We are a military family with 2 returning Iraq veterans; OIF, March 2003 - August 2004, He deployed to Iraq in his second stop-loss extended 15 month deployment; Dec 2007 - April 2008. Now he has standing orders for deployment to Afghanistan. I believe it is a sacrifice too large to ask of him, his wife and their three children.
'Let's go home son' is how we captioned the photo
Sunday, September 11, 2005
Surprise and pleasure:This Bus Tour update sent me from an Ohio Mother
Received this today via our MFSO Pac NW email address. Lietta said she's been handing out our cards. Nothing from Lietta nor me today could ever match what this says.
OHIO CARAVAN WITH… "BRING THEM HOME NOW TOUR"
I am a mother of a 19 year old 3/25 Lima Co. Marine serving in Iraq. One third of his Unit has been kia or injured. In early August after losing 22 Marines in less than a week, fearing for my son’s life and driven by conviction, I began my journey to change the direction our country has been going.
I have been waiting for my son’s safe return before speaking out publicly. There is such confusion in our country about patriotism and supporting our troops while being against the war.
I stood at a Marine Family Meeting and told the Major and those present that it was time to bring the Ohio Marines home. I shouted out," My son is not expendable." I wrote to my senators asking for their help. I received no response. I refused to be powerless. I began thinking that Mothers had to win our country back and was planning to organize a Mother’s March on Washington.
I found the web site, www.truthout.org. Here I found Camp Casey, Military Families Speak Out, Veterans for Peace, Iraqi Vets Against the War etc. I had never heard of any of these people. I found that there already was a huge march planned for September 24th. WOW! GREAT! I didn’t have to take on the huge task of planning a march. Phew! I just had to go!
And this tells me there is a larger movement … that is in our bones and is beginning to surface.
I wanted to go to Camp Casey but couldn’t because of scheduled meetings with the Marines to prepare for the homecoming of our boys. I saw the central Bring Them Home Now Tour plans to DC and realized I could caravan with them to Columbus, Toledo and Cleveland and maybe Pittsburgh!
I contacted a Cincinnati center to see if we could get them to stop in Cincinnati.. So, my tour began in Cincinnati. I offered housing and breakfast.
It was great to meet them. They are "my kind of people." They are not off the wall, emotional fanatics. They are normal citizens willing to take risks as they speak out from their own experience and knowledge and with integrity against an incredible, illegal and disastrous war. They are compassionate people who suffer the loss of their beloved and they ask why? And they work hard to restore humanity, dignity and respect to our country. And they demand accountability and challenge our leadership to step up to the plate or get out of the way.
I was able to speak at the forums in Columbus and Cleveland. I spoke as a mother who watched five mothers bury their sons in the Cincinnati area in August. I shared the terror that I live with. The sleepless nights. The days and nights of anguish. "How desperately I want my son to live and have hope. He is so young, so idealistic, so confident, so trusting."
I was able to visit the offices of the senators who still had not responded to my letters. With others from the Tour we spoke of the many issues involved with this war… depleted uranium, stop-loss, inadequate equipment, not enough men, operatives and the lies and deceit that led the American people into it.
We asked the aides, after we broke through the shell that tells you to "make it quick, I am busy and really don’t want to listen to you" to ask the Senators what they want their legacy to be. We asked them to tell the Senators to look again at the war and why we are there. Not with their jobs in mind or their political party, but to look with their human heart and their conscience. We told them if they see the truth and act from the truth…good will follow.
We participated in rallies and visited with many Americans who are sick of this war and the lies that keep us there and the dishonor it has brought to our country. We met enraged Americans.
There is much more to say about this BTHN Tour. It is an important moment. And the March September 24th will be historical.
I am convinced that out country is at a historical turning point… " and the people will lead."
I said to my son, "Mike, you have no idea how precious you are to me and dad, your brother and sister." " I know" "We will not let you get away so easily again." "I know you won’t!" "Mike, I am not afraid of the Marines. I am not afraid of the Government, and I am not afraid of the President. I am your Mom!" Chuckling…"I love you, Mom."
I will work so Mike and other sons will not have their generosity, their courage, their integrity, their desire to serve, their desire to make a difference compromised. I want my son to always be proud that he is a Marine.