Soldiers, Families Speak Out on War
Thursday 03 June @ 14:26:52
“My daughter enlisted in the Oregon National Guard in 1999. She is a highly trained Army engineer, and her contract specifically read that she would never be in combat … Her unit was told they would build schools and homes in Iraq, that they would be welcomed as liberators. Instead she was put behind a 50-caliber machine gun, with no body armor, or even any ammo at first … she rode on roads covered with depleted uranium dust and littered with burned cars full of dead bodies.”
— Adele Kubein, mother of a soldier wounded in Iraq; from a speech in Portland, Oregon, to introduce Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich.
“Our president may be a war president, but I don’t believe the American people want an open-ended war based on lies, secrecy and deceit. Let the media, and the rest of America see the coffins when they return to U.S. soil. It’s the least we can do. Our children did not live in secrecy, they should not be shrouded in secrecy upon their passing.”
— Jane Bright, mother of Evan Ashcraft, killed in Iraq July 24, 2003; letter to Military Families Speak Out.
“Bring our troops home now. Not one more Mother deserves to bury her child.”
—– Lila Lipscomb, mother of Sgt. Michael F. Pedersen, killed in Iraq April 2, 2003; letter to Military Families Speak Out.
“This has completely changed my view of the administration. My husband is a soldier and his job is to fight for freedom. But after so many months and so many deaths, no one has shown us any weapons of mass destruction or given us any explanation.”
— Sammie Drown, wife of soldier in Iraq; quoted in the New York Times, April 11, 2004.+
“You inherited peace and prosperity and created murder, mayhem, and massive debt. According to the ongoing investigation of the helicopter crash that took Brian's and 15 other American lives, the Illinois National Guard aircraft were sent into the field without basic survivability equipment, to accommodate your "shoot and bomb first, think and investigate later" brand of foreign policy. We don't need a trigger happy president.”
— Rosemarie Dietz Slavenas, mother of Brian Slavenas, killed in Iraq November 2, 2003; open Letter to George W. Bush.
“The war is supposed to be over, but every day we hear of another soldier getting killed. Is it worth it? Saddam isn’t in power anymore. The locals want us to leave. Why are we still here?”
— Sergeant with the U.S. Army’s 4th Infantry Division; quoted in the Washington Post, June 30, 2003.
Today marks a year since the death of the son I adore, Jesus Alberto ... a year of yet another of Bush's lies, lying to my family about the causes of his death; a year of insult to the memory of my son by Bush for trying to avoid paying the costs of his burial.”
— Fernando Suarez del Solar, father of Jesus Alberto, killed in Iraq March 27, 2003; letter to Military Families Speak Out.
“My nephew is a vehicle mechanic stationed somewhere north of Baghdad. His mother, my sister, goes to sleep every night, wondering if her son will ever come home to her. Her life goes on, but every day she steels herself against the possibility that she will get a notification that her son has died in a faraway land.
It grieves her even more to know that he has spent over six months there, risking his life for a false cause. She is one of over 120,000 American mothers who fear for their children's lives.”
— Robert Smith, in a speech at the Unity Festival in Tokyo, October 18, 2003.
“Sherwood never did own a Hummer; he was a gunner on a Humvee. Today, he’s not lying on the couch in his remodeled living room with a Big Screen TV and surround sound, playing video games with his son. He’s lying alone in his grave. Sherwood worked until the very end—he died pulling perimeter security for the Iraqi Survey Group. This group has assumed the responsibility of finding those elusive weapons of mass destruction (WMD)—any WMD—with the high hopes of making an honest man out of the President.”
Dante Zappala, brother of Sherwood Baker, killed in Iraq in March; letter to the Los Angeles Times.
“I’ll kill for a ticket home.”
Message scrawled by a soldier on a Fallujah rooftop; quoted in the Washington Post, June 30, 2003