The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Donahue, Communications Director 617-983-0710 (w), 978-809-8054 (c),

Military Families to President-Elect Obama: An Immediate End to the War in Iraq Is the Change We Need


After five years of working to end the
occupation of Iraq and bring their loved ones home,
members of Military
Families Speak Out are expressing hope that with the election of Barack
an end may finally be in sight to a war that has claimed the lives of
4,190 U.S. troops and over a million Iraqis.

At the same
time, they are appealing to President-Elect Obama
to commit to making the immediate and complete return of all U.S.
troops from Iraq
his first order of business. Obama
said that he plans to withdraw combat troops from Iraq
over a sixteen month period, which would continue the U.S.
military occupation of Iraq
past 2009, and leave tens of thousands of U.S.
troops tasked with security, counter-terrorism, and training missions
in Iraq

the next President, Marge Haracz, of Mundelein,
IL, whose son is
now serving with the Army
in Iraq,

Obama, in 2003 before the first bombs fell in
Iraq you stood
opposition calling
Iraq a 'dumb
war.' My son and 151,000 brothers and sisters in arms
continue to risk
their lives in that dumb war. The change these brave young
men and women
and their families need is the orderly but immediate withdrawal from
Iraq and
leadership as
meets the
challenge of taking care of them when they get home."

Leahy, of York, ME,
who has a son serving in the Air Force:

"In a few
my son Billy will be going to
Iraq. He only recently returned from a
deployment to
Afghanistan. He is 22 years old and newly married. He and his
wife had a simple,
quick ceremony with only two guests so that they could be married
before he
leaves. And yes, although unthinkable, I know it was because he knows
he may
not come home and wants to be sure that she is taken care of in case of
heart-breaking outcome. This is just one family affected by the war.

"It is
time for
all our troops to be brought home from
Iraq and for their families to sleep easily once

Keri Wheelwright, of Fountain
Hills, AZ,
is married to a West Point
graduate now serving as an Army Officer in Iraq. On learning of
Obama's victory, she said:

"President Elect Obama, as the wife of a
deployed military officer, my number one issue when voting in
election was ending the war in
Now that you've been elected, I hope you make ending the war your
number one
issue as well. If you truly wish to restore faith in the
presidency, and
leave a legacy of honesty behind, you must end this war now.
Help our
country redeem itself in the eyes of the world and our own citizens by
withdrawing our soldiers from this occupation based on lies.
Bring all
our troops home from
Iraq now
and make sure that those brave men and women have access to the care
they will
need when they get home. Show our brave men and women in
uniform that
they can once again trust their Commander in Chief to serve them as
they have
served us, with bravery, honor, and dignity."

Lisa Leitz, of Buellton,
CA, who is married to a Navy
fighter pilot and
serves on the Board of Directors of Military Families Speak Out said:

families bear a large portion of the
of the country's current wars. As such Military Families Speak Out,
President-Elect Obama to honor these families by ending the war in

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.