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
7 May, 07 > 13 May, 07
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
25 Dec, 06 > 31 Dec, 06
13 Nov, 06 > 19 Nov, 06
6 Nov, 06 > 12 Nov, 06
30 Oct, 06 > 5 Nov, 06
16 Oct, 06 > 22 Oct, 06
9 Oct, 06 > 15 Oct, 06
25 Sep, 06 > 1 Oct, 06
4 Sep, 06 > 10 Sep, 06
28 Aug, 06 > 3 Sep, 06
21 Aug, 06 > 27 Aug, 06
14 Aug, 06 > 20 Aug, 06
24 Jul, 06 > 30 Jul, 06
17 Jul, 06 > 23 Jul, 06
10 Jul, 06 > 16 Jul, 06
3 Jul, 06 > 9 Jul, 06
26 Jun, 06 > 2 Jul, 06
19 Jun, 06 > 25 Jun, 06
5 Jun, 06 > 11 Jun, 06
29 May, 06 > 4 Jun, 06
15 May, 06 > 21 May, 06
8 May, 06 > 14 May, 06
1 May, 06 > 7 May, 06
24 Apr, 06 > 30 Apr, 06
3 Apr, 06 > 9 Apr, 06
20 Mar, 06 > 26 Mar, 06
13 Mar, 06 > 19 Mar, 06
27 Feb, 06 > 5 Mar, 06
20 Feb, 06 > 26 Feb, 06
13 Feb, 06 > 19 Feb, 06
6 Feb, 06 > 12 Feb, 06
30 Jan, 06 > 5 Feb, 06
23 Jan, 06 > 29 Jan, 06
16 Jan, 06 > 22 Jan, 06
9 Jan, 06 > 15 Jan, 06
14 Nov, 05 > 20 Nov, 05
17 Oct, 05 > 23 Oct, 05
26 Sep, 05 > 2 Oct, 05
15 Aug, 05 > 21 Aug, 05
8 Aug, 05 > 14 Aug, 05
25 Jul, 05 > 31 Jul, 05
11 Jul, 05 > 17 Jul, 05
4 Jul, 05 > 10 Jul, 05
23 May, 05 > 29 May, 05
4 Apr, 05 > 10 Apr, 05
7 Mar, 05 > 13 Mar, 05
28 Feb, 05 > 6 Mar, 05
17 Jan, 05 > 23 Jan, 05
1 Nov, 04 > 7 Nov, 04
18 Oct, 04 > 24 Oct, 04
11 Oct, 04 > 17 Oct, 04
4 Oct, 04 > 10 Oct, 04

Monday, 4 October 2004

Now Playing: Lehrer News Hour
Topic: Media Involvement

LEE HOCHBERG: Antiwar protesters have rallied every week in Seattle since the Iraq War began. Largely, they're members of the established peace movement, but lately they've been joined by new demonstrators: Family members of those fighting the war.

VICKY MONK, Military Parent: I'm not opposed to war, all war. But what I am opposed to is the irresponsible use of the military, which I believe is what happened in the Iraq war.

LEE HOCHBERG: Vicky Monk hopes her son is home soon, after what she says have been 15 harrowing months for him, with the army's 1st Armored Division in Baghdad. She and other military families are lashing out against a war they first believed was against Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, but now say is meaningless.

Vicky MonkVICKY MONK: When the army itself admitted they were unable to find the weapons of mass destruction, my son began to question, "Why am I here? Why do I have to continue to be here?" So, I feel a certain amount of responsibility, as his mother, to stand up and say, Why did you send my son to war? Why did you put my son in harm's way?

 

 

 

The changing face of the anti-war movement

LEE HOCHBERG: The more commonly seen face of military families is like these, at a "Support the Troops" night at a Seattle Mariners baseball game. ("Taps" playing) For them and most military families, supporting the troops has also meant unwavering support for President Bush and the U.S. military mission in Iraq.

SPOKESPERSON: He's going to be serving at least 12 months past the time he was supposed to be retired.

LEE HOCHBERG: But as U.S. military deaths in Iraq have risen past 1,000 with an end nowhere in sight, some parents and spouses of soldiers have taken public their growing opposition to the war.

MOTHER: My son was in the army. He was killed Feb. 3 of this year.

REPORTER: How?

MOTHER: How? You tell me --

LEE HOCHBERG: This mother, whose son was killed in Iraq, protested last month at a New Jersey campaign appearance of First Lady Laura Bush.

Woman being arrestedMOTHER: Go ahead. Come on. Arrest me -- right here in front of everybody.

LEE HOCHBERG: She challenged the first lady's assertions that the war is going well. She was handcuffed and arrested for trespassing.

MOTHER: Excuse me! What are you charging me with? Excuse me!

LEE HOCHBERG: Other families have lain memorials for fallen relatives outside the White House fence in somber protest. Such resistance from military families didn't happen in previous wars, according to historian Michael Beschloss.

