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
20 Oct, 08 > 26 Oct, 08
7 Jan, 08 > 13 Jan, 08
29 Oct, 07 > 4 Nov, 07
10 Sep, 07 > 16 Sep, 07
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Sunday, 6 January 2008
MFSO Statement of Support for or Loved Ones and on Resistance in the MIlitary to the war in Iraq
Topic: MFSO National
   
  
 
The war in Iraq was wrong to begin with and continues to be wrong. Military Families Speak Out has consistently pointed out that when the drumbeats for war in Iraq were growing louder and louder, those with decision-making power who were saying “we gotta go to war” weren’t going anywhere, nor were their loved ones. Now, as this war that should never have happened continues, the vast majority of the decision-makers who are consistently funding the war still have nothing at risk. They don’t have to personally face the human consequences of their decisions, nor do their loved ones. They don’t risk their own lives. Their loved ones aren’t coming home wounded – or in body bags. They don’t have to face family members who have turned into hollow-eyed strangers suffering from the invisible wounds of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – and sometimes succumbing to them. Nor do they have to face the families of the Iraqi children, women and men who are daily caught in the cross-fire of a war that should never have been.

For them the decisions are too easy and the results are abstractions.

But our loved ones, and all of our troops who agreed to put their lives on the line to defend country and Constitution, have been put into untenable situations, facing unconscionable choices. They have to suffer the consequences of horrendously flawed decision-making in Washington, D.C. They have to decide how to respond in a situation with no good choices.
 
Many of our loved ones are currently serving in Iraq and for many of them accepting deployment and re-deployment is a way to help their fellow service members come home alive. Some of our loved ones were killed in Iraq; others died by their own hands months after coming home, unable to live with what they had seen or done. Some of our loved ones have come to see the Iraq war as an illegal, immoral war and have refused deployment as their way of refusing what they consider to be an illegal order. Some have sought refugee status in Canada. Some have gone AWOL or UA. And some have turned themselves over to military authorities to face possible court martial. Some have served jail time for resisting the war in Iraq.
As military families, we love and support our troops and stand by them and their choices. We support those who choose to honor their commitment to military service, to their fellow troops and to the nation and we support those who choose to resist this illegal war by refusing to serve.

We condemn the architects of this war - those who had or have a role in sending and re-sending our troops off to fight it, those who have put our loved ones in such untenable situations.

Until every person in this country, and every one of the decision-makers who sent our loved ones off to war, is willing to face the real consequences of the war, they are in no position to judge our service men and women who go to war, or those who choose to resist.
We are military families. We support our loved ones, we support our troops.

We are speaking out to say: bring our troops home now, and take care of them when they get here, and never, ever again send them off to fight an unjust and unjustifiable war, a war based on lies. 

 The Military Families Speak Out Board of Directors

 

 

posted to MFSO Washington chapter by Lietta Ruger

Posted by SwanDeer Project at 3:05 PM PST
Updated: Saturday, 7 February 2009 9:31 AM PST
Sunday, 15 October 2006

Topic: MFSO National
National Military Families Speak Out Committe;  Take Care of Them When They Get Home Outreach. 
 
As this committee which has a high number of MFSO members from many states continues to discern approaches to the vast issue of returning veteran care, reports should be forthcoming along the way. 
 
There are 2 from Washington state MFSO chapter on this committee; Anne Leigh ughz4@comcast.net, and Lietta Ruger   rugerla@centurytel.net).  
 
Recently in discussion with Bill Moyer of Backbone Campaign, he posited some useful questions in terms of what is it that we want the public to know and what actions do we want them to take to help.  
 
Additionally, Stacy Bannerman, sbannerman@comcast.net,  from MFSO chapter in Washington has some independent activities in the works trying to adrress this vast issue as well.  
 
Before the holidays and again recently this past weekend, I've had 2 separate independent WA documentary filmmakers inquire about finding Iraq Veterans willing to talk on camera (identities can be concealed on camera) about their own experiences and unmet needs regarding medical/health issues.

Posted by SwanDeer Project at 12:01 AM PDT
Sunday, 30 July 2006

Now Playing: Elizabeth Falzone
Topic: MFSO National
 from Elizabeth -
 
VFP convention Seattle August 2006

Hello Friends,

As many of you know I am on the planning committee for the Veterans for Peace National Convention.  PLEASE forward the attached workshop proposal to anyone you think would be a good match to coordinate and present a workshop at the convention August 10-August 13. 
 
The theme of the convention is "SOW JUSTICE – REAP PEACE: Strategies for Moving Beyond War". 
 
The convention will be held on the University of Washington campus and registration will be open to the public.  I encourage you all to consider attending and/or presenting a workshop.

Also, if you would like to be considered for any entertainment portion
of the convention please email me at
secretary@vfp92.org.  Limited spots open for musicians, poets, storytellers, dancers, and
FILM/SHORTS related to the theme.   
 
Volunteers still needed!!  

Yours in peaceful solidarity,
Elizabeth Falzone

Entertainment Lead
VFP National Convention
Seattle, Washington
August 10th-August 13th
www.vfpnationalconvention.org

www.veteransforpeace.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