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.
Archive


Contact us


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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Tuesday, 24 April 2007
Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, awarded for her opposition to troop surge in Iraq.
Topic: Politicians in Action

 We, the military families of Military Families Speak Out - Washington state chapter  thank you, Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles for having our backs with initiating your Petition to Congress from Washington state opposing sending more troops to Iraq.   Respect to you Senator.

                            

“Our state has lost 67 sons and daughters, husbands and wives, brother and sisters there. We’ve spent more than $8.6 billion since the outbreak of hostilities. In very painful and very direct ways, Iraq is close to us.”

 (from her website) April 20, 2007

Kohl-Welles receives legislator of the year honor

OLYMPIA – For her state-level work against the Iraq War and her introduction of Senate Joint Memorial 8003, requesting the U.S. Congress to refrain from funding an escalation of the American presence in Iraq and to require the president to seek congressional approval prior to any escalation, Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, was one of three state legislators in the country to receive the “Legislator of the Year” award from the Progressive States Network at its April 19 gala in Washington, D.C.

Also honored were U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Democratic Party activist Deborah Rappaport for their efforts at the national level.

Kohl-Welles also participated in a news conference with U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and U.S. Sens. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, on efforts by state legislatures requesting Congress and the president to end the war in Iraq.

According to the Progressive States Network, Kohl-Welles is being recognized for her courageous leadership in bringing forward her petition to Congress from Washington state opposing sending more troops to Iraq.

“During the past four years, it has become quite clear that the president’s schoolyard bully approach to foreign policy is an abysmal failure,” Kohl-Welles said. “The war in Iraq has cost us too much, in lives and dollars, and I stand with the majority of Washingtonians and my constituents in the 36th Legislative District who have been outspoken in their opposition to the war and in calling for an end to this debacle.”

SJM 8003 received a public hearing in the Senate Government Operations & Elections Committee last month. Families of service members who died in action and former soldiers joined representatives from several organizations in testifying in support of the memorial.

In her testimony, Kohl-Welles spoke to the nexus between the state of Washington and the war effort.

“Our state has lost 67 sons and daughters, husbands and wives, brother and sisters there. We’ve spent more than $8.6 billion since the outbreak of hostilities. In very painful and very direct ways, Iraq is close to us.”

 

 more on Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles and also note the 29 other states that have joined an Anti-Escalation Campaign  

excerpt is from David Sirota's blog

I’m finally back home in Montana from a week-long trip on the East Coast where, among other things, I attended the Progressive States Network’s first annual gala (you may have seen it replayed on C-SPAN this weekend).

 The event followed a press conference with state legislators and U.S. Senators Harry Reid (D-NV) Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) to trumpet the 29 states that have joined the Progressive States Network’s Anti-Escalation Campaign by introducing or passing resolutions demanding President Bush stop escalating the war in Iraq.                          

           photo is of Washington State Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles accepts Progressive States Network award for her Iraq resolution

 

  Click on this link to go to this page and send message to your Legislator    

     Tell Your Legislator: Stop the Escalation

We have only a matter of time to prevent this escalation. Fortunately, brave state legislators across the country are leading the charge — demanding that Congress take strong action to prevent President Bush from escalating this war.

Fortunately, here in Washington, Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles has introduced a resolution demanding a change in policy. Now we just need more support.

Use the form below to ask your legislators to join Senator Kohl-Welles in this act of courage. A resolution passing the legislature will send an incredibly strong signal to our members of Congress that they have a responsibility to our troops and to the American people to prevent this rash action.

Please, feel free to customize the message.

 

April 24, 2007

Subject:

States have a unique role to play in the escalation debate. Any attempt to escalate the war poses grave dangers to the National Guard -- a key emergency responder to natural diasters for state governments.

This proposed escalation is opposed by military experts who know it threatens our military and will do nothing to end the civil war in Iraq.

Here in Washington, Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles is introducing a resolution opposing the escalation. As a constituent, I’d encourage you to sign on with this resolution.

We can make a difference.

