Military Families Speak Out Washington State Chapter

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Bring Them Home Now!

One of the features of military families in this war that differs from previous wars is that there are more young married soldiers.

Here are some statistics:

-- in Iraq war, soldiers often married, with children

-- 55% of military personnel are married. 56% of those married are between 22 and 29.

-- One million military children are under 11.

-- 40% are 5 or younger.

-- 63% of spouses work, including 87% of junior-enlisted spouses.

Source: Department of Defense and National Military Family Association.



Dissent is loyalty Robert Taft, the conservative Ohio senator who is a hero to many of today's conservatives, gave a speech at the Executive Club of Chicago in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor.

There are a number of paragraphs that are just grand, but here's the best one, which is worth quoting in full:

As a matter of general principle, I believe there can be no doubt that criticism in time of war is essential to the maintenance of any kind of democratic government

... too many people desire to suppress criticism simply because they think that it will give some comfort to the enemy to know that there is such criticism.

If that comfort makes the enemy feel better for a few moments, they are welcome to it as far as I am concerned, because
the maintenance of the right of criticism in the long run will do the country maintaining it a great deal more good than it will do the enemy,
and will prevent mistakes which might otherwise occur.

Drink in those words.

That's not William Fulbright two years into the Vietnam War.

It's not Ted Kennedy last week.

It's Mr. Republican, speaking -- when? Not mid-1943, or even March 1942

Taft delivered this speech ... on December 19, 1941!

That's right: Twelve days after the worst attack on American soil in the country's history,

perhaps with bodies still floating in the harbor,

the leader of the congressional opposition said to the president, 'we will question, we will probe, we will debate.'

By Michael Tomasky,
The AMERICAN Prospect online


Order and send postcards to Congress - Fund our Troops, Defund the

Bring Them Home Now postage stamps


For more information see Appeal for Redress website.


For more information go to dvd 'The Ground Truth' website.


Some Past Campaigns - Washington state chapter MFSO members participation

2007

(photo - Daniel Ellsberg, Lt. Ehren Watada)

(photo - Organizing Team; Lietta Ruger - MFSO - WA chapter introduces the Panelists)

(photo - on the Panel - Elizabeth Falzone - GSFSO/ MFSO - WA chapter and Rich Moniak - MFSO - Alaska chapter listen to two days of testimony)

(photo - close up of Panelists Elizabeth Falzone - GSFSO/ MFSO - WA chapter and Rich Moniak - MFSO - Alaska chapter)

(photo - rRetired Diplomat Col. Ann Wright gives her testimony)

(photo - Organizing Team - Lietta Ruger - MFSO - WA chapter with retired Col. Ann Wright - Testifier)

(photo - Stacy Bannerma, wife of returning Iraq veteran - WA Natl Guard, gives testimony)

(photo - close up Stacy Bannerman, author of 'When The War Came Home' gives her testimony. Formerly MFSO - WA chapter. For more on Stacy, her book, media archives, see her website at www.stacybannerman.com)

(photo - IVAW veterans Geoffrey Millard and former Lt. Harvey Tharp give their testimony)

See website; 'Citizens' Hearing on Legality of U.S. Actions in Iraq';

Jan 20-21- 2007, Tacoma, WA.

A 2 day citizens' tribunal support action in defense of Lt. Ehren Watada court martial at Fort Lewis.

(Organizing Team from MFSO - WA chapter; Lietta Ruger, Judy Linehan)

2006


(photo Lietta Ruger, MFSO- WA, in support Lt. Ehren Watada, June 2006, Tacoma, WA)

(photo - Jenny Keesey, Judy Linehan, Lietta Ruger - from MFSO-WA in support of Lt. Ehren Watada June 2006, Tacoma, WA)

(photo - Lietta Ruger, Judy Linehan, Jenny Keesey - from MFSO - WA chapter, June 2006, Tacoma, WA)

(photo - Judy Linehan, MFSO - WA at support rally for Lt. Watada, June 2006, Tacoma, WA)

June 2006 ongoing through court martial Feb 2007

For more information, see 'Thank You Lt. Ehren Watada' website.


(photo - right is Stacy Bannerman, MFSO -WA; organizing team)

Representative Brian Baird, Washington state 3rd Congressional District, in blue shirt comes out to talk with MFSO members at 'Operation House Call')

'Operation House Call' June thru August 2006 in Washington DC.

