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Military Families Reject 12 Month Tours of Duty As Solution to an Unjustifiable War

April 10, 2008
1:26 PM

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

Military Families Reject 12 Month Tours of Duty As Solution to an Unjustifiable War

WASHINGTON, DC - April 10 - Military Families Speak Out released a statement today in response to President Bush's announcement that he plans to keep 140,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, but will reduce the length of new deployments from 15 months to 12 months beginning in August.

Over the last two days General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker briefed Congress on the war in Iraq, recommending a “stay the course” strategy that will keep 140,000 U.S. troops in Iraq indefinitely. Today President Bush is expected to concur,, and, responding to concerns about a ‘broken military’ and strains on military families from the length and frequency of current deployments, order the Army to begin 12-month rather than 15-month standard deployments beginning this August.

Military Families Speak Out, the largest organization of military families to speak out against a war in the history of this country, rejects the continuation of a war that should never have happened, a war in which the rising violence is once again taking the lives of two U.S. troops and countless Iraqi children, women and men daily. We call on American people need to demand that our elected leaders bring all of our troops serving in Iraq back to their home duty stations and get them the care they need when they return.

Fifteen and eighteen-month deployments, repeat deployments, and stop-loss orders have indeed taken a tremendous toll on our loved ones and our families. But so too do twelve-month deployments to this war based on lies. A study by two U.S. psychiatrists following World War II concluded that 240 days in combat is enough to break even the staunchest of soldiers. Members of Military Families Speak Out have experienced the wounding, and the death, of loved ones within days of a first deployment. Our members have watched as loved ones sink into the depths of darkness from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and take their own lives including those who have served six month deployments.. Taking three months off standard deployments is cold comfort to military families as we witness dramatically rising suicide rate among our troops, the epidemic of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the destruction of body, spirit and family from deployments to a war that should never have started. The only way to stop the trauma that is devastating our troops and their families is to end the unjustifiable war in Iraq and bring all of our troops home.

The solution now lies with Congress. President Bush can not spend a dime on the war in Iraq without the approval of both houses of Congress. Military Families Speak Out calls on Congress to reject any bill that continues to fund the war rather than funding the quick and safe return of all of our troops. We call on the people of this country to appeal to our Senators -- including those currently campaigning for President who claim to oppose the war in Iraq – to lead and sustain a filibuster that will stop funding the war that is killing our troops. Congress has the power to end this war; it is long past time for them to use it

Members of Military Families Speak Out are available for interview -- including families with loved ones currently serving in Iraq, families whose loved ones have died as a result of this war, families of troops who have suffered physical and psychological injuries, and families of those awaiting deployment or re-deployment.

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


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