Thank you,

Tracking State Action; Iraq  

 


above entry posted by Lietta Ruger


Posted by SwanDeer Project at 12:26 PM PDT
Updated: Tuesday, 24 April 2007 2:02 PM PDT
Saturday, 3 February 2007

Now Playing: Lietta Ruger at Washblog
Topic: Politicians in Action

Congressman Capuano to Vote No Supplemental Appropriations Iraq war. Will WA Congressionals vote No?

"I fully expect to vote no on the upcoming supplemental appropriations bill to continue funding the war in Iraq and I will do everything in my power to prevent an escalation of troops. We have lost far too many lives already." Congressman Michael E. Capuano (D) Massachusetts.

Imploring U.S. Representatives - WA state to vote likewise and support your colleague, U.S. Congressman Michael Capuano, in voting No on upcoming supplemental appropriations bill to continue funding the war in Iraq.
Representatives
Click on names to get to Web mail form
Senators
U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, please vote in solidarity - vote no to supplemental appropriations bill to continue funding the war in Iraq.
Cantwell, Maria- (D - WA)
(202) 224-3441
Murray, Patty- (D - WA)
(202) 224-2621

Our Military Family Speak Out (MFSO - www.mfso.org) families continue to engage U.S. Congress one on one showing the 'reasoning' as to why it is imperative to vote no on the supplemental appropriations to continue to fund the war.  Military families would not willingly  ask for legislation that would further endanger their deployed loved ones lives, and are assured there is adequate funding at this time to undertake the redeployment process to bring the troops home now.  

This is not a banner slogan or chant, but a most serious imploring Congress to act within the power imbued by the voters upon each of our U.S. Senators and Representatives to act using the power of the purse.

Understanding the serious nature of the job of Congress, we ask for a humane end to the unmitigable circumstances for our troops of what is now identified by latest Intelligence report issued this week as a   Civil War of the factions in Iraq. U.S. troops presence there can neither help nor hinder the deteriorated circumstances of Iraq.  Prospects in Iraq, based on this latest intellignece, are described equally as horrible consequences whether our troops remain or come home.  

An email I received late this week (text below) includes a letter received by one of our MFSO staff from Congressman Michael E. Capuano.  We applaud his courage and ask it of those representing Washington state in Congress.

Please help us by asking each of our U.S. Representatives and Senators to exercise the courage to say no more and vote no on supplemental appropriations.  

text of Congressman Capuano's letter to MFSO staffer:

   


  January 9, 2007

    Dear Friends,

    Thank you for your concern over what is clearly one of the most critical issues facing our nation today. As some of you may know, I have been opposed to the war in Iraq from the beginning. I opposed the October 2002 Congressional resolution authorizing President Bush to use force in Iraq and I continue to speak out against the war at all opportunities.

    I am deeply opposed to the President's proposal to increase troop levels in Iraq and I will not support any efforts to move in this direction. I believe that this is exactly the wrong way to go and I have discussed my adamant opposition with many of my colleagues, including Speaker Pelosi, who is also gravely concerned about any escalation in troops. In fact, Speaker Pelosi and Senator Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, recently sent a letter to the President, opposing a surge in troops.

    I fully expect to vote no on the upcoming supplemental appropriations bill to continue funding the war in Iraq and I will do everything in my power to prevent an escalation of troops. We have lost far too many lives already.

    I thank you for your activism and I hope that we can work together to end this war.

    Sincerely,

    Michael E. Capuano
    Member of Congress

.....While there are several recently-filed pieces of legislation that have provisions for cutting the funding for the war in Iraq and bringing our troops home, these measures if passed would be vetoed by President Bush, and there is no veto-proof margin. If the Supplemental Appropriations bill, on the other hand, is not passed by EITHER the House or the Senate, it will never land on the President's desk and can not be subject to a veto. If in the next several weeks Congress can be convinced to vote against further funding for the war in Iraq, this war can be brought to an end......

An anecdotal report of a military mother at U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Jan 30, 2007 imploring that her Marine son, broken by two deployments in Iraq, not be sent back for third deployment in Iraq.

