parent near the attention it gives their anti-war hero, Ms. Cindy. Shameful bias -- expected of course, but shameful none-the-less.
That is a great idea. It could include all Americans killed by terrorist thugs since Carter did nothing to free our hostages in Iran. I don't how you find all the names but the attacks include the Marine barracks in Lebanon, the Pan Am 747 over Scotland, and many others leading up to 9/11. That would send a powerful message.
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