We're expanding by leaps and bounds!
MFSO Members are forming Chapters in areas around the country. Watch
this page for more information about Chapters and how to be in touch with a Chapter near you.
Gold Star Families Speak Out
Gold Star Families Speak Out is a Chapter of MFSO made up of those whose
loved ones served in the military and have died as a result of the war in Iraq.
MFSO national site has email/contact addresses for chapters who have
yet to build websites in the following states:
Ohio (Central Ohio)
MFSO Members Launch Utah Chapter
After a succesful showing at the Bush Protest in Salt Lake City (the MFSO speaker, Debbie Johnson, was quoted in the press and was approached by 30 interested military families!) the Utah
Chapter will be hosting a Family BBQ for Military Families to get to know each other and talk about plans for the chapter
on September 10th.
For more information, contact the chapter at email@example.com.
MFSO Capitol Region (California)
Chocolates for the Troops at Farmer's Market 1/21/06
Please spread the word. We need donations and names of troops to send the
Let's take a moment on an action that will bolster the spirits of our loved
ones in Iraq.
Military Families Speak Out (MFSO) invites the community to bring chocolates,
Valentines and donations for shipping the boxes ($8.00 per box for 10 soldiers) to the troops in Iraq to the Davis Farmer's
Market Saturday, January 20, from 8:00am-12:00pm.
There will be supplies at the MFSO table for children (or the child in all
of us) to make Valentines and write cheerful messages to the troops. The goodies will be boxed and sent to the loved ones
of families serving in Iraq to distribute to their squads.
Families who would like their soldier's name added to the list should send
the mailing information to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to The Lovings, 619 Lessley Place, Davis 95616.
Local merchants willing to donate chocolates and Valentines can contact Laurie
or Russell Loving at 756-7335.
WE DID IT! DAVIS CITY COUNCIL PASSES
MFSO CAPITOL (CALIFORNIA)
Dear Family and Friends,
Last night the Davis Council voted 3 yes, 1 no and 1 abstain and passed our Resolution calling
upon the President and Congress to "commence a rapid, orderly and comprehensive withdrawal of the troops in Iraq". It was
not an easy action. The Mayor Ruth Asmundson was last and she waffled between abstaining and voting yes for FIVE FULL MINUTES
while everyone held their breath. She finally said "I'm going to vote yes on this one".
Thanks to those of you who signed the petition, came to the meeting, spoke to Council members,
gathered signatures, donated money or just held the space for us.
The Enterprise article is below.
with affection, Laurie and Russell
Bring troops home, Davis council says
By Claire St. John/Enterprise staff writer
Published Jan 11, 2006 - 14:32:33 CST.
Tuesday night's Davis City Council meeting was more emotional than most, with tears spilled, hearty applause and passionate
speeches on both sides of a war-resolution debate.
Brought to the council before the winter break, two resolutions
calling for an orderly but swift withdrawal of American troops from Iraq met with resistance from military families back in
At Tuesday's meeting, 32 people spoke in favor of such a resolution and dozens more sat in the standing-room-only
Community Chambers waving “Bring Home the Troops” signs.
The resolution passed, but not without some difficulty.
Councilman Ted Puntillo voted against the resolution, Councilman Don Saylor abstained and Mayor Ruth Asmundson publicly wobbled
on the fence between abstention and approval before finally tipping in favor.
Prior to the vote, 42 people queued to
speak, some angry and some fighting tears.
“Davis has been fortunate that we have not yet lost one of our own, but it's been close,” said Laurie Loving,
a member of Military Families Speak Out. “We've had two in Woodland and five in Sacramento.”
has lost three soldiers, Pat Sheehan told the council, one of whom was his son.
“With this resolution, we just
want the war to stop,” said Sheehan's daughter, Carly. “The resolution shouldn't be seen as demoralizing, but
the ultimate support for the greatest soldiers the world has ever seen.”
Carly's mother, Cindy Sheehan, has gained
national prominence as a spokeswoman against the war.
