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MFSO National Call To Action on Bush Agenda
Bush has spoken - Now it's YOUR turn!

Dear Members of Military Families Speak Out,
We are deeply saddened and outraged by President Bush's plan to escalate the war in Iraq.Yesterday our phones were ringing off the hook with press from across the country and around the world wanting to hear the response of Military Families Speak Out members to George Bush's televised message to the nation. Military Families Speak Out clearly has the attention of the press -- now it is time to move our message directly to the United States Congress.
The next two weeks are critical in the campaign to get Senators and Members of Congress to take action to not only prevent the escalation, but also to end the war. Congress can use their "power of the purse" to cut off funds that allow this war to continue. 
Some in Congress are saying they can not "abandon our troops" and leave them "without bullets" by cutting off funds. The reality is that the military currently has funds to bring our troops home quickly and safely, with all the equipment, supplies and bullets they need. If the funding from the supplemental budget approved last fall were to run out, monies currently in the Defense Department budget could be 're-programmed' for use in bringing our troops home.  
In the beginning of the war, many in Congress said that they could not oppose the war in Iraq because they needed to "support the troops." It was the voices of military families and Veterans that helped them disconnect "support for the troops" from "support for the war." Our voices are needed now to help them understand that "funding for the war" is not the same as  "funding for the troops." We must convince Congress that the best way to support our troops is to de-fund the war, bring them home now and take care of them when they get here.
Congress must now hear your voice! Here's how that can happen:
1. Order and send MFSO post cards to Congress asking them to De-fund the war. You can see the post card here, and can order them by sending your address and how many you would like to mfso@mfso.org. They are free for MFSO members.
2. Write individual letters to your Senators and Members of Congress. If you can, include a copy of a photo of your loved one. They need to see the human faces of this war! You can find your Senators' and Representatives' names and addresses at http://www.congress.org/congressorg/home/, by entering your zip code.
3. Call your Senators and Members of Congress toll free! (These phone numbers go right to the Capital, and you can then ask for you Senators and Member of Congress): 800-828-0498, 800-459-1887 or 800-614-2803
4. For MFSO members with MFSO chapters in their area: connect with your chapter to get involved in local activities; for MFSO members in areas where there is not yet a chapter: join with members in your area for local actions. If you would like to be connected with members in your area, please email mfso@mfso.org.
Below is a sample script for a phone call or letter to your Senators and Member of Congress:
Sample script for phone call or letter
I am the [mother/father/wife/brother etc.] of [name of loved one, or information such as "a Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps", description of their situation - as much as you are comfortable sharing]
I am strongly opposed to the war in Iraq. [add a personal statement of what this war has done to your loved one and your family.] The recent elections have shown that the American people want us out of Iraq -- we want Congress to listen to this mandate!
I am calling [or writing] you to tell you how important it is that you support our troops by voting against any upcoming appropriation for continuing and/or expanding the war in Iraq. As military families we will stand with all who support our troops by voting to de-fund this unjust and unjustifiable war. We will make sure the American public understands that real support for our troops is de-funding the war, bringing them home now and taking care of them when they get here.
We also say to those in the 110th Congress who are considering voting in favor of an appropriation that continues or expands the war in Iraq: “You fund it, and you’ve bought it. The war in Iraq will no longer be President Bush’s war. It will be yours.”
Thank you for adding your voice to those of other military and Gold Star families, Iraq war and other Veterans calling for Congress to take action to end this war.


In Peace and Solidarity,
Nancy Lessin and Charley Richardson
for Military Families Speak Out
Military Families Speak Out
P.O. Box 300549
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

From Their Website:

An Appeal for Redress from the War in Iraq

Many active duty, reserve, and guard service members are concerned about the war in Iraq and support the withdrawal of U.S. troops. The Appeal for Redress provides a way in which individual service members can appeal to their Congressional Representative and US Senators to urge an end to the U.S. military occupation. The Appeal messages will be delivered to members of Congress at the time of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in January 2007.

The wording of the Appeal for Redress is short and simple. It is patriotic and respectful in tone.

