March 06, 2007

3 Days Til Launch of Historic Pro-Troop Caravan Across the Nation

In Just 3 Days…
National Patriotic/Pro-Troop
Caravan to Launch!

From California to Washington, D.C. March 8th – March 17th

On the eve of the 4th anniversary of the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, a national patriotic, pro-troop caravan will cross the nation, traveling from California to Washington, D.C. to show support for U.S. troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Members of the public are encouraged to join the caravan and attend the pro-troop rallies along the way.

The “THESE COLORS DON’T RUN” national caravan (organized and sponsored by the pro-troop non-profit group Move America Forward – ) will depart San Francisco, California on the morning of Thursday, March 8, 2007, traversing the length of the state and then heading across the nation to Washington, D.C. The effort is in support of the “Gathering of Eagles” event in Washington, D.C. on March 17th. The patriotic caravan will feature 25 pro-troop rallies in cities across the nation.

People attending the rallies are asked to bring American flags to each rally that will be collected brought to Washington, D.C. where they will be displayed at the “Gathering of Eagles” event to create a giant “Flag City” on Saturday, March 17, 2007.

Leading the caravan will be Blue Star Mother Deborah Johns, whose son William is serving his 3rd tour of duty in Iraq; Gold Star Mother Debra Argel Bastian whose son, Derek, died in Operation Iraqi Freedom; Gold Star Father Joseph Williams whose son, Michael, died in Operation Iraqi Freedom; and John Ubaldi – a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan).

“We’re going to bring thousands of Americans together in a positive and patriotic fashion to say loudly and clearly that we support our troops and their missions,” said Melanie Morgan, Chairman of Move America Forward.

John Ubaldi, a Marine Reservist who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom explained his reasons for participating in the cross-country pro-troop caravan:

“I want the guys and gals serving over in Iraq and Afghanistan to know that many Americans are supporting them and pulling for them to achieve their missions.

“It pains me greatly to see some people in this country determined to invoke a Vietnam-like malaise surrounding the war on terrorism. We can’t sit back and allow some of the nastiness and negativity directed towards our troops and their missions to go unchallenged,” said Ubaldi.

Gold Star Mother Debra Argel Bastian says she feels the military men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan are “family” and that she needs to do all she can to let them know they are loved and appreciated here at home.

“I am joining Move America Forward’s ‘These Colors Don’t Run’ caravan to support our troops at home and out of the country. My goal is to let them know that I appreciate their service, and all who have served.

“I was raised the daughter of a career Marine and a Navy nurse. I served in the Army, and am a Viet Nam era Vet. Service before self was a common phrase in our home. Derek felt that way since the 6th grade. He knew that the military was his duty, and never questioned that. The military is our family. Each and every person who serves this country is my son or daughter,” said Bastian.

Blue Star Mother Deborah John’s son, William, is currently serving his third tour of duty in Iraq. She says she is “sick and tired” of the negativity being directed against our troops serving in harm’s way.

“I am sick and tired of how some in this country are turning their backs on our troops at a time when they need our support the most!

“I know the American people want change in Iraq, our military wants change and so do their families. The change we want is for everyone to stop undermining the war effort and support our troops so that they may achieve a complete military victory in Iraq and Afghanistan alike,” Johns said.

Gold Star Father Joseph Williams, a Vietnam Veteran whose son Michael died in Operation Iraqi Freedom, explained that he was motivated to act in order that this generation’s military men and women will have better support on the home front than did the military men who fought in Vietnam.

“My son and I shared a strong admiration for the United States Armed Forces. I am a Vietnam Vet, having served in the United States Navy from February 1961 – June 1966. I saw a lot of good men fight valiantly for their nation and the cause of freedom over communism, who came home to be spit upon, dishonored and disgraced by the anti-war movement here in America.

“I cannot sit back and let this kind of behavior happen again to this generation’s heroes,” Williams said.

*More info. on the caravan can be found at the Move America Forward website: