We are very sad to hear that that since the recent influx of troops and airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, the first US soldier was killed today. This soldier’s is the first American to die in combat in Iraq in four years. And so another American has died in this administrations futile attempt to stabilize a country that we never should have attacked in the first place.
Before more troops and airstrikes were sent to Iraq last year, MFSO warned this administration that if more troops were killed in Iraq, it would likely cause us to slide down that “slippery slope” of deepening our involvement in Iraq. And although Press Secretary Peter Cook called the raid “unique” and said, “US forces are not in an active combat mission in Iraq”, they actually are in combat and we believe this could be the beginning of further involvement. This brings the total of US troops that have been killed in Iraq to 4,494.
Sadly, all this comes on the heels of President Obama’s recent announcement, one we had all been dreading, that he was extending American troops presence in Afghanistan- a decision that looks more and more like we will have our troops there beyond the Obama administration. Please take a moment to read MFSO member Larry Seyverson’s interview, which he conducted the day after Pres. Obama’s announcement. Larry speaks for all of us when he describes how military families feel about keeping our troops in Afghanistan and he expresses our despair of being dragged deeper and ever closer into “endless wars”.
We were extremely saddened to learn that Marcia Westbrook’s youngest son, Tyler, died by suicide Thursday morning. Tyler Milam Westbrook, a member of the Special Forces in the Army, was stationed at Ft. Carson, CO. Although we are always aware of the possibility of this happening to each one of us, this news has been devastating to all of us in Military Families Speak Out.
Marcia has been working steadily with the Steering Committee since our rebuild and also serves on the Rapid Response Team, the executive board of MFSO and has had three sons in the military since 9-11.
Cards and condolences to the family can be sent to Marcia Westbrook at:
814 Victoria Ave.
Williamstown, WV 26187
Tyler’s family will be greeting friends from noon until 8 p.m. Saturday, at the Marietta Chapel of Cawley & Peoples Funeral Home, 408 Front St., Marietta. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, at the Williamstown High School Gymnasium.
A complete obituary will be printed in Friday’s edition of the Parkersburg News and Sentinel, or may be viewed at www.cawleyandpeoples.com
I feel like a zombie. I don’t look dead or crave human brains for my next meal. I must look like my former self because people still recognize me …maybe just older and somewhat detached. I get up each day, do the usual things and go to sleep at night. Life goes on for everyone else and my anti-depressant dose is double what it used to be.
Everything appears normal on the outside, but a zombie resides inside of me. For the ??? time since 9/11 a pierce of my heart is deployed. I quit counting how many times my sons have been deployed. Such is the life of a triple Blue Star Mother.
“Sure I’m proud of their accomplishments”, I reply to well meaning people that ask about my sons. And, “Yes. They enlisted”, I answer those who are trying to make the point that they must want to be deployed. But those facts don’t matter a bit to a mother who is worried sick about her child’s life while he is deployed fighting in a war we know should never have happened in the first place .
Today, on the day we used to call Armistice Day, I will honor all my loved ones living and dead at the 11th hour, and pray that every military family finds peace. Tomorrow I will go back to being a zombie because others who are not carrying my load will go back to business as usual. I know many of my brothers and sisters in MFSO and other peace groups like Veterans for Peace and Iraq Veterans Against the War will continue doing the work needed to bring peace and I will have to let others carry my load while I am in the zombie mode where I need to stay until I know my son is home again and safe.
That is the way I roll. That is how others I know in Military Families Speak Out roll too. I am eternally grateful for the support from MFSO because they know what is in my heart. Thank you. I couldn’t make it without you.
Military Families Speak Out