* McMorris, Cathy(R) - 5th District
      Republican representative from Washington.
      www.mcmorris.house.gov
    * McDermott, Jim (D) - 7th District
      Democratic representative from Washington.
      www.house.gov/mcdermott
    * Smith, Adam (D) - 9th District
      Democratic representative from Washington.
      www.house.gov/adamsmith
    * Inslee, Jay (D) - 1st District
      Democratic representative from Washington.
      www.house.gov/inslee
    * Dicks, Norm (D) - 6th District
      Democratic representative from Washington.
      www.house.gov/dicks
    * Larsen, Rick (D) - 2nd District
      Democratic representative from Washington.
      www.house.gov/larsen
    * Baird, Brian (D) - 3rd District, Washington
      Democratic representative from Washington.
      www.house.gov/baird
    * Hastings, Doc (R) - 4th District
      Republican representative from Washington.
      www.house.gov/hastings
    * Reichert, Dave (R) - 8th District
      Republican representative from Washington.
      www.house.gov/reichert

U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, please vote in solidarity - vote no to supplemental appropriations bill to continue funding the war in in Iraq.

Cantwell, Maria- (D - WA)   
511 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-3441
Web Form: cantwell.senate.gov/contact/index.html

Murray, Patty- (D - WA)    Class III
173 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-2621
Web Form: murray.senate.gov/email/index.cfm


Posted by SwanDeer Project at 12:01 AM PST
Friday, 26 January 2007

Now Playing: Wsconsin Senator Russ Feingold
Topic: Politicians in Action

FEINGOLD TO CHAIR JUDICIARY HEARING ON CONGRESS'S POWER TO END A WAR


Feingold wants troops out of Iraq
Photo via WisOpinion.com

Press release on Senator Feingold's site

I went into last weekend's Citizen Hearing not yet convinced that Congress has the power to end the war with or without the President. I was also not totally convinced that impeachement was worth the effort. Senator Feingold is out to discover the answer to my first question.

Based on Bush and Cheney words and deeds over the past seven days, I've concluded that we truly have an obligation as duty-bound citizens - at the highest level of civic responsibility - to go as far toward impeachment as we can.

 


FEINGOLD TO CHAIR JUDICIARY HEARING ON CONGRESS'S POWER TO END A WAR

January 25, 2007

Washington, D.C. - On Tuesday, January 30th, U.S. Senator Russ Feingold will chair a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing entitled, "Exercising Congress's Constitutional Power to End a War." Earlier this month, Feingold, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution, became the first Senator to call on Congress to use its power of the purse to redeploy our troops safely from Iraq so that we can refocus on the global terrorist networks that threaten our national security. Feingold proposed this action after President George Bush announced plans to escalate our military involvement in Iraq despite the objections of members of both parties, military and foreign policy experts, and the American people.

"Congress holds the power of the purse and if the President continues to advance his failed Iraq policy, we have the responsibility to use that power to safely redeploy our troops from Iraq," Feingold said. "This hearing will help inform my colleagues and the public about Congress's power to end a war and how that power has been used in the past. I will soon be introducing legislation to use the power of the purse to end what is clearly one of the greatest mistakes in the history of our nation's foreign policy."

Witnesses at the hearing will include:

    * Louis Fisher, Library of Congress:
    * Prof. Walter Dellinger, Duke University School of Law, former Solicitor General of the United States
    * Prof. David Barron, Harvard Law School
    * Prof. Robert Turner, University of Virginia Law School

Who: U.S. Senator Russ Feingold, Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on the Constitution

What: Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing -- "Exercising Congress's Constitutional Power to End a War." Feingold will chair the full committee hearing.

Where: SD - 226

When: Tuesday, January 30th - 10:00 am ET

Senator Feingold's remarks from yesterday's Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting regarding the need to end our involvement in Iraq can be viewed and heard here: http://feingold.senate.gov/~feingold/statements/07/01/20070124.htm.

Our generation taught our children's generation - whether our kids are truly aware and appreciate it - that citizen opinion and action can vigorously and effectively shove the government in the right direction.

And a reminder, as we were told at the hearing, it was citizen action, not Congressmen threatening to withold funding, that stopped Nixon from tossing nukes into the VietNam war in late 1969 OR 70.


