Casey Sheehan’s Law
August 15, 2005
©Mary Geddry

Earlier this year, late March, my Marine son returned home from his second tour in Iraq. Seeing him for the first time upon his return I found myself surveying him carefully, holding him close in my arms I assessed him like a mother would a newborn, ten fingers, yes, ten toes, good. My relief and gratitude suffered no boundaries and I poured forth my soul in reverence and appreciation to our ancestors for watching over him; I praised Buddha, Allah and God and thanked my lucky stars and wept profuse tears of release.

My joy was marred, of course, by the certain knowledge that other mothers had not been so fortunate so it is that I watch with awe and admiration the mission of the very purposed, Cindy Sheehan. Almost daily the news contains testaments of the loved ones of fallen soldiers continuing to support the war and the present administration. None want their sacrifice to have been in vain. For those of us who believe as Cindy Sheehan does, this war having been wrought of lies, then that has already happened, their supreme sacrifice was for naught and nothing will make it otherwise. Yet, Cindy has corralled her grief and anger and resolved to make her son’s death stand for something real, something tangible, something not built on lies and bad intel; she wants Casey’s death to mark the beginning of the end of the war in Iraq.

The goal Sheehan has set is almost impossibly high but the concept of converting tragedy into change is not. Our laws are filled with such examples, Megan’s Law, Amber Alerts the Jessica Lunsford Act all reactions to the senseless, meaningless, vain deaths of our children at the hands of conscienceless souls. America was lied to without conscience, cajoled and terrified into compliance with such phrases as ‘smoking guns’ and ‘mushroom clouds’, so that we proudly pledged our greatest resource to the cause, our own children. Was that conscienceless act any less insidious than luring a child into a car with candy? Was it any less of a betrayal? Do not our sons and daughters dying and risking their lives in Iraq deserve a Casey Sheehan’s Law?

My own son returned home, barely, surviving seven IED’s, multiple mortar attacks, numerous firefights and the memories of picking up the body parts of his fellow warriors. During his tour he acquired that fatalistic manner of speech so typical of soldiers in constant combat, ‘…I guess it wasn’t my day to die, Mom’. Those words still torture me today and it is certain that being deployed to Iraq is a sure death sentence; if they are there long enough, our troops will not die from old age, but they will die. Casey Sheehan only lived five days.

If our president could take the time to dress up in camis and travel to an aircraft carrier, an executive version of a superbowl touchdown dance, why will he not take the time to answer Cindy Sheehan?