Move America Forward (MAF) was co-founded in California in 2004 by San Francisco conservative talk-radio host Melanie Morgan and former Assemblyman Howard Kaloogian from San Diego. MAF initially grew out of a response to the ugly anti-war movement that was making news.
Ordinary Americans wanted to show that they support the troops despite the marches and demonstrations by ultra-liberal groups that resembled the shameful manner so many Vietnam Veterans were treated in the 60’s and 70’s. The anti-war effort was aided by friendly and obsessive media coverage to attack President Bush and create the impression that Americans hated the war and was hostile to the troops and their mission to defeat the terrorists.
We wanted to show that despite the well-funded groups staging protests for the cameras, an unspoken majority of support from regular Americans existed that was supportive to the war effort, strongly patriotic and grateful to our troops. We began holding rallies to support the troops and their mission to defeat the terrorists, as well as brought patriots to proudly wave American flags at every far-left demonstration to counter their anti-American arguments.
In 2005 Cindy Sheehan became immensely popular when she came out against the war an attacked President Bush. A mother of a fallen soldier (Casey Sheehan killed in Sadr City, Iraq in 2004) who blamed Bush for her son’s death was just what the mass media was looking for to undermine support for the war.
When Cindy decide to camp outside President Bush’s Crawford, Texas ranch, MAF responded with a cross country bus tour, holding pro-troop rallies along the way, that ended at “Camp Casey” in Crawford, Texas where we held a huge rally over several days, against Cindy Sheehan. It was known as the “You Don’t Speak for Me, Cindy” tour.
After countering Cindy Sheehan, she went her own way and MAF went on to continue organizing bus tours and rallies to support US troops fighting overseas. Melanie Morgan and Catherine Moy co-wrote the book “American Mourning” which told the story of Casey Sheehan and his close friend Justin Johnson who also died in Iraq the same year as Casey. The book drew a sharp contrast between the grieving Johnson family, who continued to support the troops despite the loss, and Cindy Sheehan who abused the tragedy of her son’s death to advance her own personal beliefs and left-leaning agenda. The investigative
In 2006 we launched the first “Coffee and Cookies” for the troops program, followed closely by “Beef Jerky and Gatorade for the Troops”. These programs soon merged together and expanded to include these and more items. Move America Forward has continued to do cross-country tours celebrating and thanking our troops for their service. MAF also continues to raise money for care packages for the troops.
In July of 2006 Move America Forward helped Melanie Morgan organize the “Voices of Soldiers” tour where we took a group of radio show hosts from around the country to Baghdad and spent hours interviewing troops on the ground. It was an amazing experience for everyone involved to get a real feel
In 2007 MAF launched our first ever “Honoring Heroes at the Holidays tour
went an answer to the collective desire by thousands of conservatives who wanted to support our troops at a time when the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were at the forefront of issues facing America.