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
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Wednesday, 13 July 2005

Now Playing: Stacy Bannerman at Common Dreams.org
Topic: Members Speak Out
Published on Wednesday, July 13, 2005 by MinutemanMedia.org
Let Mr. Bush Explain the War to Highschoolers
by Stacy Bannerman
 
I’d like to see President George W. Bush go on live television before a tough crowd. Like a high school class in my hometown that includes Iraqi students and boys who are preparing for boot camp. These Seattle kids are still able to exercise their Constitutional right to freedom of speech. My guess is that they’d have some questions.

The president has already proven he’s got the time to sit in a classroom. After all, that’s what he did after being informed that this nation was under attack on 9-11, something he mentioned repeatedly in his speech, even though he’s acknowledged that there’s nothing whatsoever linking Iraq to that day.

If ever there was a president who needed flashcards to keep his facts straight, it's Mr. Bush.

Maybe the president can discuss his statement that “terrorists respect no laws of warfare or morality.” Did not this administration violate international law and it’s own policy against pre-emptive strikes when it invaded Iraq on false pretenses? Perhaps he can clarify for the kids why he clings to the dream that the U.S. invasion is supported by a sizable coalition of the willing despite ample proof to the contrary. As the President inadvertently pointed out, the only real coalition of the willing is the one that has developed amongst terrorist cells converging in Iraq as the result of the American presence.

Since the president thanked the soldiers and military families for their service and sacrifice, I’m sure the students would be interested in learning more about just how grateful the administration is. Is it grateful enough to provide all of the troops with tetranike vests and up-armored tanks? Is it grateful enough to help the thousands of military families who’ve had to apply for food stamps to feed their children?

Is it grateful enough to deal with the fact that Tri-Care, the military’s medical coverage for soldiers and their families, is rapidly becoming obsolete, as fewer and fewer providers accept it? And does the administration’s gratitude mean that they will take care of the Reserve and National Guard troops who are already exhibiting much higher rates of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder than active-duty military?

Possibly the president would like to explain why this country enforces truth in advertising laws, and considers bait-and-switch sales tactics poor business practice, but plays shell games with the mission in Iraq. And whether he would like to tell the children they’re more valuable as consumers than as citizens?

Speaking of citizenry, perhaps he’d like to discuss the Iraqi citizens that have died during this war; many more than were killed during any comparable time frame of Saddam Hussein’s reign. The tens of thousands of dead Iraqis dispel any pretense whatsoever that this war can ever be called "moral.” Yet, it was President Bush’s moral values that got him elected to a second term. I’m sure the Seattle high schoolers would like to hear an explanation of how a moral person justifies it when he creates, rather than alleviate, suffering.

Since high schools have strict policies against fighting, I’m sure they’d like to hear the president, a ‘compassionate conservative,’ reconcile the New Testament's command to "turn the other cheek" with his decision to respond to violence with violence. Then the president could talk about democracy, explaining how, counterintuitive though it may be, it actually can be imposed. The president could tell the kids that when he said a totalitarian regime is one that “despises dissent,” he wasn’t referring to his administration.

After reviewing the national polls showing that at least half the U.S. population wants troops withdrawn and 60% believe the war in Iraq wasn’t worth fighting, the president could specify which country he was talking about when he referred to a “Constitution that upholds the will of the majority.” Because the children should be forgiven if they want to know how we can presume to do that in Iraq when we seem unable to do it here.

The president made it to Fayetteville and talked to the troops at Ft. Bragg in June. Now, he should take his act to Seattle. And don’t forget to bring the cameras. The world will be watching.

Stacy Bannerman is a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus (www.fpif.org) and on the Advisory Board of Military Families Speak Out www.mfso.org. Her book “When the War Came Home: The Inside Story of Citizen Soldiers and the Families Left Behind,” will be released by Continuum Publishing in 2006. Her husband deployed to Iraq in March 2004, and returned home in March 2005. She wrote this for the Institute for Policy Studies. The Institute for Policy Studies is the only multi-issue progressive think tank in Washington, D.C. Through books, articles, films, conferences, and activist education, IPS offers resources for progressive social change locally, nationally, and globally. www.ips-dc.org.


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