Posted by SwanDeer Project at 12:01 AM PST
Thursday, 27 July 2006

Now Playing: Lietta Ruger at Washblog
Topic: Politicians in Action

Heads Up WA Legislators; Congresswoman Woolsey calls for Repeal of President's Iraq War Powers

Legislation introduced to repeal President's Iraq war powers .. does it have teeth?  Message for our current, seated U.S. Senators and Representatives from WA state; please review and don't miss yet another opportunity to do something concrete in bringing common sense Congressional action to bear on issue of Iraq war.  With President announcement yesterday to send in additional 5,000 troops due to the uprising in Baghdad; Tacoma News Tribune reports more from Fort Lewis Stryker brigade may be sent to Baghdad; U.S. talk of sending troops into Lebanon; and U.S. hold out nation objecting to cease-fire in Israel/Lebanon combat fighting.......

Please, it's way past time to use the power of Congress to effect shift/change in this paradigm of U.S. military being the cannon fodder in perpetual combat in Middle East.

See more on HR 5878, Congressman Lynn Woolsey introduced July 25, 2006

NEWS from CONGRESSWOMAN LYNN WOOLSEY 6th District, California
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Chris Shields July 25, 2006 202-225-5161

CONGRESSWOMAN WOOLSEY CALLS FOR REPEAL OF PRESIDENT'S IRAQ WAR POWERS
- Says Congress never authorized an occupation of Iraq -

Washington, D.C. - One of the most outspoken critics of the war in Iraq, Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey (D-Petaluma) today introduced H.R. 5878, legislation that would repeal the President's War Powers for the Iraq War. While the Congress authorized President Bush to wage war against Iraq in 2002, the original authorization did not anticipate an open-ended U.S. military campaign against Iraq, or the occupation that currently exists.

"Six weeks after we invaded Iraq, President Bush stood aboard an aircraft carrier before a banner that read 'Mission Accomplished,' declaring that 'major combat operations in Iraq are over,' Woolsey said. "From that moment on, we were no longer fighting a war, but rather participating in an occupation. You can not win an occupation!"

Not only did Congress not authorize the long-term occupation of Iraq, but our troops' presence is contributing to the state of civil war that exists in the country. According to the United Nations, the violence in Iraq is increasing, with an average of 100 Iraqis dying every day.

"Rescinding the President's War Powers in Iraq is the least that we can do for our troops, and for their families who anxiously await their return," Woolsey said. "With over 2,550 brave men and women having given their lives, and thousands seriously wounded, how many more must die before we put an end to this madness?

"By repealing the Iraq War Powers, Congress would resume its Constitutional role overseeing the use of military force, and would reassert its authority by bringing our troops home."

Woolsey was joined by 18 other original co-sponsors of the legislation, in no particular order they include: Barbara Lee (D-CA); Dennis Kucinich (D-OH); Maxine Waters (D-CA); Maurice Hinchey (D-NY); James Moran (D-VA); Major Owens (D-NY); Cynthia McKinney (D-GA); Fortney "Pete" Stark (D-CA); Bob Filner (D-CA); Julia Carson (D-IN); Chaka Fattah (D-PA); Carolyn Kilpatrick (D - MI); Marty Meehan (D-MA); Donald Payne (D-NJ); Jose Serrano (D-NY); Danny Davis (D-IL); David Wu (D-OR) and Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX).

 see link to same here        


Posted by SwanDeer Project at 12:01 AM PDT
Thursday, 20 July 2006

Now Playing: Lietta Ruger at Washblog
Topic: Politicians in Action

U.S. Rep. Brian Baird - WA stands with 'Operation House Call' in DC


U.S. Rep. Brian Baird from Washington state joins MFSO members in D.C. participating in 'Operation House Call'

Good on you Rep. Baird; who represents us in the southwest part of WA state.  Thank you for standing with the good people of 'Operation House Call' in Washington D.C..  We, from Pacific County and other southwest counties in WA state are proud of U.S. Representative Baird! Thank you, Sir, for honoring our efforts both in D.C. and here at home.

