Military Families Speak Out (MFSO): Stop Playing Political Games With Our Troops' Paychecks!

May 22, 2008
9:39 AM

CONTACT: Military Families Speak Out (MFSO)
Sean Donahue, 617-983-0710,
Nancy Lessin, 617-320-5301,

Military Families Say: Stop Playing Political Games With Our Troops' Paychecks!
NATIONWIDE - May 22 - Military Families Speak Out is calling on the Bush Administration and the Department of Defense to stop using scare tactics to arm-twist Congress into another round of funding for the war in . In the past, fears that our troops would be without ammunition and armor, and that military families on bases would go without child care were used to pressure Congress to pass supplemental war funding bills. Now, military families across the country are hearing rumors that troops may stop receiving paychecks this summer if Congress doesn't pass a bill funding the war in well into 2009. These rumors originated with comments made by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates when he appeared before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday, May 20. Secretary Gates stated that payroll accounts for soldiers would run dry beginning in June.

Lisa Leitz, a member of Military Families Speak Out from Buellton, CA, said:

"Secretary Gates is engaging in a scare tactic where once again our troops are used as pawns in a political game. The Pentagon has a $481.4 billion budget from which it could pay the troops and fund their benefits. The supplemental appropriations bill now before Congress specifically funds the continuation of an illegal and immoral war that has already killed and physically and psychologically injured too many of our loved ones. As the spouse of Navy pilot on his second deployment, I was thrilled to see the House do the right thing and cut the funding for this war, and I hope the Senate will do the same."

Stacy Bannerman, a member of Military Families Speak Out from Medford, OR, whose husband is preparing for his second deployment to with the Washington Army National Guard said:

"To threaten to withhold paying the men and women in uniform (and the families they support ) who are alone bearing the burden of the failed war in is the definition of 'unpatriotic.'

"Once again, the Department of Defense is making our troops and military families pay the price for their failure to plan. Whether it's shortchanging troops on body armor, a lack of uparmored HMMVs and MRAPs, denial of post-combat care, or redeploying the 81st Brigade two years earlier than the Pentagon policy allows, the government's only consistent pattern is one of lies and broken promises - and our troops and their families pay the price in terms of lives lost or destroyed, and broken hearts, homes, and minds."

Morgan Pardee, a member of Military Families Speak Out from Issaquah, WA, whose son is a Sergeant in the Army, said:

" This war was started by Bush's administration and needs to end with his administration. Congress must continue funding our troops' quality of life benefits -- such as pay and health care -- without funding the war in . Supporting the war does not support our troops."

Members of Military Families Speak Out are available for interview -- including those whose loved ones are now serving in , have recently returned from , or will soon be deploying to .

Military Families Speak Out ( is a national organization of almost 4,000 families who are opposed to the war in and have loved ones who serve or have served in the military since the fall of 2002.