Military Families Respond to Announcement of Increased Troop Deployments to Afghanistan

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daytonmfso_150December 2, 2009 – Nationwide – Military Families Speak Out, an organization of over 4,000 military families opposed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, issued the following statement regarding last night’s speech by President Obama regarding Afghanistan.

Contact Deborah Forter at Military Families Speak Out, 617-983-0710 or press@mfso.org      President Obama’s decision to escalate the war in Afghanistan by deploying another 30,000 troops has sent the message to military families across the United States that the President is willing to gamble in a no-win situation with the lives of our loved ones and the loved ones of others. President Obama’s surge of U.S. troops will not make the U.S. safer, nor will it bring peace and stability to the Afghan people; it will add more fuel to the fires now raging there. It will mean more deaths of military personnel and of civilians. Sending more troops will not end this war; bringing them home now will.   

In the 9th year of this conflict it should be clear that there is no military solution. Military families do not need more of our loved ones coming home in flag-draped coffins. New deaths will not honor those who have already died, or their families. We know that the increase in deaths we will see from this war escalation will not just come from weapons like IED’s and RPG’s. Record breaking rates of suicide, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, depression, anxiety, and substance abuse are the result of seemingly endless and pointless war.  
 
science_abuse_0731_150We take no comfort from the goals and objectives laid out in this war escalation strategy. What President Obama failed to acknowledge are the ongoing impacts of this war on the Afghan people, on our troops, and their families. We know the real outcomes of this strategy: the growing numbers of family members here and in Afghanistan mourning for lost loved ones, more families torn apart, and children crying for their parents’ return.
 
The only surge that we should be seeing now is an immediate surge of troops homeward – with U.S. troops in both Afghanistan and Iraq being brought home quickly and safely. Once home, our troops must receive the care they need to begin healing from physical and psychological injuries of war which have been heightened by their multiple and extended deployments.  

mfso_index_ban_150With the Commander in Chief now having [abandoned military families and] embarked on a very wrong course of action in Afghanistan, it is incumbent upon Congress to support our troops by refusing to fund the continuation and escalation of this war, and the death and destruction it will bring. It is past time for Congress to use their "power of the purse" to bring all of our troops home now.
 
Members of Military Families Speak Out, including families with loved ones currently in Afghanistan or those facing deployment or redeployment, along with members of Gold Star Families Speak Out whose loved ones have died as a result of these wars, are available for interview.

 To arrange for an interview, contact Deborah Forter at Military Families Speak Out, 617-983-0710 or press@mfso.org For more information about Military Families Speak Out, see http://www.mfso.org; for more information about Gold Star Families Speak Out see http://www.gsfso.org.

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Readers are more than welcome to use the articles I've posted on Veterans Today, I've had to take a break from VT as Veterans Issues and Peace Activism Editor and staff writer due to personal medical reasons in our military family that take away too much time needed to properly express future stories or respond to readers in a timely manner. My association with VT since its founding in 2004 has been a very rewarding experience for me. Retired from both the Air Force and Civil Service. Went in the regular Army at 17 during Vietnam (1968), stayed in the Army Reserve to complete my eight year commitment in 1976. Served in Air Defense Artillery, and a Mechanized Infantry Division (4MID) at Fort Carson, Co. Used the GI Bill to go to college, worked full time at the VA, and non-scholarship Air Force 2-Year ROTC program for prior service military. Commissioned in the Air Force in 1977. Served as a Military Intelligence Officer from 1977 to 1994. Upon retirement I entered retail drugstore management training with Safeway Drugs Stores in California. Retail Sales Management was not my cup of tea, so I applied my former U.S. Civil Service status with the VA to get my foot in the door at the Justice Department, and later Department of the Navy retiring with disability from the Civil Service in 2000. I've been with Veterans Today since the site originated. I'm now on the Editorial Board. I was also on the Editorial Board of Our Troops News Ladder another progressive leaning Veterans and Military Family news clearing house. I remain married for over 45 years. I am both a Vietnam Era and Gulf War Veteran. I served on Okinawa and Fort Carson, Colorado during Vietnam and in the Office of the Air Force Inspector General at Norton AFB, CA during Desert Storm. I retired from the Air Force in 1994 having worked on the Air Staff and Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon.