The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

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

President Obama Should Meet the Real Needs of Veterans & their Families

Military Families Speak Out Respond to the State of the Union


night, President Obama called for support of our troops and their
families, yet he painted far too rosy a picture of the situations in
Iraq and Afghanistan, and stopped short of offering any real plans to
ensure jobs and mental health services for veterans.

the supposed end of combat operations in Iraq last summer, 18 U.S.
troops and at least 649 Iraqi civilians have been killed. According to
many analysts, Obama will likely maintain 5 U.S. bases and 50,000 troops
in Iraq indefinetly. According to the National Priorities Project,
U.S. taxpayers will contribute $65 billion to the war in Iraq, money
that could instead pay for over 1 million jobs, or 13.4 million people
receiving low-income health care.

Obama stated that troops would start coming home from Afghanistan this
July, but Pat Alviso, who's son is currently serving in Afghanistan,
asks: "The withdrawal may start in July, but when will it end? My son is
in Afghanistan now, and almost 30,000 more troops are scheduled to
deploy before July. When will they come home?" She continued, "If
President Obama, wants to keep his promise of 'shaping a world that
favors peace and prosperity,' he needs to bring my son and all the
troops home now - and take care of them when they get here."

president also made sweeping promises about improving education, health
care, clean energy, and creating jobs. However, at the same time he is
proposing a 5-year freeze in domestic spending, with only minor cuts to
the military budget. "My community is suffering from cuts to health
care, failing schools, and a rising unemployment rate. My husband was
discharged from the Army in Nov. 2010. He is 75% disabled now and just
had his 3rd operation. He is not able to work. His unemployment
benefits have been cut, and his disability pay does not cover our
expenses. I am working full time, but can not make ends meet." said
MFSO member Tammara Rosenleaf from Montana. "Congress and the President
may clap to show their gratitude, but I'd rather be able to actually pay
my bills."

of Military Families Speak Out and Gold Star Families Speak Out are
available for interviews about the State of the Union. If you are
looking for a family with a specific story, please contact Samantha
Miller, MFSO's Communications Coordinator - or 818-419-6994

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.

has recently launched a new national campaign, The True Costs of War,
highlighting the human and financial costs of the wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan. Using online tools, local events, media outreach and
grassroots lobbying, we are working to strengthen the voices of military
families and build alliances with other organizations who agree that
our troops and tax dollars belong at home.

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