On March 23, 2003, Patricia Roberts became the first Georgia mother to lose her son, Spc. Jamaal Addison, to the war in Iraq. He died four days into the war, a victim of a rocket-propelled grenade, when Iraqi forces near Nasiriya ambushed his convoy. It was the same incident in which Pfc. Jessica Lynch was captured.
After his death, Ms. Roberts, 45, said she lost her job as a customer service representative because she frequently broke down in tears.
She decided to take up the case to offer young African-Americans an alternative to the military as a way to finance their education.
Roberts now raises her granddaughter Christian Constance Addison, 3, and grandson Jamaal Rashard Addison II, 2, holding two jobs while dedicating time to promote awareness about the war.
She has formed a nonprofit foundation named after her son and begun raising money for mentoring, motivational and scholarship programs.
She has actively participated in rallies in Atlanta, Fayetville, NC, and has camped alongside other activists in Camp Casey, started by Cindy Sheehan.
Roberts was recently selected as a grant recipient of the Fallen Patriot Fund, established by the Mark Cuban Foundation, to help families of U.S. military personnel who were killed or seriously injured during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
She was featured in the Democracy Now! Radio program where she spoke about her son, the importance of benefits for veterans, and the need for immediate withdrawal from Iraq. Asked what she would say to President Bush, she says ÒI would like to say to the President at this point now, whatever his reasons that he feels it was for my son to die and all the rest of the troops to die and to be out there, that's not the point anymore... The principle is that there are still soldiers out there dying on a daily basis, and they need to come home.Ó
With information from the Associated Press.
Andisheh Nouraee is Creative Loafing's Readers' Pick for Best Columnist in Atlanta since 2002. Nouraee was also a finalist for the Society of Professional Journalists' 2004 Green Eyeshade Excellence in Journalism Award. Nouraee writes and photographs two weekly columns for Creative Loafing. His Scene & Herd column chronicles Atlanta nightlife, entertainment and culture and his Don't Panic column provides a comedic and informative look at U.S. foreign policy and world affairs. Don't Panic appears in several newspapers around the country.
An Army veteran who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom will be joining us. A supply specialist from Santo Domingo, he is currently living in Atlanta selling real estate. While in Iraq, he encountered enemy fire while riding in convoys to run supplies to the front line. He was honorably discharged in February 2005, after an involuntary six month extension of his enlistment.
Although he will use his name at the event, he prefers that we do not publish it on our website to protect his privacy.
Dr. Reiter is a Political Science Professor at Emory University, who specializes in foreign policy and international alliances. His current research interests are: why democracies win wars, international sources of democratization, and whether democracies are more likely to ally with each other, using event history analysis to study international conflict.
Wednesday, December 14th
Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m.
As always, it's free (though the beer and wine will cost you), so show up early for seats.
We're encouraging people to bring open minds to this show. We'd like to foster a respectful dialogue where everyone can express their point of view.
Use the comment forums below or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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