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Iraq Vet's Mother to Speak
Albemarle High Grad., Iraq Vet. in National News
Mother to make statement in Charlottesville, Va., on Friday
WHAT: Statement by Mary Hanna
WHEN: 10:00 a.m. ET, Friday, August 31, 2007
WHERE: please phone for address and directions: David Swanson, 202-329-7847.
Evan Knappenberger of Charlottesville, Va., a graduate of Albemarle High School and a veteran of the Iraq War, has appeared on national television news shows and in numerous national and international media outlets this week.
On Wednesday, the Washington Post published a lengthy profile that included these lines:
"Evan Knappenberger is like many young post-Sept. 11 Army enlistees who went from high school into the military for patriotic reasons. He wanted to spread democracy, to topple Saddam Hussein, 'to do something to affect the world in a good way,' the freckled 22-year-old says. Today, Knappenberger is a disillusioned Iraq War veteran, four months out of the military and on a one-man mission as a peace activist campaigning against Defense Department policies that he believes unethically support the continuation of the war. He is not so much protesting as standing guard against the Pentagon's so-called 'stop-loss' and 'inactive reserve' policies, both designed to maintain troop strength in light of failed recruitment goals. His platform is a makeshift six-foot-tall guard tower that he erected Sunday next to the Washington Monument. There, outfitted in his battle dress uniform, Knappenberger is holding a vigil for seven nights and eight days. The policies have, in effect, created conscripted service in an ostensibly voluntary military, he said. 'How do you tell a 17-year-old or a 55-year-old grandpa that [he's] part of a voluntary military and yet he's being involuntarily extended?' Knappenberger asked." (See http://tinyurl.com/277ejt for full article and photo.)
The scaffolding Knappenberger used to set up his guard tower on the National Mall in Washington, he hauled there from Charlottesville in a U-Haul from his mother's house.
Knappenberger's mother, Mary Hanna, has never spoken in public before, but her family has been deeply impacted by the policy her son is protesting, and she is extremely proud of what he is doing. She will make a statement and take questions from the media at her home at 10 a.m. on Friday.
Additional photos, videos, reports, Knappenberger's blog, and his statement of purpose can be found at http://www.towerguard.org
Hanna can provide a photo of her son leaving Charlottesville with the materials to build his tower.