MFSO members make individual calls on Senators and Representatives advocating to Bring Them Home Now.

For more information go to 'Operation House Call' website.

postcards sent to Congress - summer 2006, 'Operation House Call'


2005


(photo - Lietta Ruger, MFSO-WA on central tour. Not pictured - Stacy Bannerman, MFSO -WA on northern tour)

Bring Them Home Now tour - Sept 1 thru Sept 25 2005. From Crawford, Texas to Washington DC. see Bring Them Home Now tour website


(photo - left Lietta Ruger, MFSO -WA with center Cindy Sheehan and right Juan Torres at Crawford, Texas, Camp Casey, Aug 9, 2005


2004

photos from Newshour with Jim Lehrer; segment 'Homefront Battles' aired Oct 2004.

Online video, audio and article still available at Newshour website. photo - Sue Niederer, MFSO. Her son U.S. Army 2nd Lt.Seth Dvorin, 24 yrs old was killed in Iraq Feb 3, 2004.

photo - Nancy Lessin, MFSO Co-Founder

photo - Lietta Ruger, MFSO - WA

photo - Stacy Bannerman, MFSO - WA


See at Seattle PI; List of casualties with Washington state ties

This is one of WA state casualties; Army Spc. Jonathan J. Santos, Whatcom County, Washington died Oct 15, 2004

Watch a slide show of family photos and listen to audio recordings of Army Cpl. Jonathan Santos' mother, brother and the woman who's documenting his life.

See the trailer for the documentary "The Corporal's Boots." (QuickTime 7 required).

A special thank you to mother, Doris Kent - GSFSO/ MFSO - WA for her generous sharing and contribution in speaking of her son's life and death in Iraq


Title 17 disclaimer In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.
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mfso@mfso.org




Military Families Speak Out
is an organization of people who are opposed to war in Iraq and who have relatives or loved ones in the military. We were formed in November of 2002 and have contacts with military families throughout the United States, and in other countries around the world.

As people with family members and loved ones in the military, we have both a special need and a unique role to play in speaking out against war in Iraq. It is our loved ones who are, or have been, or will be on the battlefront. It is our loved ones who are risking injury and death. It is our loved ones who are returning scarred from their experiences. It is our loved ones who will have to live with the injuries and deaths among innocent Iraqi civilians.

If you have family members or loved ones in the military and you are opposed to this war join us.

Send us an e-mail at
mfso@mfso.org
.
You can call us at 617-522-9323
or Send us mail at:
MFSO
P.O. Box 549
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130.

click here - MFSO Membership Form – to join Military Families Speak Out or

JOIN us by sending an e-mail to mfso@mfso.org.


MFSO - Become a Member

Membership in MFSO is open to anyone who has a family member or loved one serving, since August 2002, in any branch of our Armed Forces

* The Reserves

* The National Guard

* Returned from serving but still eligible for redeployment under stop loss.

There is no membership fee. Donations are welcome.

People who are not eligible for MFSO membership may join our Supporter Group. You are welcome to attend meetings that are open to the public, volunteer to help with event preparation and participate in our community actions and events. Supporters may purchase MFSO t-shirts and wear them with the "Proud Supporter of MFSO" button. Buttons may also be worn without the t-shirt.

Our Supporters provide emotional encouragement and physical help to our MFSO military families who are under extreme stress, especially if their loved one is in Iraq or Afghanistan

We welcome your involvement, please contact us.


click to see the list MFSO chapters other than Washington state forming around the country.


