Military Families Speak Out Washington State Chapter


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


(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

(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)


(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'


(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


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.

Contact us

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
You can call us at 617-522-9323
or Send us mail at:
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 - 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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into our 3rd year of speaking out
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Wednesday, 26 April 2006

Now Playing: Arthur Ruger at Washlbog
Topic: Local Lobbying

I knew about the sit-in too and I supported and encouraged it

[ed] In the dawn's early light I saw a grammar or two that needed clarifying.

And ain't nobody getting an apology from me because it happened or because it causes negative press to Ms. Cantwell.  Nor because it's thought of as a stupid idea or hurts her re-election possiblities. Those who believe that she could lose to McGavick because of dissent in this party  have bought a larger bridge from dumber con men that most.

I repeat. I'm going to vote for Maria but she gets no free pass from me.

The pretend political psycho spin-doctors who think like dirty-trick republicans and believe that their pulse-taking reveals an electorate that is too dumb and stupid to vote wisely are driving us all nuts.

Unwise folks think the smartest thing we as democrats can do is to not play to win, but to play cautiously not to lose.

Remember when the Oilers did that with a 35-0 lead on the Bills only to lose 41-38? I never forgot it and have little patience for those who have and can't see the similarity at a time when electoral success is so promising - because of all the holes shot in republican feet all over this country.

Joe Colgan and the sitter-inners are friends of mine and I wish I'd had and even greater part in the plot.

Joe Colgan - unlike the proud 30-something pretend strategists who are scared spitless of a paper tiger named McGavick - LOST A SON ... lost a son ... (his son was killed) - to a war that was a lie

... to a war that the honorable senator voted to support

and now, in a blind and proud unwillingness to recognize a foolish and cowardly political act when she and Kerry and the rest of them played "not to lose" and embarrassed all of us ...

God, need I go on?

You cannot find fault with that sit-in for politically strategic reasons.


If - perish the thought - I lose a loved one to this unjustified military disaster, there isn't anybody who's written at this site or in the entirety of Northwest Portal who could justifiably tell me to sit down, shut up and stop handicapping a senator who cast a vote that contributed to the death of my loved one.

She had the power to take an action to protect Joe's son.
Joe Colgan had none.
She didn't do that and hind-sight hasn't justified her not doing that.

Although she does not stand singly guilty nor bear more responsbility than the rest for Democratic passivity regarding this historic American embarrassment, as one of the group of 100 most powerful Americans she excercised the power we gave her but in doing so took a tragically consequential opposite action;

doing so from an unwise and fear-driven political perspective that has come back to haunt her, that has contributed to killing Joe's son and placing thousands more unnecessarily in harm's way.

No, she is not the solitary cause of those deaths. But she is not absolved just because she's up for re-election and slick logicians appeal to a purpose that in reality is not higher nor more noble. Her current attitude and the verbal bone she tossed when Kerry was standing behind her does not merit understanding, let alone forgiveness.

This is not about renomination or defeating Republicans so we can take back the government and eventually some day bring home the troops. We'll do that with or without Maria Cantwell. But if she is not part of it, it won't be because a small minority publicly disputed her own public position.

That sit-in is about the most basic and essential reasons why someone is voted into a position of speaking for the rest of us.

Those sitting-in today were not trying to un-nominate a senator nor advocate for another candidate.

This isn't about that and those who think it is are too shallow and need more civics and less political science classes.

Most of the readers/posters here who DON'T have skin in the game, and we know who they are ...

the college graduates and not-graduates who read-and-write-a-lot, drink loud and liberally but ain't  never-been-there-never-done-that,

the fighting demo keyboard political know-it-alls
with nothing momentous or of value to persuade those few of us not to hold her accountable;

not to hold a cowardly political party's feet to the fire and send Maria and Democratic leadership   a message that they're getting no pass.

Here I come again with points I've already made but points that seem to go way over the heads of people who couldn't or didn't struggle with the 60's and 70's, as late teens or in their early 20's and coping with a very real sucking into a maelstrom of killing,

who never had to use every venue possible to wake up an electorate and bring down liars.

Point One
Maria is going to win her primary easily.

But if someone like Paul Hackett were challenging her for the nomination, all you tip-toers would be standing on shaky crystal pedestals trying to get the rest of us to shut the hell up.

Point 2
If ever in the history of this country there was an opportune time to run against a repuglican candidate - incumbent or otherwise - in the entire U.S.A., 2006 is the year.

If a Democratic Pary cannot whip the majority of the Republican candidates around the country despite gerrymandering and any other swift-bloat tactics, then our party leadership is woefully inadequate and under-qualified. Too many people out there have not only pointed out Republican success tactics, but the flaws and ways to beat those tactics.

Republicans are so incredibly disadvantaged this year.

Our Demo leaders are so cowardly disingenuous in their shameful caution that seems to offer timidity as a strategy in a way that sets up Democratic dissenters as the potential and probable blame objects and fall guys should the long-time losing Demo leaders' dainty, cautious don't-rock-the-boat strategy fail again.

McGavick is no republican charismatic powerhouse who could ride roughshod over Maria due to some sort of sheer intelligence, skill, personality and leadership advantage. If he and his party succeed in building that lie, then it's our own damn fault for letting them get away with lying. Go read the state repug site. They're trying it already and Pelz made the right response.

She's got McGavick hands down right now.

In her first campaign she beat an incumbent for God's sake in a republican year and it really doesn't matter that the margin was thin. What makes anyone think she's so weak or vulnerable as an incumbent that "wise" democrats need to dumb up and shut up and quit expecting senatorial leadership?

She won it in a year when Republicans were kicking lots of Democratic asses all over the country. Gorton was a tough opponent back then but McGavick now?

... an uninspiring stereotypical corporate technocrat - the kind whose lack of leadership style and inability to inspire demonstrate themselves every time he's opened his mouth this year.

This is the time and this is the moment to run for election against a weak party full of weak candidates who have too much to defend and apologize for and too little to justify a vote for them.

Ir is not a time for democrats to act as if it is our party that has to overcome 5 1/2 years of mistakes.

You cannot take back any country that has been stolen from you by asking the Republicans,

"You guys wouldn't mind if we had a crack at governing for a while ... would you?"

That's what your strategies say more loudly than any verbal logic intended to tone down criticism of a candidate.

Trust us, we're noisy but we'll vote the right way.

But she owes this moment of accountability. and if we cannot hold a politician accountable about this kind of issue then we are not truly living in a civic reality. We are living in a world of spin and deception.

Her vote and position on this war have entitled her to the learning experience she's getting right now and the understanding that she is not untouchable;

that in another future venue, she'll experience a greater need for up-front honesty that recognizes the military contributions and sacrifices of a middle class who voted for her ... expecting that she'd represent more little guys and less big assholes.

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