Cindy Lee Miller Sheehan (born July 10, 1957) is an American anti-war activist whose son, Specialist Casey Sheehan, was killed during his service in the Iraq War by the Mehdi Army on April 4, 2004. She attracted national and international media attention in August 2005 for her extended anti-war protest at a makeshift camp outside President George W. Bush's Texas ranch—a stand which drew both passionate support and angry criticism. She ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2008. She is a vocal critic of President Barack Obama's foreign policy, saying: "I don't think much has changed since the Bush administration."
Cindy Sheehan was born in Inglewood, California in 1957. Her father worked at Lockheed while her mother raised her family. She graduated with honors from Cerritos College and studied history at UCLA. She worked as a youth minister at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Vacaville, California for eight years, and also coordinated an after-school program for at-risk middle school children for the City of Vacaville. In 1977 she married Patrick Sheehan, in Norwalk, California; they had four children, including Casey Sheehan (born in 1979), who was later killed in action in Iraq on April 4, 2004. Patrick Sheehan filed for divorce August 12, 2005, citing irreconcilable differences.
Sheehan states she initially questioned the urgency of the invasion of Iraq, but did not become active in the anti-war effort until after her son's death. Sheehan and other military families met with United States President George W. Bush in June 2004 at Fort Lewis, near Tacoma, Washington, about three months after her son's death. In a June 24, 2004 interview with the Vacaville Reporter, published soon after the meeting, she stated, "We haven't been happy with the way the war has been handled. The President has changed his reasons for being over there every time a reason is proven false or an objective reached." She also stated that President Bush was "... sincere about wanting freedom for the Iraqis.. I know feels pain for our loss. And I know he's a man of God."