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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into our 3rd year of speaking out
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Friday, 9 March 2007

Now Playing: Arthur Ruger
Topic: Take Care of Them

Chopped liver at Walter Reed. I'm a Veteran before I'm a Democrat

While everybody is being important, talking wise talk, trying to stop surges, the Walter Reed scandal shows just who is really chopped liver on the political priority list.

From: Patty Murray's
Official Website
Veterans

The Challenge

"I made a promise to myself after volunteering at the Seattle veterans hospital during the Vietnam War that I would do everything I could to help those individuals who sacrificed for our country. Now that I'm in a position to really make a difference, I will continue to make sure veterans get the services and benefits they deserve."

I like and support Senator Patty Murray. But I'm a Vet FIRST and a voter who campaigned for Democrats last year second. We must get behind Senators Murray, Mikulski and all their Congressional colleagues and support, push and keep their feet to the fire. These leaders laboring on our behalf have thoroughly embarrassed and humiliated  each and every citizen of this country when it comes to supporting the troops truthfully and with action.

 

For Immediate Release, Tuesday, February 20, 2007(Washington, D.C.) - Today, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) wrote to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, urging him to launch an Inspector General's investigation of the deplorable living conditions facing returning Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans at the Army's flagship military hospital, Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Isn't that nice?

The treatment of our injured returning Iraq veterans by the citizens of the United States of America is absolutely and unequivocally a profound embarrassment.  

Never mind that we are not individually guilty of direct behavioral mistreatment of this precious American blood. Most of us don't spit on our soldiers, give them the finger or call them war criminals. But civically speaking, we're as guilty as if we had.

Those annointed to take care of our returning veterans  vicariously for each of us - doing for us what we presumably would do if we were there greeting and treating each veteran in person - have shamed us.

 



Photo from  washingtonpost.com

Photos: The Wounded and Walter Reed
Five and a half years of sustained combat have transformed the venerable 113-acre Walter Reed Army Medical Center into a holding ground for physically and psychologically damaged outpatients.

I don't want to hear about the fact that staff at Walter Reed and the VA are overworked, not totally responsible and not the real culprits.

I know that and you know that. But we just don't ho-hum and walk away from a house fire because the tenants did not start the fire.

We put the damn thing out immediately - any way we can. And we don't care if the G-D landlord doesn't like it or not. He's hurting our national community. We'll put out the fire as quick as we can, then we'll go take it up with the landlord and make him pay.



As soon as I heard this story, I looked up our two Senators to see ever either or both served on Senate committees connected to veterans. I found and I read ... and remembered when Patty was pulling out all stops in her campaign against Nethercut.

I remember Patty and an array of Democratic Senators including those who consider themselves presidential material all talking the talk but walking the slow walk when it comes to applying a compress to our national bleeding.  

Democrat or Republican, I don't care who, but DON'T send a staffer down to Walter Reed to eyeball anything ... go down there YOURSELF - right now!

And don't insult our sense of urgency any further.  Now is not the time to listen to Democratic Committee chairpersons and senior members blab about sending staffers out to inspect the damage so they can propose legislation to "prevent such a thing from happening again."

What a crock .... what a cliche .... what a political philosophy that even now transparently reveals an inability to take a firm stand. That's why troops are still over there in harms way, living, surviving, dying or returning half of what they were when they left. Nobody took a firm stand and everybody pretended that it is a wise thing to  support keeping the troops there "cause we broke it and own it."

Nonsense ... we broke it when Iraqis didn't want us to break it. We keep trying to super glue the pieces back together and breaking more Iraqi things in the process.

They just want us to leave.

We need to leave.

But like a mean and clumsy drunk trying to make things right while still drunk, we're only making it worse.

And don't let any Senator, Representative or PR hack tell you otherwise.

In recent years Republican senators and representatives and a few irresponsible Lieberman Democrats have shamed every American citizen regarding the War, the Surge and really truly caring about what happens to our Active Service and Veteran soldiers.

Remember in Planet of the Apes when the gorillas in charge have Charlton Heston in a cage and are hosing the hell out of him.

He shouts, "IT'S A MADHOUSE!"

Well, welcome to our flight over the Cuckoo's Nest.

Note how currently Senator McCain has become a national Veteran embarrassment, shamefully toadying to the religious right and attempting to say whatever it takes to get the lame-duck republican machine behind his efforts to take Dubya's place.

Note how there is no high-falutin foreign policy or statesmanlike-wisdom that justifies the nation's amateur strategists' continually pouring American bodies into the meat grinder that has become the worst American foreign policy and military blunder in history.

Note that Democracy Now interviewed the Iraqi who leaked the Oil Plan and that interview is worth reading or listening to so you can hear a knowledgeable Iraqi confirm our worst fears about losing loved ones over oil.

Note that Stan Goff wrote two blazing op-ed a few weeks ago about that surge and what is behind it.

Note that today Condoleeza Rice sounded like a first-year-out-of-diplomacy-graduate-school debutante giving an incredibly light-weight performance as she closed out her Israel visit with meaningless Republican foreign policy blather.

Note that a Federal appeals court re-affirmed last year's traitorous Republican legislation denying habeas corpus.

Note that Dick Cheney is in Japan presumably acting on behalf of America's foreign policy interests and soldiers, trying to drum up more foreign troops into Iraq. But he isn't going to talk to the Japan Foreign Minister who called the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq a mistake.

Note how those who got us into this mess are absolutely diplomatic, political and governing amateurs; absolutely nuts and in immediate need of neutering.

Is there ANYBODY responsible holding the reins of government in any branch?

Would someone please step forward - and if you can do nothing more - piss on the flames?


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