As a patriotic American proud to serve the nation in uniform, I respectfully urge my political leaders in Congress to support the prompt withdrawal of all American military forces and bases from Iraq . Staying in Iraq will not work and is not worth the price. It is time for U.S. troops to come home.

If you agree with this message, click here.

The Appeal for Redress is sponsored by active duty service members based in the Norfolk area and by a sponsoring committee of veterans and military family members. The Sponsoring committee consists of Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans For Peace, and Military Families Speak Out.

Members of the military have a legal right to communicate with their member of Congress. To learn more about the rights and restrictions that apply to service members click here.

Attorneys and counselors experienced in military law are available to help service members who need assistance in countering any attempts to suppress this communication with members of Congress.

Several members of Congress have expressed interest in receiving the Appeal for Redress and have issued the following statement:

"We respect and welcome this initiative from our brave men and women in uniform. We look forward to receiving the Appeals and sharing your important perspectives with colleagues in the Congress."

Click here to send the Appeal to your elected representatives.

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Stop the Back Door Draft Bring All Our Troops Home NOW!

Honor the Fallen November 9-11 in Washington, DC

On November 9, 2006, Military Families Speak Out members, along with Iraq veterans and veterans of other wars, will be delivering a petition to Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld at the Pentagon and to Congress calling for an end to the Back Door Draft and for all of our troops to be brought home now!

On November 11, Veterans Day, we will be honoring the fallen in Washington, DC, with a display of flags representing U.S. troops who have died in the war and photographs of Iraqi children, women and men whose lives have been lost.

We need your help!

Click here to sponsor a flag and sign our petition online.

Click here to join MFSO


The first six days of Camp Democracy,

held Sep. 5-21, 2006 on the National Mall in Washington DC, with a focus on Veterans For Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Military Families Speak Out, Gold Star Families Speak Out, and Gold Star Families for Peace.

 from Elizabeth -
VFP convention Seattle August 2006

Hello Friends,

As many of you know I am on the planning committee for the Veterans for Peace National Convention.  PLEASE forward the attached workshop proposal to anyone you think would be a good match to coordinate and present a workshop at the convention August 10-August 13. 
The theme of the convention is "SOW JUSTICE – REAP PEACE: Strategies for Moving Beyond War". 
The convention will be held on the University of Washington campus and registration will be open to the public.  I encourage you all to consider attending and/or presenting a workshop.

Also, if you would like to be considered for any entertainment portion
of the convention please email me at
secretary@vfp92.org.  Limited spots open for musicians, poets, storytellers, dancers, and
FILM/SHORTS related to the theme.   
Volunteers still needed!!  

Yours in peaceful solidarity,
Elizabeth Falzone

Entertainment Lead
VFP National Convention
Seattle, Washington
August 10th-August 13th



May 11, 2006

Katya Kruglak (703) 304-5075

Stacy Bannerman (253) 859-6465/(253) 217-2153




Mother’s Day Weekend: Military Families and War Veterans Speak Out


kent, washington — Over Mother’s Day Weekend, military families and war veterans from across the United States will be coming to the National Mall in Washington, DC for Silence of the Dead, Voices of the Living to send an urgent message to Congress:  Bring our troops home now and take care of them when they get here.

Congress recently passed another Supplemental bill, which included roughly $70 billion for the war in Iraq. Judy Linehan will join Stacy Bannerman at this nation’s Capitol to repeat the message Bannerman gave to a House Appropriations Sub-Committee on March 1, 2006, when she became the only peace activist to testify before a Congressional Committee since the war in Iraq began:   “Congress gave the Bush administration a blank check for a war based on lies. Stop payment. Immediately. Not one more dime, not one more life.”


WHAT:     Silence of the Dead, Voices of the Living, featuring families who lost loved ones to the war in Iraq; families of those currently serving and soldiers who may be redeployed; veterans of this and previous wars; Iraqis and others who bear the heaviest burden of the Iraq war.