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CHRONOLOGICAL ARCHIVES
into our 3rd year of speaking out
13 Oct, 08 > 19 Oct, 08
7 Jan, 08 > 13 Jan, 08
29 Oct, 07 > 4 Nov, 07
10 Sep, 07 > 16 Sep, 07
16 Jul, 07 > 22 Jul, 07
2 Jul, 07 > 8 Jul, 07
4 Jun, 07 > 10 Jun, 07
28 May, 07 > 3 Jun, 07
21 May, 07 > 27 May, 07
14 May, 07 > 20 May, 07
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30 Apr, 07 > 6 May, 07
23 Apr, 07 > 29 Apr, 07
16 Apr, 07 > 22 Apr, 07
9 Apr, 07 > 15 Apr, 07
2 Apr, 07 > 8 Apr, 07
26 Mar, 07 > 1 Apr, 07
19 Mar, 07 > 25 Mar, 07
12 Mar, 07 > 18 Mar, 07
5 Mar, 07 > 11 Mar, 07
26 Feb, 07 > 4 Mar, 07
19 Feb, 07 > 25 Feb, 07
12 Feb, 07 > 18 Feb, 07
5 Feb, 07 > 11 Feb, 07
29 Jan, 07 > 4 Feb, 07
22 Jan, 07 > 28 Jan, 07
15 Jan, 07 > 21 Jan, 07
8 Jan, 07 > 14 Jan, 07
1 Jan, 07 > 7 Jan, 07
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28 Aug, 06 > 3 Sep, 06
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3 Jul, 06 > 9 Jul, 06
26 Jun, 06 > 2 Jul, 06
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Friday, 2 June 2006

Now Playing: Lietta Ruger at Washblog
Topic: Members Speak Out

Deal with it; KING 5 interview w/ Haditha Marine in WA

 As more disturbing facts come out surrounding the killings of up to two dozen civilians in the Iraqi town of Haditha last November, KING 5 talked with a local Marine who was a member of the squad now under investigation.

The incident began November 19 when the Humvee that North Bend, Wash. native Lance Cpl. James Crossan was riding in was blown up by a roadside bomb.

link; video interview at KING 5

 

 

 
   Think issue of Iraq doesn't affect everyday life in our fine state of Washington?  Think selectively ignoring the reality of WAR because it's too hard to grasp the inevitabilities of combatant war is a good way to cope with a reality-based issue?  Wonder why I feel the need to continue to demand leadership from U.S. Senators of Washington state?  And I wonder why more Washingtonian's don't feel as strong a need while the political football game continues to be played as a 'game' in the face of 'war'.

  Did folks really think ignoring that our troops are sent into combat in 2nd and 3rd and 4th deployments wouldn't come home to roost in your hometown?  How about when I asked Sen. Cantwell at  my second opportunity to meet with her, May 6, 2006 about the two Fort Lewis Rangers who were killed in their 6th deployment and she didn't know a thing about it.  And once she realized I was citing a link; Tacoma News Tribune;March 22, 2006; Two Ft Lewis Army Rangers killed in Iraq on 6th deployment  article, she made a stab at ignorance 'how could they be on 6th deployment when the war has only been 3 yrs.  That would mean the war would be in 6th year'  

  My reaction probably didn't help enlighten her much, but my astonishment at her lack of knowledge of military combat deployments in her own state astonished me into an astonished response.  What I said was 'Maria, they're Rangers and combat deployments are combat deployments'.  What was left unsaid by me was that combat deployments whether 3 months at a time or a year at a time are still 'combat deployments' where death happens on all sides. What I failed to respond to in my own astonishment was to point out the very real impact on a human being in a trauma-based killing, carnage and combat situation continues to live on manifesting the natural human reaction response to trauma for years to come, in our own communities here in Washington state.  

  Not a great way to help our U.S. Senator better understand the situation, I agree, but then, you know I would have actually expected the Senator to know more about the circumstances that directly affect some of her constituents in an issue of our country at war.  And I would have actually expected that if she didn't or doesn't know, that she would listen to those of us who might have more direct knowledge since we are so directly impacted by this war.  Yeah, us military families,  who live with this freakin war while others are 'drinking liberally' and finding the stimulating fun in blogging.

   Guess you can tell I'm extremely upset, and it probably reflects in my writing.  I can only guess now at how people and media and blogs will react to Haditha, along with the other incidents that will be unveiled.  But then I lived as a young military wife with a husband returning from Vietnam, so it won't be too hard to guess at some possible reactions.

   You're willing to have the 2 returning Iraq veterans in my family be redeployed to this carnage?  Expand that to mean returning any of the returning Iraq veterans to this horrific, undefined mission as an agreement with the Dem position of 'transition in 2006; when the Iraqi security stands up our troops can stand down'. You're willing to send in fresh new troops? Oh, you did catch the news that additional troops were just sent in, some fresh for the first time, some on repeat deployments.  As in fresh out of high school, a high school perhaps in your community?   How courageous is that and doesn't that make you complicit somehow in failing to do what we expect our U.S. troops to do in having integrity, courage on the battlefield, honor and dignity in the act of killing, maiming and carnage?  

