The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Sean Donahue,,Communications Director -- 617-983-0710 (w), 978-809-8054 (c),,

Military Families Decry Move to Send More Troops to Afghanistan

“Honor Veterans by Bringing Our Troops Home!”


This Veterans Day, as President Obama is poised to escalate the war in Afghanistan and send thousands more troops, Military Families Speak Out appeal to people and organizations across this country and decision-makers at all levels to speak out against pursuing this dangerous course of action.

Celeste Zappala, the mother of Sgt. Sherwood Baker who was killed in action in Iraq in 2004 and was the first member of the Pennsylvania National Guard to die in combat since World War II, declares, "It serves no purpose to have more service members and civilians die in Afghanistan, where the military occupation is part of the problem, not part of the solution. There wasn't a clear mission in Iraq, and there certainly isn't a clear mission in Afghanistan. A surge of troops is exactly the wrong approach and will just ensure that more families will experience the unbearable and unending pain that my family has experienced. It will be no honor to my son or family to have more troops deployed and killed." For over five years, Celeste and her family have spoken up for nonviolent solutions to conflicts as members of Gold Star Families Speak Out..

Military Families Speak Out members Larry and Judy Syverson, of Richmond Virginia, urge us to remember the origins of the Veterans Day holiday, "On the 91st anniversary of Armistice Day, we are disappointed that the President is considering sending an additional 40,000 troops to Afghanistan. As the parents of three active duty sons, including one serving in Afghanistan's Kandahar province, we feel the best way to honor our troops on this Veterans' Day is for the President, in the true spirit of Armistice Day, to end both wars and bring all our troops home now."

To speak with members of Military Families Speak Out including families with loved ones in Afghanistan, or soon to deploy or redeploy, or to speak with members of Gold Star Families Speak Out, contact Sam Diener,, 617-983-0710.

MFSO is a national organization of thousands of military families working to bring all U.S. troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan, secure the care that our troops, veterans, and military families need, and support a foreign policy that will not lead us into such wars again. Gold Star Families Speak Out is a chapter of Military Families Speak Out made up of families whose loved ones died as a result of these wars.

For more information about Military Families Speak Out, please visit:

For more information about Gold Star Families Speak Out visit

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.