Military Families Come to Washington to Push for End to Iraq War

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Sean Donahue, Communications Director, 978-809-8054, press@mfso.org

Military Families Come to Washington to Push for End to Iraq War

Saturday Morning Procession Planned From Arlington National Cemetery to White House

WASHINGTON - Members of Military Families Speak Out from across the U.S. will hold a
solemn procession from Arlington National Cemetery to the White House
beginning at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday February 7th to bring President Obama
the message that they want him to bring an immediate end to the war in
Iraq that has already claimed the lives of over 4,200 U.S. troops and more
than a million Iraqis. Families will bring flowers - blue to
symbolize Blue Star families who currently have a loved one serving in the
military; gold, symbolizing Gold Star families whose loved ones have
died as a result of the war in Iraq; and red for Iraqis who have died in
this war. On Monday morning, military families will bring the same
message to Capitol Hill: End the war in Iraq, and bring our troops home
now.

Dr. Javad Razani of Los Angeles, CA is
the father of Spc. Omead Razani who was killed while serving as an Army
medic in Iraq in 2004.  Dr. Razani says "I march to honor
the democracy my son joined the Army to serve. As a member of this
democracy, I feel my duty is to speak out about how this country's finest,
the men and women who serve us, are treated and where they are sent in our
name. I march because I want President Obama to deal with the realities
of the Middle East, not to continue the misguided policies of the past
administration. President Obama, pleasebring the troops home as swiftly
and safely as possible."

Celeste Zappala of Philadelphia, PA says
"Our walk from Arlington to the White House is a symbol of the
walk that families of the fallen make everyday- we mourn and miss our
heroes, our lives will never be the same, and we promise in their name to
do everything we can to bring the troops home and never again commit to a
needless war- this is the message of our feet and the tears in our
eyes."
Zappala is the mother of Sgt. Sherwood Baker who was
killed in Iraq in 2004  while serving with a Pennsylvania National
Guard unit charged with searching for weapons of mass destruction.

Stacy Bannerman of Medford, OR says "My husband is
serving his second deployment in a pre-emptive war of choice that was
wrong from the start.  His National Guard Brigade has one of the
highest rates of soldier suicides in the US military.  President
Obama remarked that military families 'are carrying an enormous
burden.'  Make no mistake about it, the heaviest part of that burden
is knowing that we are sacrificing another year or more, time with our
loved ones and families that we will never get back, while our soldiers
risk the loss of life, or limb, or peace of mind, for a war based on
lies."

Larry Syverson of Richmond, VA is hoping
President Obama won't send his son back to Iraq. "I'm the
father of three active duty sons who have served five tours in Iraq. 
On Saturday, I will be carrying two signs as I march from Arlington
National Cemetery to the White House.  One will have a picture of my
oldest son and will ask President Obama to not send him back to Iraq this
spring.  The second sign will include the number of troops who have
died in Iraq since President Obama took office.  The President and
the American public must continually be reminded of the unacceptable
burden this illegal war places on military families."

Paula Rogovin of Teaneck, NJ is the mother of a Marine who has served
two tours of duty in Iraq.  She says "Our hearts break to
think of our beloved troops and the Iraqi people who died in this illegal
and immoral war in Iraq, a war based on lies. Our loved ones joined the
military in good faith but have been abused by repeated deployments to
Iraq. The misuse and abuse of our military is a national disgrace. This
must be stopped. The only way to prevent more deaths and injuries is to
end the war in Iraq immediately, and to bring all of our troops home from
Iraq."

Members of Military Familes
Speak Out and Gold Star Families Speak Out are available for interview.
They will also be available to speak with prior to the 11 a.m. procession
on Saturday, February
7
th, and
when the procession arrives at the White
House.

###

Military Families Speak Out (MFSO) is an organization of people opposed to the war in Iraq who have relatives or loved ones who are currently in the military or who have served in the military since the buildup to the Iraq war in the fall of 2002. Formed by two families in November of 2002, we have contacts with military families throughout the United States, and in other countries around the world. Our membership currently includes over 3,400 military families, with new families joining daily.

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