I've shared the story here at Washblog of Operation House Call campaign, which is summer long campaign with military families who have deployed (x 2,3 and more times), returning or killed loved ones in Iraq/Afghanistan (you know - us ordinary citizens) interacting directly with U.S. Congress - Senators and Representatives - from any and all political parties.  The premise of Operation House Call was born out of a little idea here in WA state which fostered the growth of a national campaign.  In the 100 + degree weather in D.C., military families from different states across the nation stand each day in front of the boot vigil.  Each day visits with Congress are scheduled and 'Operation House Call' is keeping a blog to report on events of the day; actions and reactions of their house calls on our U.S. Congress as Congress does it's work in D.C..  

The boot vigil message is one I have posted here before; if we wait until elections, we can accurately estimate 2 of our U.S. soldiers a day will die in Iraq; along with uncounted Iraqi civilians.  By the time of Nov 06 elections, 350 more U.S. troops will be counted among the growing number of those killed in Iraq.  Boots, representing those U.S. soldiers newly killed in Iraq each day continue to be added to the vigil with each passing day. Civilian and children shoes are added each day representing the uncounted Iraqi families who die each day as U.S. troop presence in Iraq continues.

At this time in Seattle, I'm given to understand a smaller version of this same vigil under auspices of Operation House Call is planned or already underway at the Federal Plaza. If you see the boots vigil in Seattle, why not stop by and say a word or two to those fine people in Seattle.  

I extend an invitation to both our U.S. Senators; Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray to stop by and visit Operation House Call while you are in D.C..  


Posted by SwanDeer Project at 12:01 AM PDT
Updated: Sunday, 18 March 2007 10:17 AM PDT

Now Playing: Lietta Ruger at Washblog
Topic: Politicians in Action

Senator Cantwell - Thank You! Knew you had it in you! Proud of you!

Friends, I have reason to sing Senator Cantwell's praises today!  Amen! And despite my many blog posts here at Washblog calling Sen. Cantwell to her own giftedness, I am pleased to be smiling on her today.  

From Stacy Bannerman, Kent, WA, wife of returning Iraq veteran (WA Natl Guard) comes this news today.  She is member family of Military Families Speak Out; WA state chapter; on advisory board of national Military Families Speak Out and has participated in one of our three meetings in Seattle with Sen. Cantwell.  Stacy is heading up Operation House Call in D.C. and her blog today reports;  (I can't believe it and I'm beaming here)

When Baird was pressed to name the exact resolution he had signed on to calling for the return of our soldiers from Iraq, he couldn't say.  We did secure a commitment from him to look into endorsing HR 4232, McGovern's resolution.  which, in an unexpected turn of events, Senator Maria Cantwell, (D-WA), had said she would review with the idea of considering presenting a companion bill in the Senate.

McGovern's Resolution calls for the immediate discontinuation of all funding for the war in Iraq, with the exception of such monies as would allow for the safe and orderly return of the troops.

Note; Jessie Archibald, WA, also a member of MFSO - WA chapter, who has deployed son in Iraq is also in D.C. this week participating in Operation House Call.  Proud to see Jessie, fairly new speaking out military family in WA get to participate in what seems (to me) monumental movement from Sen Cantwell regarding her (Sen. Cantwell's) position on Iraq.

 copy of Stacy's blog today at Operation House Call Operation House Call

 Week Four, Day Three
Posted by Stacy Bannerman on

Folks on the ground for yet another sweltering day were Al, Audrey, Billie, Jessie, and Stacy.  Billie and Jessie spent some time on the Senate side, hoping to connect with folks from the NAACP, but got a surprisingly lukewarm response. On the House side, a number of elderly folks walked by the site, loudly proclaiming that we needed to keep the troops in Iraq and "fight the terrorists over there."  Inside the Longworth Building, Washington State residents Jessie Archibald and Stacy Bannerman met with Congressman Brian Baird, (D-WA).  The candid Congressman didn't mince words when speaking about the decision to invade Iraq, calling it "the single biggest foreign policy mistake in history", and had a few other choice remarks about the administration.  He proclaimed that he had voted against the invasion of Iraq, and remarked on the power of our vigil in front of the Cannon Building.  But he believed now that we had a responsibility to make things better for the people of Iraq, at which point Jessie reminded him that his primary responsibility was to his constituents, which included the men and women stationed at Fort Lewis.  Stacy laid out the obvious, telling him, "If someone breaks into your house under false pretenses, thinking there's a fire, for example, only to find that it's a picture of a fire, and then proceeds to rape your wife, kill your children, destroy your belongings, and gut the whole infrastructure of the house, do you ask him to stick around and re-build?  And just because he buys you a dishwasher, is that going to make it okay?"

