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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Sunday, 12 November 2006

Now Playing: Arthur Ruger
Topic: Members Speak Out

Support the Troops? VFW cut and ran

I see where the VFW chose to endorse a Republican candidate who has never served in the military and repudiate Tammy Duckworth, a Democratic candidate who is not only a Vet but lost both legs in the Occupation of Iraq. If the local VFW comes calling to recruit me into membership, they need to send someone like Bill Moyer, a 73-year-old vet who wore the "bullshit protector" in his ear while at the VFW convention.

The apparent thinking as voiced by the VFW endorsing entity had to do with the Repug's track record of cheap talk and votes in support of military and or veteran issues ... as if a newly elected Iraq Veteran in Congress would not vote with an even greater wisdom.

There is a horrendous naiveté in this action in that VFW veterans who have been there and done that have taken a coward's route perhaps voting more their fear about pensions and health benefits (ironically endangered more under Bushco than any administration) than demonstrating any long-time veteran's genuine desire for national well-being.

If so, this in a way makes of the VFW the same corporate capitalists as jokers like Delay, Ney, and Burns  and others who accept money from Abramhoff in exchange for votes and endorsements.

 

 

Choosing the republicans for such a sissified reason demonstrates not only a lack of current courage, but a blind-sighted gullibility to the cheap talk of a desperate republican party;

the same republican party which also includes an extra-ordinary number of citizens the age of the VFW'ers who not only did not serve, but went out of their way to avoid the military.

Although VFW would certainly not want to support an anti-war candidate perceived as a "socialist/commie" espousing lots of contraries to American political and economic traditions, to choose a did-not-serve party puppet over one of their own for shabby and inaccurate reasons demonstrated questionable veteran wisdom.

Senator McCain typifies the waffled-thought and behavior manifested by the VFW.

The mantle of being the last great Republican veteran seems now to be Robert Dole and not John McCain who has cheapened his life with a political hypocrisy that has in no justified itself by his courageous performance and record while wearing the uniform.

There was a time at the end of the 1990's when I was willing to put down the TV clicker and get out to work for McCain for president - regardless of party affiliation.

No longer.

McCain's performance over the past two years is emarrassing. The VFW has now joined his club. What will we see next - as we saw with George and John -  a VFW and the little president in a foto bear hug to complete the deal?

When I finally arrived at a time of interest in organizations like VFW and the American Legion I ignored the temptation to join them - primarily because I had become dismayed by their tendency to look the other way while blindly believing and supporting insincere and manipulative presidents ... er, commanders-in-chief.

There is no reason for a Veteran to support this particular CIC in his pretend uniforms and pilot jackets and who has been able to perform the one simple thing his puppeteers require - talk cheap flag talk.

I'd like to think that the older generation of Veterans contains but a more mature reflection of the younger Vet's organizations;

groups like Veterans for Peace, Vietnam Veterans Against the War and Iraq Veterans Against the War, the epitome of why veterans are wiser than never-served civilians who think war is a game;

veterans who easily demonstrate a greater and wiser perspective of how civic duty blends with military duty in this day and this age of placing party above country and political profit above military well-being.

Why is that one may ask?

Perhaps because the older American Legion and VFW veterans were not betrayed by presidents who prioritized genuine national best-interest behind party priorities and  unsound economic ideologies

- ideologies which have proven themselves extremely advantageous for business and wealth at the expense of the working class from which comes the majority of soldiers .

Veterans on pensions should know better than to support robber barons.

VFP, VVAW and IVAW  are primarily populated by military veterans whose sense of civic responsibility transcends any blind and naïve trusting of a leader merely because of his supposed CIC uniform.

VFW and the American Legion have supported this current American shyster president despite his obvious leadership ineptness. If there's one thing all veterans of all ages know, it's when the officer has his head up his ass and doesn't know shit from shinola. We've all been there, seen that and done that.

Wise veterans do not ascribe to the little president any high moral authority and patriotic wisdom. He doesn't have it, doesn't wield it, and no amount of old-time chain-of-command blind loyalty will create it.

Nevertheless, because the little man became President of the United States, VFW behaves as if there is a tooth fairy-type of spirit that visited small George in the dark quiet of his first night in the White House;

that the patriotic tooth fairy in some mystical way poured a spirit of civic wisdom into that small mind;

forcing his born-again dreams aside so the wisdom of Lincoln and the courage of Eisenhower somehow blended.

Some version of this assumptive logic lies behind the VFW decision to repudiate the Democratic candidate who has paid more than her fair share of dues;

all the while making themselves look like foolish game-players who think political endorsements are things to brag to Mabel about after the lights go out.

As a military veteran I continue to withhold any endorsement of the VFW and will continue my refusal to join them in any kind of society of pretend patriotism that worships lack of form without substance;

that lives in darkness and crows unwisely in foolish gratitude for any mushroom food tossed in their direction.

Posted by SwanDeer Project at 12:01 AM PST

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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