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Military Families Speak Out: Mother Who Lost Son In Iraq Takes On Former Bush Aide

AUGUST 30, 2007
2:50 PM

CONTACT: Military Families Speak Out 
David Lerner, Riptide Communications, 212-260-5000 Celeste Zappala, Gold Star Families Speak Out, 215-570-5484
Nancy Lessin, Military Families Speak Out, 617-320-5301

Mother Who Lost Son In Iraq Takes On Former Bush Aide
Gold Star Mom’s Anti-Iraq War You-Tube Video Challenges Ari Fleisher’s $15 Million Ad Campaign

WASHINGTON - August 30 - In a video made in her Philadelphia home, Celeste Zappala, the mother of Sergeant Sherwood Baker of the Pennsylvania National Guard, who was killed in Baghdad in 2004, takes on former Bush spokesman Ari Fleisher over his pro-war ad campaign. Sgt. Baker, 30, was killed in an explosion while protecting the Iraq survey group in their search for weapons of mass destruction. He was the first Pennsylvania National Guard soldier to die in combat since World War II. [To see the video, go to:]

In the video, made by her son Dante, Sgt. Baker’s younger brother, she accuses Fleisher of “deliver[ing] this country to war in Iraq through a campaign of ignorance, negligence, and arrogance.” Fleisher is now leading a massive, $15 million television and radio advertising campaign promoting the war through a group called “Freedom’s Watch,” whose board numbers include several Bush family friends.

Zappala charges, “Ari Fleisher has created a new campaign of fear and more deception…This war is a betrayal of our military and the democracy they’ve been charged to protect. Bring the troops home now, take care of them when they get here. Funding the war means killing the troops.”

Ms. Zappala is a member of Gold Star Families Speak Out, a national chapter of Military Families Speak Out (MFSO). MFSO now includes over 3,600 military families nationwide who oppose the war in Iraq.

For interviews with Ms. Zappala, contact Riptide Communications, Inc. (212) 260-5000

See the video at or visit

Military Families Speak Out (MFSO) is a national organization of over 3,600 families who are opposed to the war in Iraq and have loved ones in the military.

Gold Star Families Speak Out (GSFSO) is a chapter of Military Families Speak Out, made up of families whose loved ones died as a result of the war in Iraq.


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