Category Archives: Take Action

MFSO Opposes Nomination of General Mattis

Military Families Speak Out opposes the nomination by Donald Trump of General James Mattis for Secretary of Defense. Mattis retired from the military in 2013. That means Congress needed to waive rules that require defense secretaries to be civilians for seven or more years after leaving the military to ensure civilian control over the armed forces.  The Senate has already voted to waive that requirement.  Civilian control of our military is fundamental to American democracy.

Donald Trump introduced General Mattis by the nickname “Mad Dog” as if this is someone “cool,” someone to be revered. According to journalist Dahr Jamail, over his career Mattis has shown “callous disregard for human life, particularly civilians, as evidenced by his behavior leading Marines in Iraq and comments he made about enjoying fighting in Afghanistan because ‘it’s fun to shoot some people. You know, it’s a hell of a hoot.’.” (James Mattis Is a War Criminal: I Experienced His Attack on Fallujah Firsthand. Truthout. December 6, 2016, D. Jamail)

“Mad Dog” was a name Mattis received after the 2004 battles of Fallujah in Iraq. More than 5700 civilians were killed. More than 100 U.S. troops died. At that time, white phosphorous, a weapon which, like napalm, burns all the way down to the bone was used. Its use is a violation of international law, as it was used in a city with thousands of civilians. So many U.S. service members who participated in the battles of Fallujah still reel from physical and moral injuries.

In a speech in 2003 Mattis spoke to soldiers about how to behave in Iraq. He said, “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.” The consequences for this hideous attitude have been drastic –widespread hatred toward our service members, hatred toward America – and moral injury for our soldiers and Marines.

Under General Mattis’s authority in 2005 US Marines massacred 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians in Haditha.  Many members of Military Families Speak Out remember these battles personally because it impacted our own families or families of friends and neighbors. Many of us in MFSO remember when our loved ones were trained or were under the command of General Mattis and deeply resent his cavalier attitude.

Our troops deserve moral leadership.  We call on MFSO members and friends to call your Senator today to tell them to oppose the nomination of James Mattis for Secretary of Defense. 202-224-2131.

Spread the word!

Military Families Speak Out at the Women’s March

On Jan 21, MFSO will join with veterans around the country sending the message to our new President that women rights are human rights.  Military Sexual Trauma is at epidemic levels in the U.S. Military and  MFSO is appalled that our new Commander and Chief will be a man who has shown himself to disregard women’s rights by his own misogynist behavior.

We urge you to find your local MFSO and VFP members and march together.  Please join other MFSO members in DC, Los Angeles or Santa Ana CA, New York City, Denver CO,  Charleston, WV, Kansas City, MO, and Trenton, NJ.  If you would like your area listed please contract us right away.

Washington DC
Starts at 10am at Independence Ave and Third St SW.  We will be marching with VFP, IVAW and others.  Call Marcia Westbrook at 843-274-0785 for any questions and meet up location.  You can also sign up on the web site to get updated information.

Los Angeles  CA.
Meet up at the NE corner of West 6th Street and South Olive Street, Pershing Square by 9:30am Look for the VFP Flag and MFSO banner.  Call Pat Alviso 562-833-8035 or Jeff Merrick 562-522-4241 for any questions.

Santa Ana CA.
Starting point for the march will be 4th and French and ending at the old OC Court House.  March will start at 9amand end by 1pm.  Call Ed Garza at 714-317-3969 for MFSO and VFP meet up point.

New York City
Meet up at First Ave and 47th Street between 12:15-12:30.  Look for the VFP Flag,  Call Bob Keilbach at 347-645-1052 day of event.

Denver CO
Parade starts at  9am, Denver Civic Center Park Colfax and Bannock. Meet up at 9am at 15th and Cleveland.. Call Vrnda Noel 720-299-8781 for meet up location.

Charleston, WVA
Meet up on the river side of the Charleston State Capitol Building at 1pm.  Call Marcia Westbrook at 843-274-0785 for any questions.

