Lietta speaks out as military
family with two family members who served in combat tours in Iraq, now returning Iraq veterans, OIF March 2003 - July 2004.
Both are preparing for second combat deployments to Iraq this year, 2007.
Four Annivesaries of
* First Anniversary Iraq war,
2004; South Bend, WA
Lietta prepares and delivers
her sermon at St John's Episcopal church challenging the actions of Iraq invasion and war.
link to her sermon 'The Prodigal Son Parable; Midst of War'
[excerpt] I hope with all my heart with what right now feels like the last vestige of hope I have
that we as a global people of God will come to our senses and come home in humbleness of heart for our foolish wastefulness
of God's abundant resources.
I hope that we might find that what we have lost may come alive again - that which we have made dead come
I pray that this parable teaching of the Christ imprints itself in our hearts and guides us all to reconciliation.
* Second Anniversary
Iraq war, 2005; -Seattle, WA 'Cost of War' rally. Lietta and Arthur invited to speak
I do fervently pray for our President to hear the call and heed this Christ-teaching; to return to the Father's
grace and lead us in life-giving rather than death-making pursuits. I pray that he might be inspired to lead us to reconciliation.
In the Name of the One,
Lietta with her husband, Arthur; guest speakers in Seattle, WA March, 2005
[excerpt from article
in Seattle Times, March 2005]
Thousands rally to protest Iraq war,
military families go, Lietta Ruger said, she is as red, white and blue as any proud mother.
could she reconcile her loyalty to the armed forces with her disdain for the Iraq war?
she kept silent — until her son-in law faced mortar attacks every night at his Baghdad compound. That's when the Episcopal
preacher in her came out.
53, of Bay Center, Pacific County, spoke out against the war on PBS' "The NewsHour" with Jim Lehrer last fall and to her congregation
at St. John's Episcopal Church in South Bend, Pacific County.
yesterday: On the second anniversary of the start of the Iraq war, she gave an impassioned speech explaining why she believes
the war in Iraq is unjust, before a crowd of anti-war protesters at Seattle Center. Organizers put the number of participants
The Seattle protest, put together by the Church Council of Greater Seattle, Washington State Jobs with Justice
and Sound Nonviolent Opponents of War, was part of a worldwide movement designed to place pressure on the military and get
attention from Washington, D.C.
* Third Anniversary, Iraq war, 2006; Lietta speaks
in Tacoma, WA rally and march
Third anniversary of Iraq war. Speakers included Lietta Ruger, of Military
Families Speak Out - Washington state chapter (photo right); Joe Colgan, Gold Star Families for Peace (photo left).
from Tacoma News Tribune article; Community Marches Against the War
of Kent, said his son, Army 2nd Lt. Benjamin J. Colgan, was killed by a roadside bomb in Baghdad in November of 2003 while
serving in an artillery unit.
what’s come out about the conflict, he said, the fact that more people aren’t protesting “drives me nuts.”
Ruger, whose son-in-law and nephew, both 28, are in the Army and facing additional time in Iraq, said she hoped her efforts
would prevent other families from feeling the uncertainty and pain of having loved ones in Iraq.
war veteran took the stage with her.
did nothing positive in Iraq,” said Joshua Farris, 24, who said he served as an Army cavalry scout during the war’s
first six months.
to the protest, he said, “This is the right side of it.”
Rep. Jeannie Darnielle, D-Tacoma, read a litany of complaints about the Bush administration’s conduct of the war: “Convincing
us Saddam was linked to 9/11 was wrong! Denying civil war is imminent is wrong!” she said to cheers.
American is contributing at least $1,500 per person per year” to the war effort, said Warren Freeman, pastor at Allen
African Methodist Episcopal Church in Tacoma and Associated Ministries board member. “Too much money is being spent
on the war, and not enough on health care, education, and housing.”
* Fourth Anniversary Iraq war, 2007, and Fifth Anniversary Iraq war
2008, Lietta stays home with heavy heart.
Lietta's other speaking out media interviews
Lietta speaking out media interviews
June 2006 to January 2007 - Lietta was actively involved representing Military Families Speak Out - Washington state chapter
in weekly organzing committee meetings - a) , and b)organizing committee for
What began in March 2004 on a small, local scale with sermons I prepared and delivered in my local church, speaking
out about the war in Iraq, was altered when I agreed to do an interview with Newshour with Jim Lehrer.
Chronicling below a list of media interviews I've done since then as a military family speaking out. Listing chronologically
with most recent interviews at top.
Bring Them Home Now Bus Tour, Crawford to Washington DC September 2005
Lietta Ruger,of Military Families Speak Out, front row - white t-shirt on Bring Them Home Now tour, Central Route, Crawford,
TX to Washington DC, Sept 2005
Back row: Mia Lorraine, MFSO; Kallisa Stanley, MFSO; Chris Snively, VFP; Hart Viges,IVAW; Vince George, MFSO
Front row: Lietta Ruger, MFSO; Beatriz Saldivar, GSFP.