But some families of soldiers currently stationed in Iraq said
the council's actions furthered their feelings of alienation from a mostly liberal, anti-war community.
“In my 20 years in Davis, there is little evidence that there is anything but disdain for the military,” said
“These resolutions are divisive and hurtful to residents that have family in the military,”
Cindy Schulze told the council. “What Davis can do best is outwardly give a show of support at a time we are missing
our family members.”
But most speakers said the resolution was the best support they could give the troops.
would we want them to die for a war we all know was a lie?” asked Kevin Wolf.
Puntillo and Saylor eloquently
explained their reasons for voting against the resolution and abstaining from a vote, respectively. For Puntillo, it was a
full-time job talking with Yolo County veterans that informed his no vote.
“Most of them are telling me that
Iraq is not ready to run on its own,” Puntillo said. “It's almost like doing surgery on someone and halfway through
saying, ‘Well, we're done.'
“I respect your opinion, and hopefully you'll respect mine,” Puntillo
ended to nonpartisan applause.
Saylor, who claimed strong feelings about the war, abstained because he didn't think
it was up to the council to speak on such an issue, he said.
Mayor Pro Tem Sue Greenwald and Councilman Stephen Souza
cast wholehearted “yes” votes.
Asmundson, speaking last, turned the vote into high drama, thinking aloud
on the dais about her decision.
“I've been agonizing about this,” she said. “I can feel the pain in Iraq because I grew up in the Philippines
where the war was bad. Manila was devastated.”
There were murmurs from the crowd as Asmundson talked about the
good things soldiers are doing in Iraq - building churches, schools and infrastructure.
Asmundson had intended to abstain,
but Saylor's vote threw her off, she said.
After checking with the city attorney that the mayor's abstention would
still mean the resolution passed, Asmundson paused before saying, “Well, I'm going to vote yes on this one.”
applause was thunderous and sustained.
- Reach Claire St. John at email@example.com or 747-8057.
MFSO Capitol Region (California)
For Immediate Release
Soldier's Mom Forms a New Military
Loving is forming a new military, the Military to Bring the Troops Home NOW. Loving's son is in Iraq and she says she's not
about to become a Gold Star mother. Loving is calling for all active service members and all veterans who oppose the war to
join her Military. She is calling upon them to contact their local Veterans for Peace group. She is calling on all Veterans
for Peace organizations to march in the Veterans Day parades in their cities across the nation, under the banner MILITARY
TO BRING THE TROOPS HOME NOW!
"Don't let your city keep you from marching in your military parade", says Loving.
'If they try, call the media, it's news." Historically, Veterans For Peace groups may not participate in traditional Veterans
Day parades. Loving says this year is different. "This is an opportunity for active and veteran military to honor not just
all veterans, but especially the small number of Iraq veterans and more importantly, to demand an end to the war." Loving
says she chose Veterans for Peace simply because it is an established, well-known organization. "I sent the national VFP organization
an e-mail about this, but there was no time to wait for an answer" says Loving. "I trust they will rise to the occasion and
be infused with new members for this critical organization in our country."
Loving, with her husband Russell
Loving, is the co-founder of the California Capital Region chapter of Military Families Speak Out (MFSO). Recently they attended
a protest at the state Capitol against proposed cuts to veteran's benefits. To her surprise, it wasn't only the typical Vietnam
veterans who were opposed to the war in Iraq. "I can't tell you the number of WWII veterans whom, once they heard MFSO's message,
signed our contact sheet and put on a Proud Supporter of Military Families Speak Out button", says Loving. (The MFSO message
is three-fold: Support the Troops. Bring Them Home NOW. Take Care of Them When They Get Here.) "Veterans from every war since
WWII were represented there and the vast majority of them oppose what the U.S. is doing in Iraq."
that her new Military will dwarf Bush's. "There are millions of veterans and thousands of active service members who say it's
time to get out of Iraq. Compare that to Bush's measly military that is so small they are sending our sons and daughters back
for third tours. As military families we know the physical and emotional damage being done to our loved ones" Loving says.