WHEN:    Thursday to Sunday, May 11 - 14

EYES WIDE OPEN: THE HUMAN COST OF WAR, the American Friends Service Committee’s widely acclaimed memorial exhibition that features a pair of combat boots for every U.S. military casualty. As part of the multi-day event, a dramatic new exhibit featuring boots for soldiers currently in Iraq will be unveiled, whose lives are at risk each day that this war continues.  The exhibit also includes a memorial to recognize the thousands of Iraqi children, women and men who have died in the war.


Saturday, May 13

Silent march around National Mall; speak out to follow. 


WHERE: National Mall, Washington, D.C.


WHO:       Military and Gold Star families, Iraq War veterans and others, including:

Stacy Bannerman, author of When the War Came Home, (Continuum Publishing, March 2006) and wife of Washington National Guard soldier awarded a Bronze Star for his year of service in Iraq.

Judy Linehan, mother of Iraq War Veteran, Olympia, WA, (360) 791-1558

Wanted to let you know
Voices in Wartime will be broadcast on TV, starting next week

Nationally on Link TV - available from DIRECTV® satellite Channel 375 and Echostar DISH® Network satellite Channel 9410

    Tuesday, April 4 8:00 PM
    Wed, April 5 2:00 AM, 8:00 AM, 2:00 PM
    Sunday, April 9 11:00 PM
    Monday, April 10 5:00 AM and 5:00 PM

Watch an online (2 minute trailer and 12 minute short )

Listen to or download poems from the film (Ipod, mp3)

S.F. Bay Guardian "may prove to be the most startlingly literate
document of war ever created for film".

New York Times "an elegant statement not only about the devastation of
war but also about poetry's power to amaze"

TV Guide "filled with some of the most powerful poetry and shattering
images ever to come out of warfare" and "required viewing"

New York Post "a fascinating idea" and "a moving documentary"

April 29th National Mobilization in New York City

Dear Military Families,
This note includes some more information about the April 29th National Mobilization in New York City-- March for Peace, Justice and Democracy: End the War, Bring All Our Troops Home Now!
On Saturday, April 29th, Civil Rights groups, U.S. Labor Against the War, Peoples' Hurricane Relief Fund, and others representing diverse communities will be bringing their constituencies to New York City. The march will begin at 12 noon; assembly will begin around 11 a.m. The march route is still being determined, so we will get back to you with more information, including details about where the Military/Gold Star Families and Veterans contingent will be gathering to march together in a contingent.
You can go to the following website for information about transportation to NYC for this event: http://www.april29.org/article.php?id=3216
Please send us a note to let us know as soon as possible if you will be participating in this event, or are considering participating. We will then make sure that you are on the list of MFSO members who will receive updated information about the April 29th event in New York City.
In Peace and Solidarity,
Nancy Lessin and Charley Richardson
for Military Families Speak Out

Dear Military Families,

Hopefully you have had a chance to spend some time on the MFSO
website, see the photos and read some of the speeches made by MFSO members around the country commemorating the 3rd anniversary of the war. Activities including the Veterans and Survivors March along the Gulf Coast; the march Fernando Suarez del Solar led up the coast of California; rallies and demonstrations held in cities and towns across the country; the teach-ins in community centers, colleges and universities; the pickets in front of politicians' offices and events -- strengthened the voice of military and Gold Star families and Veterans speaking out to end this war.

Next steps are now happening. MFSO's 22 chapters are meeting and planning local and regional activities; MFSO members across the country continue to write letters to the editor, speak in forums,
stand in vigils, confront political leaders and build opposition to
the war in their communities.

1. April 29th in New York City: National Mobilization -- March for
Peace, Justice and Democracy: End the War, Bring All Our Troops Home Now!

On Saturday, April 29th. Civil Rights groups, U.S. Labor Against the
War, Peoples' Hurricane Relief Fund, and others representing diverse communities are working to bring their constituencies to New York City for this event. There will be a contingent of Military and Gold Star Families and Veterans marching together.

