National Guard Families Speak Out - 8 News NOW

Cindy Cesare, Reporter

National Guard Families Speak Out

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Zappala family Zappala family
Sergeant Sherwood Baker died in the line of duty. Sergeant Sherwood Baker died in the line of duty.
U.S. troops in Iraq U.S. troops in Iraq

(Sept. 14) -- While protestors were speaking out against the President outside the convention center, National Guard families were speaking out against the war next door at the Hilton Hotel. The group Military Guard Families Speak Out opposes the war for a variety reasons. Here's one family's story.

Al Zappala, one soldier's father, said, "Sherwood was sent to Iraq under false pretenses." Al Zappala believes his son, Sergeant Sherwood Baker, was sent to Iraq by an administration that lied. Sherwood baker, a 30-year-old father and husband from Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, was a caseworker for the mentally challenged. He joined the guard because he wanted to help.

"He met members of the National Guard as they were sandbagging the river. He saw it as a great way of serving his community and the benefits as far as paying off his college loans," said Sherwood's brother Dante.

His family says that Baker went to Iraq without complaints and because he wanted to serve with his fellow soldiers. He was killed less than two months into his active duty. He was on top of a Humvee as he was searching for weapons of mass destruction last April.

Dante Zappala said, "My brother died trying to make an honest man of George Bush, hoping to find those illusive weapons of mass destruction. I don't blame George Bush for his death. But I do believe that our President was careless with his responsibility to our troops. He has not supported our troops, but has used them to satisfy a very reckless agenda."

Zappala said that people have tried to comfort him by saying that his brother was trying to make the world a safer place. But he says instead Sergeant Sherwood Baker died in vain.

The National Guard families also said that their loved ones were told to buy their own radios, GPS systems and often their own flak jackets before going to Iraq. There are 1,700 members of the group  Military Guard Families Speak Out . They say they are all supported by their National Guard family members, but say the soldiers cannot speak out against the war without facing retribution.

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