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Sheen Joins Crawford Protest

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Sharpton, Sheen appear at anti-war camp near Bush ranch

By ANGELA K. BROWN, Associated Press Writer 
August 29, 2005

A group of war protesters camping out near President Bush´s ranch got support from the Rev. Al Sharpton and actor Martin Sheen in separate visits Sunday.

Sheen, who plays Democratic President "Jed" Bartlet on NBC´s "The West Wing" met privately with Cindy Sheehan, who started the war protest three weeks ago. Sheen is known for his peace activism.

"At least you´ve got the acting president of the United States," Sheen said as the crowd of more than 300 people cheered and laughed. "I think you know what I do for a living, but this is what I do to stay alive."

Earlier Sunday, Sharpton spoke at an interfaith service.


Actor and Peace activist Martin Sheen, left, applauds Cindy Sheehan
at Camp Casey 2 near President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas,
Sunday, Aug. 28, 2005. Sheen joked that Sheehan was meeting the
"acting" president.


Cindy Sheehan, left, puts her arm around actor and peace activist
Martin Sheen at Camp Casey 2 near President Bush's ranch in
Crawford, Texas, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2005.


‘West Wing’ Actor Sheen
Pays Visit To Camp Casey II

By Michael Harvey

CRAWFORD — Cindy Sheehan and Camp Casey received a huge boost Sunday, both in support and in morale. Actor Martin Sheen came to visit. It had been rumored for some time that Sheen might make an appearance, and today, it came to fruition.

Sheen arrived around 5:30 p.m. with very little fanfare, and was greeted warmly by the crowd. Judging by the hugs and kisses, it was obvious that he and some of the Camp Casey clan already knew each other. After a five-minute photo session, Sheen retreated to the trailer that had been setup for Cindy Sheehan, where he was introduced to some family members of fallen soldiers.

It was described as a very passionate time that included many hugs, kisses, smiles, and even a few tears. Sheen was warm and friendly, and eagerly had his photo taken with many people. The time that Sheen spent near the trailer was a low-key, intimate, and personal time.

After some singing and talking on the stage, it was time for Sheen and Sheehan. Joining the two on stage were Iraqi veterans and family members of those who had fallen in Iraq. Sheen began his speech with a brief history of vigils.

“It is an Irish tradition. When a person had a disagreement with a landlord, for example, that person would stand vigil outside that landlord’s home until he came out to talk with them,” he said. “You all know what I do for a living, but this is what I do to stay alive.”

The crowd roared after hearing that.

Sheen continued to speak for a few minutes, and was followed by Sheehan, who spoke of how her son was a devoted Catholic and of how everyone who knew him knew how strong his faith was. She told of how, when his body was brought home to America, 11 Catholic Rosaries had been placed with him by his fellow soldiers. That gave her some peace, she said.

During Sheehan’s speaking, Sheen spent more time greeting soldiers and the families of soldiers.

He again was willing to shake hands, give hugs, pose for photos, and sign autographs for anyone who asked.

Sheen then rejoined Sheehan on stage, and along with about 10 other people, they began a Rosary vigil. After each prayer of the Rosary that Sheen said, Sheehan called out the name of a fallen soldier. Many tears were shed during this vigil, which lasted nearly an hour.

Sheehan called out the name of approximately 50 fallen soldiers. Following the vigil was a time of singing, including “Amazing Grace.” Fittingly, during the line “Bright shining as the sun,” a yellow-orange glow from the sun shone through the tent and onto the stage. Until that moment, the sun had been blocked all day by an overcast sky.

After the singing concluded, Sheehan and Sheen each spoke to the crowd briefly before heading to the field of crosses that has been erected at Camp Casey II. Along the way, the two posed for pictures with members of Iraq Veterans Against the War. They then moved to the middle of the field that contained crosses, flags, and flowers and were joined by approximately 20 friends, and observed a moment of silence. This moment of silence preceded the playing of “Taps” by Lance Corporal Jeff Key and the singing of “God Bless America.”

Sheehan and Sheen then knelt in front of Casey Sheehan’s cross and said a prayer together. Cindy wept, and after hugging Sheen goodbye, retreated to her trailer. The actor then made one last round of goodbyes, again stopping to hug and thank as many people as he could.

Sheen’s visit to Camp Casey II was described by many as powerful and meaningful. It was a stirring way to begin the final few days of the protest and vigil near Crawford.


MARTIN SHEEN, kneeling next to Cindy Sheehan, honors the cross bearing the name of Casey Sheehan at Camp Casey II.
— Iconoclast Photo By Michael Harvey

MARTIN SHEEN SIGNS a "Stop The War" poster for an admirer.
— Iconoclast Photo By Michael Harvey

MARTIN SHEEN takes to the stage to address the crowd.
— Iconoclast Photo by Michael Harvey


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