When Baird was pressed to name the exact resolution he had signed on to calling for the return of our soldiers from Iraq, he couldn't say.  We did secure a commitment from him to look into endorsing HR 4232, McGovern's resolution.  which, in an unexpected turn of events, Senator Maria Cantwell, (D-WA), had said she would review with the idea of considering presenting a companion bill in the Senate. Stacy Bannerman made sure that Cantwell fully understood that McGovern's Resolution calls for the immediate discontinuation of all funding for the war in Iraq, with the exception of such monies as would allow for the safe and orderly return of the troops.  In the late afternoon meeting with the Senator on Tuesday, she repeatedly spoke about needing to flex "the power of the purse", and even thanked Stacy and Jessie for their advocacy.  Could Cantwell be the dark horse of the Democrats?

Stacy finished the day with a very brief, but extremely productive meeting with Congressman Kucinich (D-OH), who immediately agreed to initiate the process for a convening a hearing before his subcommittee on the human costs of war, with testimony from those who pay the price.

Report filed by Stacy Bannerman

Note: additional link to Stacy Bannerman ; author of 'When the War Came Home' published March 2006.


Posted by SwanDeer Project at 12:01 AM PDT
Updated: Sunday, 18 March 2007 10:22 AM PDT
Monday, 18 October 2004

Now Playing: Kerry Campaign
Topic: Politicians in Action

 

Kerry campaign courts military-family voters

By Warren Cornwall
Seattle Times staff reporter

[Excerpts below. Click here to read the entire article.

Lietta Ruger, mother-in-law and aunt to soldiers sent to Iraq, has spent months speaking out against the war.

Last night was the first time she publicly spoke out for Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaign.

Ruger and her husband drove from southwestern Washington yesterday to meet in a Kent living room with several women touring the country for the Democrat's campaign in a bid to show that military families are unhappy with President Bush's handling of the war.

"I think the only opportunity this country has is for a change in commander-in-chief," Ruger said to the roughly dozen people who gathered over coffee and chocolate-chip cookies.

... Ruger, who grew up in a military family, has been active with a national anti-war group called Military Families Speak Out. She said she opposed the invasion of Iraq from the outset, feeling it had no relationship to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that put the nation on a war footing. In late 2003, she turned to Internet chat rooms in search of support and a community.

There she found the military families group and began speaking out against the war, breaking what she described as a taboo among military families against criticizing the president. But she didn't decide to publicly back Kerry until a recent meeting between several Washington military families and members of the Kerry campaign, including Wade Sanders, an undersecretary of the Navy in the Clinton administration.

Regardless of who wins the presidential race, Ruger plans to continue pushing for better protection of the troops.  

The restriction on criticizing the president wasn't apparent in Stacy Bannerman's living room yesterday.

The people there, nearly all of them women, spoke of relatives in the military going without proper supplies, of constant anxiety that the latest combat casualties would include a loved one, and of frustration with a war with no apparent end in sight.

Several praised 18 soldiers who reportedly refused orders to take part in a recent convoy amid concerns that they didn't have adequate security or equipment.

Bannerman is a member of Military Families Speak Out. Her husband, Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Lorin Bannerman, is serving at Logistical Support Area Anaconda. The massive supply base northwest of Baghdad is frequently the target of mortar shelling by insurgents, and is run by Washington state's 81st Brigade Combat Team, an Army National Guard unit.

Officials there recently said they have requested more soldiers to quell the mortar attacks, but they have been turned down, according to a report in The Baltimore Sun.

"They're operating under surreal shortages," Bannerman said. She said her husband's service in the National Guard was supposed to end in June, but he now is being required to stay until April.

Warren Cornwall: 206-464-2311 or wcornwall@seattletimes.com


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