2. May 11-14 Washington, D.C. "Silence of the Dead, Voices of the
Living" event

This is a several-day event involving the Eyes Wide Open exhibit
(combat boots and shoes calling attention to the human cost of the war in Iraq) coming for the first time to the National Mall in Washington, D.C. On Saturday, May 13th there will be a procession led by Military and Gold Star Families, Veterans and those most directly affected by the war in Iraq -- from the Mall to the Capitol, and back to the Mall for a speaking program. South Carolina MFSO member and Gold Star mother Elaine Johnson's Gospel Choir will perform during the speaking program on Saturday, May 13. We are also planning to organize some Congressional visits on Thursday, May 11 and/or Friday, May 12.

There will also be a candlelight vigil, a press conference and other related activities between Thursday, May 11 and Sunday, May 14. This event is co-sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee, Gold Star Families for Peace, Gold Star Families Speak Out, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Military Families Speak Out, September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, Veterans For Peace and Vietnam Veterans Against the War.

We will be sending emails with more information about each of these
events in the very near future.

In Peace and Solidarity,
Nancy Lessin and Charley Richardson
for Military Families Speak Out

Walkin' To New Orleans: Veterans' and Surviviors' March for Peace and Justice

from Mobile, Alabama to New Orleans, Louisiana March 14-19
Veterans For Peace
Iraq Veterans Against the War
Vietnam Veterans Against the War
Military Families Speak Out
 Gold Star Families for Peace
at the call of the Mobile Veterans For Peace Chapter #130, will conduct a march between Mobile, AL, and New Orleans, LA, from March 14-19, 2006 -- the third anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
This historical event highlights the connections between the economic and human cost of war in the Middle East and the failure of our government to respond to human needs at home, especially the needs of poor people and people of color.
The government's negligent and often hostile response to hurricane survivors is mirrored by that same government's continued commitment to an illegal, immoral war fought at a staggering cost.
These are twin disasters, and the veterans of wars abroad along with the survivors of Katrina and Rita are joining together for this march and caravan to establish ties of material solidarity between those who oppose the war abroad and the social and economic costs for working people at home.

Chapter Member Stacy Bannerman

Live Update this morning (Sat 3/18/06) from Stacy Bannerman in Biloxi.
Phone call from Stacy this morning.
The number of marchers has grown to 150 or so and in each community the marchers are being greeted and joined by speaking out with their own stories as well.
Stacy told Lietta she was amazed at how the intersection of domestic and foreign policy continues to not only be evident but also a topic to which many people keep making reference.
The marchers have been participating in Church services along the way, using available campsites and hosting local residents. Camping has included permanent campfires and - as Lietta passed on Stacy's detailed description, she says it's a "Bayou Thing" complete with "Gator Gumbo".
Stacy was calling from Biloxi, Mississippi, this morning and over the course of the march the landscape has been heartbreaking. Many people have had little more than local churches with which to connect for possible help but mostly comfort and consolation. It is obvious that many who are still leaving do so with an awareness that they are not going to be coming back.
In Biloxi, the marchers finally encountered what we might describe as opposition to the march. Local police have monitored and apparentlyl "escorted" the group as it moves through Biloxi - telling them to keep moving or they'll get a ticket. Sounds like they want to hustle the group into -thru - and out of Biloxi ASAP. 
In this regard, Anne Wright, who was a wonderful organizer and "keep-things-moving" person at Camp Casey in Crawford, Texas, was accompanying the marchers and working hard to keep the marchers moving and in a compliance mode with the police's demand. Using a bull horn, she kept urging the marchers forward and herself eventually received a ticket for using her bull horn too much.
As Stacy describes it, marching through Biloxi with eye's fixed solely on the road ahead is nigh on impossible since the magnitude of the hurricane devastation is so intrusive on one's visual awareness. Per Stacy, even photographs cannot prepare the mind for what has happened to these cities and towns as well as the landscape itself.
Local and national media are on site with the marchers and Stacy has been among those giving interviews to reporters.
All in all, among the marchers which includes folks from  VFP, IVAW, VVAW, GSFP and MFSO there are about a dozen MFSO members participating along with Stacy.

"It's time to punch the clock ... the Battle for America has begun"

Click on link above for an excellent 4 minutes of getting your patriotic fire relit.