Lietta Ruger, Military Families Speak Out,right, having breakfast with Chris Snively, Veterans for Peace, left, and Kellisa
Stanley also of Military Families Speak Out, center, at host home on the Bring Them Home Now tour, Central Route, Crawford,
TX to Washington DC, Sept 2005
Lietta Ruger, member Military Families Speak Out (MFSO), week at Camp Casey, Crawford, Texas
representing ourWashington state chapter of MFSO to sleep in a tent in a ditch to support Cindy's message 'what's the noble cause'. The military community voice coming
out of Camp Casey from military families, Iraq veterans and other veterans of
Lietta in Crawford, Texas
with Cindy Sheehan
Lietta in Crawford, Texas, Camp Casey just outside President Bush ranch. Moving the Military Families
Speak Out banner
Media interviews given by
Lietta Ruger while at Crawford, Texas - Camp Casey, supporting Cindy Sheehan.
on the Bring Them Home Now bus tour
Texas to Washington DC
Aug 31 - Sept 24, 2005
Lietta speaking in Columbus, Ohio September, 2005
Bring Them Home Now Tour website
tour Crawford, Texas to Washington DC, chronicles events and media reports for all the participants on all three tours;
Northern, Central and Southern routes - Aug 31 - Sept 24, 2005.
interviewed on KOMO TV, Seattle, WA
after returning from Crawford, Texas - Cindy Sheehan's Camp Casey followed by the 4 week Bring Them Home Now tour from Crawford
to Washington DC.
2005, local Seattle KOMO TV 4 interview with Lietta when she returned home from Crawford, Texas. Also KOMO 4 interviewed
her son-in-law, returning Iraq veteran, OIF , 15 month combat tour Iraq - March 2003 - July 2004.
KOMO 4 TV Local Mom Joins Cindy Sheehan's Protest in Texas
By Tracy Vedder
[excerpt] Lietta Ruger just got back from
a week spent camped outside the Bush ranch. Ruger grew up a military brat, was a military wife and now has a son-in-law and
a nephew in the Army.
She says it's that military connection that compelled
her to travel to Texas and join in Sheehan's vigil.
"I just felt that I needed to get down there and stand
with her because I'm fully in support of what she's attempting to do," Ruger said.
Ruger, of Bay Center, Washington, says she's never been
an activist, until now. Over the past year she's protested the Iraq war locally, but going to Crawford, Texas, sleeping in
a tent, and being a part of something she believes is growing, just felt right.
"For us as military families, carrying the disproportionate
load of the Iraq war, it's our troops and our families affected."
[excerpt] Ruger knows other military moms disagree,
but she insists the protest does not dishonor those who have lost loved ones. Yet nationally there's been criticism of Sheehan's
vigil, including from other Gold Star moms who've lost sons in the war in Iraq.
[excerpt] But Ruger believes it's military
families' responsibility to speak out for those who can't.
Like her son-in-law, a soldier who asked to remain anonymous:
"I can look back on this one day, and say I served in the U.S. military," he told KOMO 4 News, "and I take great pride in
In spite of that pride, this soldier doesn't feel safe
showing his face. He's done one tour in Iraq and expects to do another. He also thinks the war is senseless. But it's not
something he feels free to say publicly.
"If we say too much, then we can get in trouble for
it. So, as a troop, we need people to speak for us."
As a soldier, he supports the right of protesters to
"Not only do I support it, but there's thousands of
soldiers out there that support it. We know what they're doing here in the states; they're speaking for us - we have no voice."
He may have no voice, but his mother in law does. And
she vows to continue speaking on his behalf.
Lietta worked with the campaign to support Lt. Watada, June 2006 through his court martial
Ehren Watada with Daniel Ellsberg Citizens' Hearing on Legality of U.S. Actions in Iraq
JANUARY 20-21, 2007
Tacoma, Washington, USA
In an unprecedented two-day Citizens' Hearing held over January 20-21, more than 600 citizens
joined a distinguished tribunal panel in listening to testimony about the legality of the US invasion of Iraq.
Citizens' Hearing was convened to present evidence that Lt. Ehren Watada would have presented in his February 5, 2007 court
martial on the question that the military ruled barred from entry - the question of the Iraq War's legality.
has repeatedly asserted that because the Iraq War is illegal, it is his duty to refuse orders to deploy.
attempted to resign his commission and the Army refused his resignation citing 'stop loss'.
He stated he was willing
to deploy to Afghanistan, but not Iraq as he discerned that would be illegal order on the premise that Iraq invasion/occupation
He is the Army's first commissioned officer to take such a stand.
click on link below
Daniel Ellsberg giving testimony at Citizens' Hearing on Legality of U.S. Actions in Iraq, Tacoma,WA, Jan 20-21, 2007.
Lietta introduces the Panelists who will hear two days of testimony at Citizens' Hearing on Legality of U.S. Actions in Iraq,
Tacoma, WA, Jan 20-21-2007 Lietta Ruger and Ann Wright at Citizens' Hearing on Legality of U.S. Actions in Iraq, Tacoma, WA, Jan 20-21-2007.
Lietta in support of Lt. Ehren Watada at his first press conference, June 2006, Tacoma, WA. Photograph: Ted S Warren/AP Lietta with MFSO- WA chapter members Judy and Jenny in support at Lt Watada noon press conference, June 2006.