Publisher's first book by famous 'war mom'
By ANGELA K. BROWN
By ANGELA K. BROWN
FORT WORTH, Texas — A new Hawai'i publisher this week will release a book by Cindy Sheehan, the California woman who gained national attention for her protest against the Iraq war.
After spending scorching August days with hundreds of war protesters at her makeshift camp near President Bush's Crawford, Texas, ranch, Sheehan slipped away each night to her tent or RV for a few quiet moments on her laptop.
The words came easily as she wrote about the war, U.S. leaders, her critics, her supporters. And the tears started to flow no matter how many times she wrote about her 24-year-old soldier son, Casey, who died in Iraq last year.
Her writing moved Arnie Kotler, the founder of Koa Books, who saw news coverage and read Sheehan's Internet blog entries from the protest.
"I thought, 'This is already a book. This is incredible,' " Kotler said. Koa has printed about 20,000 copies. "We got it done as quickly as we could, and the deepest reason is to stop the war."
On its Web site, Koa Books describes itself as "a new publisher of books on personal transformation, progressive politics and native cultures." It says Sheehan's book is its first publication.
Sheehan wrote of her son: "I miss him more every day. It seems the void in my life grows as time goes on, and I realize I am never going to see him again or hear his voice ... I knew he was going to be a great man. I just had no idea how great he was going to be, or how much it was going to hurt me."
Now those journal entries are in her book, "Not One More Mother's Child," to be released Wednesday. The paperback also contains some of her speeches to peace groups earlier this year, letters to politicians and writings since leaving Crawford.
"I never wrote anything more than a note to excuse my kids from school before Casey was killed, so to see something I wrote in print with my name on it is amazing," Sheehan said by phone from her home in Berkeley, Calif.
Sheehan gained national attention during her 26-day vigil on a Texas roadside near Bush's ranch in August.
The White House did not return calls seeking comment on the book.
Sheehan shares details about Casey, her oldest child who grew up to be an Eagle Scout and considered becoming a priest. He enlisted, Sheehan said, to give something back to the country.
In a chapter called "The Peaceful Occupation of Crawford, Texas," Sheehan chronicles the daily events of the protest, such as being bombarded with media interviews, the campsite wedding of two peace activists and visits from celebrities Martin Sheen, Joan Baez and the Rev. Al Sharpton. She also writes about her critics.
" ... What really hurts me the most," she wrote, "is when people say that I am dishonoring Casey by my protest in Crawford. By wanting our troops to come home alive and well, that I am somehow not supporting them."
Sheehan plans to go on a book tour, but first she wants to resume her protest in Crawford this week as Bush spends Thanksgiving at his ranch.
"The Camp Casey movement will not die until we have a genuine accounting of the truth, and until our troops are brought home," she wrote.