"An immediate and total withdrawal of American troops will allow the Iraqi people to govern their own country, put the 70%
of the unemployed Iraqi population back to work rebuilding the infrastructure, and diffuse the intensity of the attacks against
the Iraqi troops and civilians."
Loving is often asked how her son feels about her anti-war activism. "My son
was still a teenager when the recruiters got him. He knew when he joined the military that I was vehemently opposed to the
war. They had him for two years before deployment, filling his head with their lies and training him to kill anyone, even
innocent children. The military retaliates against the soldiers whose family members speak out publically against the administration
and the war. I'm aware that my actions may cause him trouble and may cause him to resent and even cut off our relationship.
But I'd rather have him angry with me than dead."
To find your local chapter of Veterans for Peace, go to their
website at www.VeteransForPeace.org For information about Military Families Speak Out, the website is www.mfso.org. To reach the Lovings the website is www.mfsocap.org
Laurie and Russell Loving
Military Families Speak Out Capital
P.O Box 520
Davis, CA 95617
firstname.lastname@example.org (530) 756-7335
www.mfsocap.dcn.orgwww.mfso.org (national website)
The New Military to Bring the Troops Home NOW and Veteran's Day Parades
MFSO Members and Supporters, and Veterans for Peace,
MFSO meeting will be in Sacramento this Sunday the 6th at 7pm at Suzanne's house, 3406 Sweet Pea Way. RSVP and Mapquest or
e-mail for directions.
will include: planning and promoting Veteran's Day action and parade; strategic long-term PR plan, and identifying other
peace groups as Davis resolution sponsors.
Last night I had the idea to call for the formation of a new “Military to Bring the Troops Home NOW”. I plan to go on national television in the next few days to ask every active
service member in the U.S. and every veteran who opposes this war to join my new Military. There are millions of veterans.
Veterans for Peace is already an established group I will ask all active service members and veterans to find their local
VFP group. I will ask all the Veterans for Peace groups to march in their city’s Veterans
Day Parade November 11th. I want to see banners in every parade that say “Military to Bring the Troops Home
NOW! Forget Bush's military; there's a new one and it's millions compared to his measly few hundred thousand.
Military Families Speak Out chapter and the Sacramento Veterans for Peace group will be marching in the Sacramento Veteran’s
Day parade NOT on Friday, November 11, the usual Veteran’s Day, but on
Saturday, November 12th.
Will you march with us?
My son and all the sons and daughters who are being cut down every day need your presence at those parades. Whether
you are a military family, veteran or Supporter, we want you with us.
We are meeting at 10:30am on the north steps of the Capitol.
Please RSVP to me that you will be there.
The MFSO message is simple:
Support the Troops!
Bring Them Home NOW!
Take Care of Them When They Get Here!
I think everyone on this list can get behind that message. Please show up on November 12th and let the media know
where you stand.
with appreciation, Laurie and Russell
MFSO Pacific Northwest! My name is Dietra Myers Tremblay
and I'm a part of the newly formed MFSO Hawaii.
President, Monica Evans, has asked me to establish a contact with other state/regional MFSO groups. There have been approximately
ten of us meeting weekly. We've only had three meetings so far. We do not have a website or PO Box yet.
we are working on our mission statement so that we can distribute
a press release on our formation. Not only do we want to establish a contact with you, but we are also interested in how you
handle some of your administrative tasks.
is your group handling your funding? Have you established non-profit status?
you hold regular meetings?
you have a permanent location for these meetings?
has worked particularly well for your organization in regards to reaching out to military families and/or attracting members?
type of resources do you use when speaking with the media? (we are in the process of having our Public Relations Coordinator
look over the National MFSO media kit).
you have contact information for other state/regional MFSO organizations?
tell us more about the makeup of your organization and anything that you think may be helpful to us. If you are interested,
check out the Hawaii Iraq Veterans Against the War website: http://grantsurf.com/IVAWHawaii.html
For your records: