About The Bay: Decade-Long War Of Words Over Military In Sebastopol

SEBASTOPOL (KCBS) – The typically quiet Sonoma County town of Sebastopol has been heating up once a week, with a long-running standoff between two sides who don’t see eye to eye on America’s military affairs.

KCBS’ Mike Sugerman Reports About the Bay:

Incredibly, for nearly ten years, a Vietnam vet – who identified himself only as John – has been making a weekly trek to the intersection of Highways 116 and 12, where he waves an American flag at high noon. He encourages passing drivers to honk if they support the troops.

“Thank you, thank you!” he enthuses in response to the blaring beeps of car horns.

“It’s my way of, you know, just saying thank you to them and also letting them know how much the troops appreciate their support, too,” he reasoned.

“I love him,” responded Edith Briggs, 86, who makes a point of standing across the street from John – waving peace signs. “I admire and love him. But I think he’s misguided.”

She is a part of a small contingency that turns out to counter John’s demonstration – she identifies herself with the International Women in Black organization.

“Our message is we abhor violence in any form, the death penalty, violence against women,” she explained.

John and Edith have been showing up – and facing off – since soon after the September 11 terror attacks.

Eventually, a third contingency joined the fray – Nan Waters, who waves an American flag and a peace sign. She said she was previously with Women in Black but has since branched out on her own.

If there’s one thing they all agree on, it’s that they support the men and women who serve – it’s the actual issue of going to war that they are battling over.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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