The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

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

MFSO Concerned About Gates' Continued Tenure at Pentagon


Members of Military Families Speak Out greeted the announcement of the composition of President-Elect Barack Obama's national security team with concern, and reiterated their call for the Obama administration to bring an immediate end to the war in . The announcement that Robert Gates will continue to serve as Secretary of Defense raised particular concern among members of the organization.

Keri Wheelwright, a member of Military Families Speak Out from Fountain Hills, AZ

"On November 4 our country voted for change. The mere possibility of a continuation of Bush's deadly and illegal policies by extending the tenure of Secretary Gates strikes fear in the hearts of military families. As the wife of a deployed Army Captain who's deployment was extended to 15 months thanks to Gates' policies, I am disheartened by this choice. Our troops need to be brought home now. Real lives and livelihoods are at stake, and for our brave soldiers and their families this is more than politics. This war based on lies must end, and anyone who doesn't fully understand that should have no place in a presidential administration."

Larry Syverson, a member of Military Families Speak Out from Richmond, VA added:

"As the father of three active duty sons, who between them, have had five tours in , I was guardedly optimistic with the election of Barack Obama. I hoped a change in the administration would bring a change in the policy and keep my oldest son from being deployed next spring. That optimism diminished with the announcement that Robert Gates would continue to be the Secretary of Defense. To this military father, it looks like a continuation of the same failed policies that have resulted in the deaths of over 4200 service members and over a million Iraqis.
That is not the change I hoped for. That is not the change military families need. We need a real change in the policy. We need to bring our troops home now."

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.