  You do have a job as citizens in this upside down political relationship when our country decides to deploy military into combat.  An old model I learned growing up as a military brat was a triangular model regarding war.   A prepared military intended to PREVENT war.  In war, a Commander-in-Chief with responsibility to the actual Constitution, to the deployed military troops and to the citizens.  Military troops with responsibility to the Constitution and subsequent to that the Commander-in-Chief and subsequent to that the citizens.  Citizens have a responsibility to the military troops by fully expecting and demanding the Commander-in-Chief respect and fulfill the responsibility to the Constitution and to the military troops he has put into combat on a war footing. Congress factors into this equation with both responsibilities and accountabilities of the same.

   When that model is broken as it is in this circumstance with war in Iraq (and was with war in Vietnam), then I damn well do expect legislators to fulfill their end of the contract as representative of citizens of this country. And they damn well know they have responsibilities to live up to when they act in concert to send troops into combat. When it becomes apparant that legislators are not acting in good faith, what is left then is the citizens.  And if the citizens are choosing not to act, then what is left?

  Can you dare wonder why I expect more from our U.S. Senators, specifically Sen. Cantwell, and yes, I'm looking now at Sen. Murray who recently provided a lukewarm response on her position on the war; link; The Olympian; May 31, 2006;Iraq dominates talk during Murray visit .

 
Murray stayed away from taking a firm position on the U.S. future in Iraq, saying she voted against starting the war but has voted to help its veterans. She insisted that the next step for the United States is far from easy to discern in a war she estimated has cost
$450 billion.

She said she personally witnessed Baghdad's devastated infrastructure and has spoken to generals who say infrastructure repairs are needed to bring security to the region. "That is a completely different strategy ... and it's something the American people need to discuss and debate," Murray said. "I think the president should redefine the mission and have a debate on it.'

  Can you dare to wonder why I feel disgust with the political haranguing that argues in favor of doing nothing while folks argue we have to try to put Dems in power positions with no assurances whatsoever they will ACT in leadership on a life and death issue?  Don't upset the Dem applecart cause we would get the other party candidate, so shhhh, keep still and just wait - you'll see.

  What?  What will I see?

   Young readers who didn't live through Vietnam, can't expect you to know that 'history'.  Since it isn't a high priority in school curriculums, can't expect you to know 'of it historically'. Ignorance is not bliss, however, and you don't get a pass because you didn't know better.  Someday it will be your own children asking you the questions about what you did during this critical juncture in history.  You can answer you were too busy making a living, going to college, studies, building a career and family but that you cared.  And you will teach them to do the same should they face another critical juncture in history.  

  Older readers who have the history of Vietnam, (and this Administration does have a history of Vietnam, well enough to know what not to repeat and how to lull citizens to sleep) shame on you for taking our young to a new Vietnam.  Doesn't matter what side of the argument or political party talking points you ascribe to, it was always bigger than politics and your legacy will live on; what did you do during this critical period?  

   What will you do tomorrow different than you did today to bring this horror to an end?

   Keep quiet? Please don't, and if you make the choice to keep still till Nov elections, appreciate that 350 more U.S. troops will die by then (at the statistical rate of 2 a day are dying in the war) along with uncounted numbers of Iraqi citizens.  Let that be on your heads come election day when you celebrate in victory parties the incredible work of getting your candidate elected or re-elected.  And with no promises a Dem in power in Congress will assure any shift or difference for war in Iraq, except the continued cowardice already being shown, the death rates will continue to climb.  

   Depressing?  You bet it is, and feeling hopeless, helpless?  Then DO SOMETHING EMPOWERING and stop being Fearmericans.  

   To those of you who are doing something or believe you are doing something to hasten an end, and get our kids out of this war (extension of that is reduce the killing of kids in Iraq) I thank you and sincerely mean it from the depths of my heart.  To those of you ignoring what is staring you in the face, it's not too late...


Posted by SwanDeer Project at 12:01 AM PDT

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Criticism of the President is Patriotic

"The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly as necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile.

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else.

But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else."

Theodore Roosevelt, 1918, Lincoln and Free Speech