The Vigil: 26 Days in Crawford, Texas
W. Leon Smith
In August of 2005, a grieving mother and her supporters laid siege to Crawford
Texas. Cindy Sheehan set up camp outside of President Bush's ranch, determined to find some answers. For 26 days, all eyes
were on Camp Casey. Sheehan's grief and steadfast vigil gave a human face to the war in Iraq. Her outrage sparked the type
of protest movement media frenzy not seen since the '70s.
At the center of it all was Crawford's own Lone Star Iconoclast. In the heart of
the reddest of Red States, The Iconoclast found itself caught between the public's (deeply conservative) expectations, and
the paper's publisher, W. Leon Smith's, sense of journalistic duty to report objectively. The Vigil is an invaluable record
of the Iconoclast's coverage, with Sheehan herself providing a scene-setting foreword.
The result is a high stakes, blow-by-blow account of the events as they unfolded.
This live action narrative engages the reader from the first page. You experience this vigil right along with the writers
and participants: the heat, the fire ants, the gunplay, the Porta-pottie dramas, the celebrity appearances, and the intense
emotional rollercoaster that has yet to end. Opinion-editorials are sprinkled throughout the text, written by the field reporters
as they digested their experiences. Some are supportive of Sheehan, while others are more ambivalent. Yet throughout, Smith
and his crew demonstrate a level of professional integrity that to quote Sheehan herself "shine[s] like a lone spark of integrity
in the prairie
Lietta is mentioned in this book as among one of the early military families from
Military Familises Speak Out to arrive at Crawford