Kansas City, MO
March starts at 9am Main and Cleaver Blvd, then at 10:15move on to All Souls 4501 Walnut for excellent speakers.  Call Mary Hladky at 937-926-0589 for any questions.

Trenton, NJ
Meet up at the War Memorial in Trenton, New Jersey, at10 a.m.  Call Paula Rogovin at 201-248-3169 for any additional information.

Get Involved – We Need You!

Military Families Speak Out continues to demonstrate the futility of continuing our military presence in the Middle East.  We know that there is no military solution to our problems in the Middle East and surrounding areas.  We need to stop multiple deployments which hurt our troops and their families.  We need to focus on caring for our troops, our military families and all the civilians who have suffered from these many wars.

We call for continued efforts for diplomacy and humanitarian aid. In addition, we know that xenophobic rhetoric & hate speech only exacerbates the situation and sends a false message that  we are at war with Islam, which in turn only leads to more hatred from civilians in the Middle East who are mostly Muslim. It also gives ISIS the propaganda they need to continue attracting more anti-American recruits.

After 15 years of war, we stand ready to meet the challenges ahead with renewed vigor and hope that you will stand with us. We need help from every member if we are to end these wars once and for all. Please get involved today!

Ways to Get Involved

1. Join or rejoin MFSO, even if your loved one is no longer in the military.
2. Sign the PeacePledge.  MFSO, as an organization, has endorsed United for Peace & Justice’s Peace Pledge.  Any member can individually sign this Peace Pledge.  Go to:
3. Be visible. Organize a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly vigil in your community. Be sure to encourage other organizations to co-sponsor.( We can help you find local allies)
4. Write letters to the editor of local newspapers or blogs-and send us a copy. We can then multiply its exposure by sending it to our larger allies like VFP, IVAW, UFPJ .
5.  Plan special protests at the local offices of  members of Congress that have voted or promote war. We can target representatives for you.. Co-sponsor with other groups.
6. Meet with members of Congress to share your concerns.  Campaign to get a meeting with your congressional representatives; be sure to tell them that you’re a military family member.
7.  If there is no chapter nearby, consider starting an MFSO chapter. You only need 3 people and we have a very good Chapter Building Kit we will send you. We will also help you get media coverage when you launch your chapter.
8. Give us a call at the MFSO office. We are very open to your ideas and have suggestions for other ways that we can use your help on a national level. Reach us at; we have a Facebook page, (please post this), a website with a blog ( post something), and during West Coast business hours you can reach us at 562-597-3980 or after hours at 562-833-8035.

More Troops Sent To Iraq

President Obama is sending an additional 600 U.S. troops to Iraq to assist in the upcoming battle to drive the Islamic State from the city of Mosul.  This brings the “official” number of U.S. troops to 5,000.  But the Pentagon has repeatedly admitted to having over 6,000 troops in Iraq before this announcement.   The Pentagon states that open-end deployments are not part of the official count.
The troops will be stationed close to the fight at Qayyarah West airfield.  They will train, advise and assist teams for Iraqi Security Forces and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters.  Army Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander of the task force, already has authority to place U.S. advisers with the attacking force at the battalion level, in other words, involved in direct combat.
The Pentagon also expects ISIS fighters to use chemical weapons to defend Mosul.  Once again our military men and women will be put in harm’s way for a war that has no military solution.   So why is military force our continued response?   Again, there is no plan on what happens after Mosul is reclaimed.  Who will govern and rebuild Mosul?  How will the real grievances of the Iraqi people be addressed?  Why do we keep repeating the same mistakes in Iraq?

We need to stop this endless cycle of military intervention.  All U.S. troops should be withdrawn from Iraq and Afghanistan.  Our government should commit its money, time and efforts in support of dedicated diplomacy creating a solid foundation for a more stable Middle East.

Please add your name to UFPJ’s appeal to the President and demand that he immediately withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan and commit to regional diplomacy that begins to build a solid foundation for a nuclear and weapons-of-mass-destruction free Middle East.