The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Stacy Hafley, 573-303-1203,
Erin Polley, 317-626-0868,

850 Empty Combat Boots Stand at Attention in Obama's Front Yard

Military Families, Veterans and Quaker Group Host Memorial on Eighth Anniversary of the Invasion of Afghanistan


Military Families Speak Out
(MFSO), a military family organization opposed to war and The American
Friends Service Committee (AFSC), a Quaker organization dedicated to
peace and non-violence, will host the first ever memorial to the U.S.
soldiers and Afghan civilians killed since the U.S. invasion of
Afghanistan on October 7, 2001. The exhibit will be October 3 & 4
on the south-east quadrant of The Ellipse, located in front of The
White House in Washington D.C.

the start of the war, 850 U.S. Soldiers have died and credible
estimates put the civilian casualties in the tens of thousands. The
National Priorities Project says that taxpayers in the U.S. will have
paid $228 billion for total Afghanistan war spending since 2001.
According to a recent CNN Poll, 57 percent of Americans who responded say they oppose the U.S. war and occupation in Afghanistan, the highest percentage eversince the invasion in 2001.

Syverson of Richmond, VA serves on the Board of Directors of MFSO and
is the father of three sons who have served in Iraq -- one of whom is
currently serving in Afghanistan. Syverson said:

feel that the war in Afghanistan was wrong to begin with, and Obama
taking it over does not make it right. Obama is out of touch with the
American people. Americans are turning against the war. Instead of
increasing the troops, the President should be bringing the troops home

Pondolfino of Portland, Oregon is the mother of a soldier deployed to
Afghanistan after serving one deployment in Iraq; Pondolfino who serves
of the Board of Directors of MFSO says:

administration that briefly gave me new hope has sent my son to another
war with no clear mission and no exit strategy. I know that no good
will come from continuing the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, just
more heartbreak, sorrow, and tragedy."

Lems, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is an analyst for the American
Friends Service Committee; Lems recently visited Afghanistan on a fact
finding mission and says:

believes that conflicts can never be solved by military means, in fact
true security cannot be gained through arms. In order to move forward,
the aspirations and well-being of the Afghan people must be at the
center of rebuilding Afghanistan. The International community must
respect this principle if there is to be a secure, peaceful and stable
future for the Afghan people.

of Military Families Speak Out and Gold Star Families Speak Out are
available for interview including those whose loved ones are now
serving in Iraq and Afghanistan or will soon be sent there, those whose
loved ones suffered physical and psychological injuries in Iraq, and
those whose loved ones died as a result of the wars in Iraq and