Ever since I first heard about Cindy Sheehan and her quest to meet with President Bush to discuss the matter of for what her son died in the Iraq War, I could not help but remember Peg Mullen. Mullen was an Iowa mother who lost her son in Vietnam in 1970. She became an anti-war activist after trying to find out how her son died only to be lied to by the military which tried to cover-up the fact that her son had been killed by so-called “friendly fire” while he slept. One thing led to another and soon Mullen was an anti-war mom from the farms of Iowa.
I first learned of Peg Mullen’s story when I read the book “Friendly Fire” in college. It was a deeply moving story of a grieving mother’s quest to hold her government accountable for its misguided policies that led to her son’s death. About the same time, I was reading the book, a 1979 made-for-TV movie based on Mullen’s story was broadcast. Carol Burnett gave a great performance as Peg. The two, the book and the movie, left a deep impression on me so when Cindy Sheehan surfaced in the news camping out near the president’s made-for-TV “ranch”, I immediately thought of Mullen.
There is a part in the Friendly Fire book that describes Mullen’s first journey from Iowa to Washington DC to take part in an anti-war protest. This post today on the Huffington Post Blog brings it all home again.