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War Widow Wants To Confront Cindy Sheehan

Buried in the back pages of a tiny local paper, the Waco Tribune-Herald:

War widow in town to counter protesters

Friday, April 14, 2006

By Dan Genz

Tribune-Herald staff writer

In his final letter home before he died July 21 in a Baghdad hospital of wounds from an improvised explosive device, Navy corpsman Travis Youngblood asked his pregnant wife, Laura, to take care of his fellow soldiers in Iraq.

The 27-year-old widow and mother of two young children from South Hempstead, N.Y., flew to Waco on Wednesday to continue fulfilling what she sees as his last request to defend American soldiers against vocal critics of the Iraq war, including Cindy Sheehan, who launched her third peace protest in McLennan County this week.

“I heard that Cindy was coming down again to protest, and I had enough,” Youngblood said.

She was seven months pregnant with her daughter, Emma, when her husband died of wounds caused by an explosion during a battle outside of Fallujah. He was a medic attached to a Marine unit that suffered heavy casualties in July and August.

Using the same attention-grabbing tactics that helped make a national icon out of Sheehan, the mother of a soldier killed in Sadr City, Youngblood is targeting her rival’s turf. She crashed a Sheehan-led protest on the steps of the McLennan County Courthouse on Thursday morning, holding her husband’s photo and yelling to the group to applaud the troops.

“Show their support, that’s all I ask,” Youngblood said.

Sheehan became one of the most visible champions of the anti-war movement by protesting outside President Bush’s ranch near Crawford in August. Her presence elevated the profile of all families of those who died in Iraq, including those who say Sheehan is discrediting their loved ones.

Youngblood will headline a rally outside the Yellow Rose store in Crawford today, once again making the small McLennan County town readily identified with President Bush ground zero for anti-war protests and counterprotests, expected to continue through the Easter weekend.

“These people are dying every day,” Youngblood said of military personnel in Iraq, “and . . . some of them feel like they’re going to come back and it’s going to be another like Vietnam where people aren’t going to appreciate everything they’ve done. And that’s sad.”

“My husband and I both served for this country, my husband died for this country,” said Youngblood, who met her husband in the Navy and married him on New Year’s Eve 1999 in Las Vegas, a month after they began dating.

Her loss is now part of her pro-troops campaign.

The two grieving women first clashed during an MSNBC TV show in September. Sheehan said Youngblood’s baby would be “fatherless for a lie” during the broadcast, arguing that the war was sold to the public on the Bush administration’s unproven claims of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and ties to terrorism.

Clutching a photo of her late husband, Laura Youngblood recently repeated what she said that day.

“My children will never be fatherless,” she said.

Why he fought

According to Youngblood, her husband believed the Iraq war was inevitable because the 1991 Desert Storm invasion left Saddam Hussein in power. He couldn’t stomach the idea of the war being abandoned and his son having to fight it again 15 years later, she said.

Hunter, 5, said his father “died for America.”

The widow’s message is a welcome one for Bill Mahon, the McLennan County Veterans Association president, even though he opposes the war. He’s hosting the Youngbloods at his Waco home until they return to New York on Tuesday.

He compares Sheehan’s protests to “a cancer” that is dividing the country.

But with the media spotlight back on Sheehan this week, it was time for Youngblood to come to Central Texas, she said.

“I just want people to take notice that we are in a war and these men and women are at war, risking their lives,” she said.

Of course our self-sainted Mother Sheehan will just call Mrs. Youngblood "brainwashed," and a "murder and mayhem mom."

Only Cindy has standing in this discussion. Only she has suffered. Only she knows all.

By the way, you'll notice that the DNC's Associated Press, who have yet to run a story on this, still do their best to make Mrs. Youngblood look as bad as possible with their photos:

Holding a photo of her five year-son Hunter, Laura Youngblood, of South Hempstead, N.Y., shouts at Debie Russell of Austin, Tx., during a protest in front of a the county courthouse in Waco, Texas, Thursday, April 13, 2006. Youngblood's husband Navy Petty Officer 3rd class Travis Youngblood died in Iraq in July.

Compare and contrast with their endless fawning over Mother Sheehan, such as here:

Cindy Sheehan of Vacaville, Calif., gathers herself as she recounts stories of her son to a reporter by a tent that she is staying in on the side of the road that leads to President Bush’s ranch, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2005, in Crawford, Texas. Her simple, quiet protest of the war that took her son’s life is gaining momentum as dozens joined her Wednesday at the site.

What media bias?

By the way, DebBie Russell in the photo above is not just some hapless victim of Mrs. Youngblood's wrath. She is a very active member of the Sheehan-sponsoring and America-hating operation, Code Pink.

Here Russell is illegally trying to interfere at an Army recruiting station in Austin:

Debbie Russell, left, and Fran Hanlon, members of Code Pink, a local anti-war group, talk with 1st Sgt. Brian Nelson during a protest Friday at the Army recruiting office on East Riverside Drive.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Friday, April 14th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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