All posts by admin

Campaign Overview: The True Costs of War

Click here to sign  up for campaign updates and let us know how you’re interested in getting involved

As military families, we know the true costs of war. It is our loved ones who are serving without adequate materials, returning home to failed job prospects and inadequate care. Most tragic of all for some of us our loved ones will never return home again.

But the American public is also suffering the true costs of war. It costs $1 million a year to keep one soldier on the ground in Afghanistan. The operational costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have already surpassed $1 trillion. Economists estimate providing care for returning veterans will reach another $1 trillion.

Hundreds of thousands of American men and women are serving in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – wars that are not making us any safer at home. The wars are, however, hurting our troops and military families, and decimating our economy.

The Pentagon has more than enough money to quickly and safely bring our troops home now. Cutting off funding to the wars is the best way to support our troops.

MFSO members can play a critical role in educating and inspiring the public to mobilize direct pressure on President Obama and Congress to end the wars and provide comprehensive care to veterans and their families.  We hope you will join our campaign – we need your involvement!

At the Start of the 10th Year of the War in Afghanistan, Military Families Say: “Bring our Troops Home Now and Allow Them to Heal”

Family Members of
Troops Currently Deployed, Recently Returned, or Killed in Action in
Afghanistan Available for Interview



Nikki Morse, or 347-703-0570

Deborah Forter, or 508-237-5343

To connect with Iraq
and Afghani Veterans directly, contact
Maggie Martin – IVAW Media Coordinator,


October 7, 2010 – Today marks the 9th anniversary of the start of the Afghanistan War, now the longest war in American history, with 1,321 American service members killed in action, at least 8,000 wounded, tens of thousands of Afghani civilians killed, and over
352 billion of American taxpayer dollars wasted. Military Families Speak Out (MFSO), the largest organization of military families to speak out against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, calls on Senators and Representatives to bring our troops home now and provide the support they need to recover from the wounds of war, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain
Injury (TBI), and Military Sexual Trauma (MST).

Members of Military Families Speak Out (MFSO), and their chapter Gold Star Families Speak Out (GSFSO), will be participating in vigils and actions to mark this day. We are also involved in the launch of a national veteran-led campaign to end the military’s widespread practice of deploying wounded troops into war zones. Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) Operation Recovery: Stop the Deployment of Traumatized Troops will focus on ending the practice of deploying service members suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and Military Sexual Trauma (MST).

One MFSO family member recalls the experience of her cousin who served in the US Marine Corps, and was deployed after 2 tours of duty, including the 2007 troop surge in Fallujah, Iraq, “He wasn’t mentally stable enough to return to combat operations in Afghanistan but the Marines deployed him anyway. He had to go because orders are orders. On December 26th 2009
, just two weeks into combat operations in Afghanistan, he killed himself because he couldn’t handle the war raging in his head.”

How many more lost lives and injured young souls will it take before our Congressional leaders will demonstrate the kind of courage our loved ones in the military show every day? When will Congress stop thinking about political posturing, show the courage to end the war, and allow our surviving troops to heal and recover from this nine-year debacle?

Family members of both the Afghanistan and Iraq War veterans, including many with personal experience of having a loved one deployed while wounded, are available for interview. We will be supporting the IVAW press conference at 1:30pm at Russell Senate Office Building, (Constitution Ave NE, and Delaware Ave. NE) At this press conference, veterans and military family members will testify about their experiences with redeployment and announce the launch of Operation Recovery.

Military Families Speak Out includes over 4,000 military families whose loved ones serve or have served in the military since 2002; it is the largest organization of military families to be speaking out against wars in the history of the United States. Gold Star Families Speak Out is a national chapter of MFSO and includes families whose loved ones died as a result of the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. More information about Military Families Speak Out can be found at; more information about Gold Star Families Speak Out can be found at


Support Our Troops’ Right to Heal

Dear Members of Military Families Speak Out,

Iraq Veterans Against the War have always been an organization we are proud to support, and proud to call our allies.

They are about to launch their first strategic campaign – Operation Recovery: Stop the Deployment of
Traumatized Troops.

As military families, we know this story well. We have seen our loved ones sent back to war without adequate care for physical or mental injuries – care that they needed and deserved.

Because of our stories, we can play a vital role in this campaign. Right now, we are looking for a few people who can speak directly to the issue of redeployment of troops that are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and Military Sexual Trauma (MST). If you are willing to write a short account of your story (anonymous or not), or be interviewed about this issue, please contact National Organizer Nikki Morse at

In addition, we can play a role by filling out the IVAW Pledge of Support. They have a goal of reaching 2,000 by October 7th when they publically announce their campaign. In the coming months we will be identifying additional ways to help build this campaign. Signing the pledge is the first way you can be part of it.

More information about the campaign, as well as the link to the Pledge, are found below. Please help build MFSO’s support for this vital campaign! Let us know you want to be involved, and if you have personal stories about this important issue.

Nikki Morse, Organizer

Military Families Speak Out

347-703-0570 (cell)

(Below is the latest email from Iraq Veterans Against the War about
the campaign)

On October 7, the 9th anniversary of the Afghanistan War, Iraq
Veterans Against the War will announce our first-ever strategic campaign, Operation
Recovery: Stop the Deployment of Traumatized Troops
.  As a loyal
supporter, we are letting you know about our plans before we make them public.

Join our campaign now by making a Pledge of Support.

Thousands of troops are being sent to war despite suffering from
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and Military
Sexual Trauma (MST).
Many of us within IVAW have faced or are currently facing
deployment as we try to recover from the severe trauma we have already

While we recognize that we must stop the deployment of all soldiers
in order to end the occupations in Iraq and Afhganistan, we see the deployment
of soldiers with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injuries, and
Military Sexual Trauma as particularly cruel, inhumane, and dangerous.  Military
commanders across all branches are pushing service members far past human
limits for the sake of ‘combat readiness.’
We cannot allow those
commanders to continue to ignore the welfare of their troops who are, after
all, human beings.

