http://www.sacunion.com/pages/sacramento/articles/8638/ Local Gold Star Families Take Secret Trip to Iraq SacUnion Staff Report Published: November 3, 2006 Joe & Jan Johnson's son, Justin, died in Iraq. Justin was close friends with Casey Sheehan, son of anti-war activist, Cindy Sheehan. In a stunning and historic trip under the utmost secrecy, a delegation of families of fallen U.S. troops have traveled to Iraq to counter critics of the war effort, just days before the Nov. 7 midterm elections. The delegation of “Gold Star Families” agreed to provide the Sacramento Union with an exclusive account of their trip to Iraq based on the assurance that news of their mission would not be published until they had safely left Amman, Jordan. So secret is their trip that even members of the Bush Administration were kept in the dark about their planned activities. They’ve come to Iraq from cities throughout America as part of a 12-person delegation in a history-making effort – no other coordinated group of “Gold Star Families” has ever traveled to Iraq, and they come with a message that is sure to ignite a firestorm of debate. SNIP HARSH WORDS FOR SENATOR JOHN KERRY “Non-Apology Not Accepted,” which expressed their dissatisfaction with Kerry’s subsequent apologies to the men and women of the military. “Rather than apologizing for the hurtful words he used, he instead says he regrets that his words were misinterpreted? So apparently it is the fault of the American public, news media and the men and women of the United States Military for not being smart enough to understand what Senator Kerry meant to say?” said the statement.