Letter From a Military Mom

these are toy soldiers, Mr. Bush. play with them

My friend Claudine asked me to post this letter from a military mom:

Four years ago, I was watching TV, buying stuff and getting ready for Andy’s high school graduation. Then he joined the Marines and turned our world up side down. He’s now dealing with hearing loss, anger issues and PTSD, and even though he has less than seven months to go, he said he’s not leaving base for fear of doing something that might extend his contract. During these past years, there have been days I could barely speak, nights I couldn’t sleep and times I was paralyzed with fear for his safety. And now his Commander in Chief wants to subject 21,000 more troops to a war that began with a lie.

We are now spending eight billion dollars a month on this war. Within the next two months a bill asking for more will go before the Appropriations Committee. I believe it will ask for 100 billion dollars.

Our congressional representatives must vote to defund the war, as it is the only solid recourse they have. They must refuse to allocate any more monies for the escalation.

You might hear about the Democrats pushing for a resolution to stop the escalation of the war, but a resolution would be vetoed by the President. The Dems would look like good guys, but the troops would still go to Iraq.

The only power the congressional representatives have is to refuse to give Mr. Bush a penny more. The Supreme Court has ruled that “funding a war is the same as authorizing war”, so if they agree to one more dollar, they agree to the continuation of the war in Iraq. If you do not speak up now, it will no longer be Bush’s war. It will be your war.

Money now remaining from the 500 billion that was previously appropriated can be used to bring the troops back to their duty stations. Or, Congress could ask specifically for a reprogramming of money to bring the troops home. What we do not want them to do is pass a resolution against escalation of the war or vote in favor of funds earmarked for the war in Iraq.

I belong to a national organization called Military Families Speak Out. As parents and loved ones of soldiers and Marines, we would never, never, never call for the defunding of the war if it would put our children at risk. Defunding would bring them home where they can begin to heal.

One last thought. We have nearly destroyed a country and its people, and it is our responsibility to make it up to them through reconstruction. We need to give resources to the Iraqi people so they may begin to rebuild their lives. However, our military is not trained to rebuild and when they try, they become targets.

The Madhi army (Shia) in Sadr City is 60,000 strong and it is my understanding that they are allowed to run free. There is a $500 “reward” for each soldier or Marine killed; this in a city where the average monthly income is $400. If our troops go into Sadr City, which seems to be the intent, imagine how many more will die. There will be no stability whatsoever, just chaos.

What I ask of you is to act. Do something. Write to your congressman before March, join in a rally, camp outside your representative’s office. DO SOMETHING. Get out of your comfort zone and stand up for your country and for yourself. Join a group like Arvada Peace and Justice or Women in Black or Code Pink or Military Families Speak Out. Please, just do something for the troops other than putting magnets on your car.

Gaye Lowe-Kaplan


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