MICHAEL BESCHLOSS: We're seeing something that really is unusual because military families in history have been pretty much inclined not to do this sort of thing. It's in a way sort of part of that culture. And the fact that they are doing it now shows how deeply many of them feel about the fact that they were never convinced at the beginning of this war that it was the right thing to do.

NANCY LESSIN, Military Parent: It was our loved ones who were going to go, and we felt that, in fact, they were going to be used as cannon fodder.

LEE HOCHBERG: Sixteen hundred military families have joined under the banner of "Military Families Speak Out." The group was founded by Nancy Lessin and Charley Richardson of Boston. Their son, Joe, a marine, was deployed to Iraq in what the pair saw as a war for oil. Lessin's group attracted other families when she used the Internet to call for a full troop withdrawal. Thirty of the members have lost loved ones. Others were worried about extended deployments, inadequate equipment and post-traumatic stress disorder. All had been afraid to go public.

Nancy LessinNANCY LESSIN: There are so many that have bought into what this administration is trying to sell, which is in order to be patriotic, in order to support the troops, you have to support the war. It is absolutely possible to support the troops and oppose the war.

CHARLEY RICHARDSON, Military Families Speak Out: The people who made the decision to take us into this war aren't giving up their loved ones to this war. We are, and our voices are important.

Dealing with and countering the criticism

LEE HOCHBERG: Their message has resonated among some families with longtime military backgrounds. In rural South Bend, Washington, lay pastor Lietta Ruger used her church pulpit to assail President Bush for misleading America.

LIETTA RUGER, Military Family: I am a military family. We are a military family. I speak out in support of the troops, by bringing them home and ending this war that we know is a product of lies.

LEE HOCHBERG: Ruger's son-in-law and nephew are in the 1st Armored Division in Baghdad. Her husband, Arthur, and her father, were in the Air Force.

LIETTA RUGER: I am not from the peace movement. I am not Jane Fonda on the street. I am not a leftover '60s protester. I am a military brat, wife of a veteran. But Vietnam taught us something. We have to do critical thinking when we give permission for our country to go to war.

LEE HOCHBERG: The Rugers say their son-in-law doesn't object to their criticism of the war. He shared his thoughts with us by phone, requesting we shield his identity.

SON-IN-LAW: To go to war on the basis that we went to war on, I don't agree with that. And then to get lied to by the president. We know people are speaking out against the war, not against us. We're not dumb. We know.

LIETTA RUGER: He said, "Mom, it's wrong here. We're not doing anything. We're hurting, we're harming."

LEE HOCHBERG: Despite her son-in- law's support, Ruger's extended military family has been furious with her stand, and she has been severely criticized over the Internet. Family life also has been difficult for Stacy Bannerman, whose husband left Seattle for Iraq with his National Guard unit in February. Bannerman's life work has been with peace organizations and she has publicly opposed the war from its start.

STACY BANNERMAN: We should be crying about this. We should be. This country should be.

LEE HOCHBERG: But her husband embraces his mission. One evening last month, as she attended a Seattle-area meeting of Military Families Speak Out, he telephoned from Baghdad.

STACY BANNERMAN: Sometimes I wonder if I'm... am I somehow, in some way, shape or form betraying him? Of course, that's crossed my mind. And yet, how can my wanting to preserve his life and the lives of tens of thousands of others, how could that ever potentially be seen as a betrayal?

Does protesting the war hurt the troops?

LEE HOCHBERG: Some answer that all of the antiwar military families are guilty of betrayal. Outside the church in rural South Bend, Thelma Crawford was critical of Lietta Ruger's antiwar sermon.

THELMA CRAWFORD: You know as well as I that there's terrorists that's living all around us, and all they've got to do is just get a little support and a little momentum and, bing, we're gone.

LEE HOCHBERG: And at a recent "Support the Troops" demonstration outside Seattle, some said even if Saddam possessed no weapons of mass destruction, his removal itself justifies the war. They say military families speaking out undercut the U.S. mission there. Robert Snyder was in the army during the Vietnam era.

ROBERT SNYDER, Veteran: If my family didn't even support me during the 15 years that I was active duty, do you think that would be wrong? That would be wrong. That would hurt me emotionally.

LEE HOCHBERG: Nadine Gulit agrees.

Nadine GulitNADINE GULIT, Military Family: You cannot support the troops without supporting the mission that they are on.

LEE HOCHBERG: She has three grandsons in the army, one in Iraq. She says criticism of the military mission emboldens the enemy and puts U.S. soldiers at risk.

NADINE GULIT: When the protesters and the people spoke out against, it's demoralizing and it is a form of treason. Yes, the enemy does use it. They will use it. It builds up their morale.

LEE HOCHBERG: But military families opposed to the war say they are every bit as patriotic as those who support it. They traveled to the nation's capital this weekend to talk to members of Congress and staged a very public demonstration, carrying caskets from Arlington National Cemetery to the White House.


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