Because you are a trusted supporter, we are asking you to make a
commitment to help us end this systemic abuse of GIs’ right to heal, which only
furthers the cycle of dehumanization and destruction of these wars.

Sign the Pledge today.

By signing this pledge of support, you can stand with us in
solidarity and affirm:

Service members have the right to heal.

Because the military is desperate for warm bodies in the field, and
the VA doesn’t have the resources to serve all those in need, too often service
members are conveniently denied care or access to quality mental health
screenings.  We say, service members with PTSD, TBI, MST, and combat
stress have the right to high quality health care.  They have the right to
seek care and pursue treatments in the best interest of their health and

Service members have the right to receive
medical care and advice from medical professionals.

A commander’s orders always supersedes the opinion of military
medical professionals when it comes to the well-being of our troops.  We
say, no military authority shall override the advice of medical professionals
regarding the health of service members.

Service members who experience PTSD, TBI, MST,
and combat stress have the right to exit the traumatic situation and receive
compensation and immediate support.

Too often, service members are forced to redeploy back into
dangerous combat, or train in situations that re-traumatize them.  We
say, individuals suffering from trauma have the right to remove themselves from
the source of the trauma. Service members who are not physically or mentally
healthy shall not be forced to deploy or continue service.

We will support service members standing up for their right to heal,
and we will stand against those responsible for violating them.

Will you stand with us? Sign the Pledge today.

We know that without the repeated
use of traumatized soldiers on the battlefield, the occupations in Iraq and
Afghanistan could not continue.

Those responsible for the deployment of traumatized soldiers will do
everything they can to hide the truth, but through our Operation Recovery
campaign, IVAW is prepared to make demands and back them up with collective

For the past nine months, we have been developing this campaign.
In the coming weeks, we will let you know of specific ways to get involved.

Start today by signing the Pledge of Support.

We can’t do this without you.


The Campaign Team


Speech by MFSO Member Nancy Nygard at the Veterans For Peace National Convention, August 2010


I am so glad to see everyone here.

I am a very proud member of Veterans For Peace. My husband and I joined VFP in 2005. At the same time we joined Military Families Speak Out.

Our son Joe had joined the army in 2003 and by 2005 was getting ready to deploy to Afghanistan. We were against the invasions of both Iraq and Afghanistan and knew we had to speak out, act out, rise up. Doing
nothing was not an option.

In February of 2006 Joe was deployed to Afghanistan for a year. It was my first deployment also. I didn’t know what to do or what to think. Why was I crying all the time? Why was I so angry at all the other
mom’s in the supermarket? Why did I have such hatred of the assholes with hummers?

MFSO helped me understand that it was ok to cry and that anger could be turned into action. They comforted me and held my hand and I knew I never had to say I’m sorry. They understood that I wanted to hear all the news but I didn’t want to hear all the news. They knew about the sleepless nights and I know they remembered holding their babies in their arms and never imagining having to let them go to war. They were and still are the sanity in my insanity that surely goes on for me and so many other military families.

My son Joe was stop lossed in September of 2006 until February 2007. His tour of duty was extended another 4 months. He spent 16 months in Afghanistan. During his deployment 71 soldiers from his brigade were either killed in action or died in accidents. 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division carved out the northern most outposts in Afghanistan. Two years later the army would begin closing them down. Outposts where my son said “good soldiers died”.

In September of 2007 Joe received his honorable discharge and left the army after serving 4 years on a 3 year enlistment. Joe enrolled in college full time, had a great paying part time job, had a daughter and
a son and the hope of change that was to come with a new president. Joe was proud of his service to his country and we are so proud of him.

Two years went by. Two years! In December of 2009 President Obama gave his surge on Afghanistan speech and the next day Fed-ex showed up at our door with orders for Joe to report for duty off the individual
ready reserve for deployment of no more than 400 days…to Iraq!

Thoughtless people told me he’s lucky he’s in Iraq like they used to tell me he’s lucky he’s in Afghanistan.

As of this month our combat commitment in Iraq has ended. I guess the combat infantry battalion my son is assigned to is there on vacation as are the entire 3rd infantry division, 3000 man brigades from the 4th
infantry division, Dave Cline’s old outfit the 25th infantry division, 2 combat aviation brigades and 2 national guard infantry brigades, all on vacation in sunny Iraq!

Standing guard over a stalled convoy, Joe writes, “after we dropped off our load at a little spot outside Tallil we pulled to the side in a friendly area and waited for the rest of our guys to catch up. We dismounted and smoked and joked for a little bit. That’s when the kids came up. I always liked talking to the local kids in Afghanistan. Their honesty and innocence about the only pure things in a shitty, shitty place. Here it is the same way. These poor children have known nothing but death and destruction in their young lives and even if after we leave, their country turns to peace, they will forever be scarred from the horrors they have seen. Life for them has always been about survival. Seeing little girls the age of my little daughter, running
alongside our convoy, their clothes dirty and their feet bare, offering anything, even themselves for just a bottle of water breaks my heart. Back on the base, eating ice cream and pizza and buffalo wings, just
makes the whole experience of war more disgusting. As these people starve to death, partly because of us, we eat like kings”.

To a certain extent our participation in MFSO and VFP has been a selfish act because we think that the American people, in spite of their yellow ribbons, don’t give a damn about American soldiers, but you do! I’ve found a community that not only believes in world peace but respects the courage and sacrifice of soldiers and their families. I’m so glad I’m not alone. Thank you Military Families Speak Out and
Veterans For Peace!