Elkhart Camp Casey

A Nonviolent Campaign to End the War in Iraq

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Tuesday, November 29

Tom and son Silas joined the two campers for the day. Another tent sprouted on the site. The construction firm building a new elementary school across Wolf loaned heavy construction stakes that held the tent in the strong winds. A sign, Camp Casey: a Nonviolent Campaign to End the War in Iraq, was tied to the front bushes at the Agape Church. Camp Casey visited the recruitment offices and talked extensively with two army recruiters who had been in Iraq and Afghanistan. Neither was familiar with the effects of depleted uranium weaponry on military personnel. The campers urged them to become familiar with those dangers that have been covered up. Several visitors and phone inquiries about the missing CPTers in Iraq interspersed the activities of the day.

Also on Tuesday: Marshall King, Elkhart Truth, did a phone interview. A Mennonite Seminary student stopped to encourage and visit. A house meeting with nine people at Juanita Shenk's. Cliff Kindy saw the video of the four missing CPTers and then received the email identifying them for the first time just as the meeting started. It was jarring.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Monday, November 28

Mild temperatures greeted the day, but gusty winds and heavy rains moved into northern Indiana. Juanita, David, and Cliff set up two tents in the rain. While they were at meetings at the Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary and in South Bend for planning a Camp Casey for January 7-22 in that city, the two tents blew loose from their moorings. In the evening a Bible study group invited Camp Casey to share stories from Iraq and hopes for the Elkhart camp. Juanita and Cliff camped at the new site for the first time after refastening down their tents.

Sunday, November 27

Juanita attended Belmont Mennonite Church to share about Camp Casey and invite the congregation to participate in the witness. Dave, Siobhan, and Cliff worshiped with the Agape Missionary Baptist Church on the corner of Wolf and Benham. Pastor Dr. Darnell Brown, a former marine, invited Camp Casey to use the front lawn as a home base for the effort. He drew parallels between the situation of risk-taking to speak out about the war in Iraq and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. opposing the war in Vietnam. Dave, Cliff, and Siobhan then went to the Creekside Church of the Brethren for Sunday School and spirited stories from Iraq. A member of the church and national guardsman with two tours in Iraq added additional perspective from his experience.

In the afternoon, Cliff learned about four missing CPTers in Iraq. Details were scanty and Iraqi advisors were encouraging quiet until more details became known.

Saturday, November 26

Juanita Shenk from Elkhart, Cliff Kindy from North Manchester, Dave Martin and Siobhan Kolar from Chicago, and Tom Benevento with sons Zach and Silas and Elizabeth Davis from Goshen gathered for the planting and start of Camp Casey in Elkhart at the home of David and Karen Eis. This follows on the heels of a similarly Christian Peacemaker Team-sponsored Camp Casey in Fort Wayne the first two weeks of October. David and Karen’s son Ben has been in Iraq as a Marine medic.

Dave, Juanita, Siobhan, and Cliff checked out the Army, Navy, Marine, and Air Force recruitment offices on south State Road 19. Those offices were closed on Saturday.