Now Playing: Lietta Ruger at Washblog
Topic: Local Lobbying
'Operation House Call' and Meeting w Sen. Murray - topic - what else - Iraq occupation
In Seattle, WA, you might say we're making a 'house call' on Senator Murray. You may remember we have already made three separate 'house call's' on Sen. Cantwell. A meeting has been scheduled to meet with Senator Murray, Wed., June 28, 2006. Actually the meeting will be with her Dir. of Special Projects, Ardis Dumett. Veterans, military families, faith community,student activists and concerned citizens have scheduled meeting to discuss strategy for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
I'm invited to the meeting in Seattle representing Military Families Speak Out, and cannot make that time and date. As you may know, I'm fairly busy, along with thousands of others, in support actions for Lt. Ehren Watada right now. But I sent an advance statement (below the fold) for consideration at the meeting.
Meanwhile, over in the other Washington - DC, while our Senators and Representatives are in DC on Tues/Wed/Thurs --
Military Families Speak Out has mobilized 'Operation House Call' a visual display summer- long campaign to highlight the damage caused by the Iraq War. See press conference on C-Span . While we make 'house calls' on our Senators at home in WA state, Stacy Bannerman , of our MFSO - Washington state chapter will be making 'House Calls' on our U.S. Senators and Representatives in DC. She plans to remain in DC through the summer, and I'm sure she'll be making a House Call on both Sen. Murray and Sen. Cantwell, along with the other Senators and Representatives hard at work in DC. Daily Blog from Operation House Call - read it here .
(You're welcome to borrow the postcard image and send your own postcards daily to both Sen. Murray and Sen. Cantwell's offices ... make your own 'House Call'.)
My statement for consideration this Wednesday meeting with Sen. Murray's Director of Special Projects, Ardis Dummett.
I'm unable to attend, wishing you all well with Wednesday meeting with Senator Murray's Director of Special Projects, Ardis Durnett. If I were to have a presence as a military family with 2 returning Iraq veterans in our family; both from Washington state; it would be in advocacy to remove our troops who have decidedly become the targets in the insurgency in the U.S. occupation of Iraq. Further I would point to Lt. Ehren Watada, a U.S. Army officer, at Fort Lewis who has refused what he has, as an Officer, discerned to be an ' illegal' order to deploy to Iraq. He is currently confined at Fort Lewis, aware of the potential consequences of his decision and action. I and many military families view it as a courageous act on the part of Lt. Watada.
I would point out the recent situation described in the Washington Post of a 'fragging' in Iraq with a U.S. Sgt killing two of his officers, June 7, 2006. I would point to the recent reports of the horrific manner in which two of our U.S. soldiers were killed with their bodies desecrated in a most public message. I would point to the recent reports of seven marines and one sailor who will be charged by the military with 'murder' for the killing of Iraqi citizen. I would point to Sgt Kevin Benderman, a returning Iraq veteran, who is now serving a prison term at Fort Lewis as a result of his actions to file as Conscientious Objector After serving in Iraq, and charged with missing movement. I would suggest there are additional anecdotal instances of our troops and now Officers who are registering opposition to participation in Iraq occupation in the few venues available to them.
For that reason, I would point to the continuing need for Military Families Speak Out with a national membership of 3,000 military families across the nation to speak out in advocacy of the need for our elected officials to serve the public with the same kind of honor, dignity and ideals we absolutely and unequivocably expect from our military - from our young 19 and 20 something year old service men and women. I would urge Senator Murray to stand in support to bring our troops home now and to take care of them when they get home. It is fully understood that use of the word now in bring them home now does not mean tomorrow, rather the time it takes to mobilize a redeployment of our troops. I would further suggest that the amount of time it took to mobilize our troops to invade Iraq would be about the same amount of time it might take to redeploy our troops out of Iraq.
I would point out that since March, 2003, on average, over two service men and women have died each day as a result of the war in Iraq; that fatality rate continues in June, 2006. Discussions in Congress about the war in Iraq and exit strategies include many proposals for bringing troops home after the mid-term election in November, 2006. If Congress waits until November to act, it is likely that 350 or more U.S. servicemen and women will die along with countless Iraqi children, women and men.
Additionally, now with the new Iraq democracy in place, with newly elected Iraq officials as result of military actions in Iraq, it would appear that the continually changing identified missions assigned our troops has been accomplished. As the newly elected Iraqi Prime Minister has indicated a preference for withdrawal of U.S. troops, I would urge our country and our elected officials to heed such request. Therefore, I respectfully request that Senator Patty Murray, who in courage did not vote for war in Iraq, go yet a step further in courage and stand in support of bringing our troops home - now.
Lietta Ruger, chapter coordinator
Military Families Speak Out - Washington state chapter
military family with 2 returning Iraq veterans,
PO Box 335
Bay Center, WA 98527
visit website of national Military Families Speak Out