The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Deborah Forter, 617-983-0710,
Lessin, 617-320-5301,

Seven Years Into the War in Iraq, MIlitary Families Say: 'Bring Our Troops Home Now'

Family Members of Fallen Soldiers and Families of Troops Currently Deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan Available for Interview


With the war in Iraq entering its 8th year, members
of Military Families Speak Out, the largest organization of military
families to speak out against a war in this country's history, are
calling on Senators and Representatives to take immediate action to cut
off funding for the war and bring our troops home now.

"With great sadness my family and I mark the
seventh anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. It is also now 6 years
since we last saw my son, Sgt. Sherwood Baker, a Pennsylvania National
Guard soldier, alive. On April 26, 2004 he died in an explosion while
looking for the nonexistent weapons of mass destruction. We are but one
of the over 5,000 American families who mourn the loss of their loved
ones in Iraq and Afghanistan; physical and spiritual casualties affect
thousands more - and yet the wars that kill our young and drain our
treasure do not create peace. It is long past time to bring our troops
home, and find real solutions for Peace."
said Celeste Zappala of
Philadelphia, whose son was the first Pennsylvania guardsman lost in the
war in Iraq.

Maggie Pondolfino, a Military Families Speak Out
member from Washington, DC, whose son currently serves in the Army, said
"Two years ago, I welcomed my son home from an extended tour in
Iraq. While I'm profoundly grateful that he survived the surge of 2007,
53 others in his brigade were not so fortunate. Now my son is deployed
again - this time to Afghanistan. As we face the beginning of the 8th
year of war in Iraq and more troops to be sent to Afghanistan, we need
to face our collective duty to demand an end to these wars and to bring
our troops home now. There is no military solution to these conflicts
and no life worth losing to these wars."

"After witnessing and personally experiencing the
loss that war brings and the cost to our nation in terms of the killing
and maiming of our next generation of leaders, I'm always amazed that
Americans allow open warfare to continu.,"
said Jane Bright, the
mother of Army Sgt. Evan Ashcraft, an infantryman with the 101st
Airborne Division who was killed in Iraq on July 24, 2003. "The U.S.
is currently engaged in 3 wars, yet the American masses go about their
business as if destruction of other countries is part of the American
landscape. My question to the American people: when will America step
up and bring this warfare to an end, and when will you grow tired of
seeing a few grow rich from the suffering of so many?"

Military Families Speak Out members will be participating in events
in Washington, D.C. and around the country to commemorate the 7th
anniversary of the war in Iraq and call for all troops to be brought
home now and given the care they need when they get home.

AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEW: In Washington, D.C. on March 20 at 11:15
a.m.: There will be a contingent of members of Military Families Speak
Out, Gold Star Families Speak Out (MFSO's national chapter of families
whose loved ones died as a result of the wars), Iraq Veterans Against
the War and Veterans For Peace assembling at the Veterans Administration
Building at 810 Vermont Avenue, NW - they will go on to be the lead
contingent in the march against the wars.

ELSEWHERE IN THE COUNTRY: Members of Military Families Speak Out
will also be participating in events around the country. To arrange for
an interview contact Deborah Forter at or Military Families Speak Out,
617-983-0710 or Nancy Lessin at 617-320-5301 or

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.