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Long Beach Veterans Day Parade Photos

In 2007, our application was rejected by the city of Long Beach and Pageantry Productions because of our political stance. We were only asking for the right to march under our organization’s banner and with our organization’s t-shirts. Because we stayed the course, meeting with several officials, and making the front for several days in our local newspaper and some national television news, we were eventually granted permission to march. That was after our friends from Iraq Veterans Against the War rejected an offer to sit on the fire truck, sans IVAW t-shirts, but showed up and saluted all parade marchers in the median on the day of the march.

It was a moment we will never forget and that is another reason to continue to take this annual opportunity to be part of the parade, so we can point out that the wars continue.

We do not participate to glorify war but remind people that we want peace now. Also, we continue to have students pass out informational materials to youth, so they consider the truth and consequences about enlistment and war.

MFSO Joins 64 Organizations Calling For End to US Military Involvement in Yemen

Today, the Yemen Peace Project (YPP), along with 64 other organizations, sent a letter to the United States House of Representatives to express their support for House Concurrent Resolution 81. The Resolution directs the President of the United States to end US military involvement in Yemen’s civil war, pursuant to the War Powers Resolution. Currently, the United States provides logistical, technical, and advisory military support to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen without authorization from Congress. The coalition has perpetrated war crimestargeted civilians repeatedly using US-sold weapons, and created the conditions necessary for Yemen to become the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. Ending the United States military role in the conflict is essential to ending the notion that the coalition can win this war in the battlefield and push for peace.

Yemen’s man-made humanitarian crisis has created severe hardships for the civilian population. Over 17 million Yemenis do not have enough food with more than 7 million facing famine, and estimates show that there will be over 1 millioncholera cases by the end of year – the largest cholera outbreak ever documented in modern history. Salaries of civil servants, teachers, and critical medical personnel have not been paid in over a year and the country faces a critical shortage of functioning medical facilities, with less than 45 percent of Yemen’s health care system still functional. Both the Saudi-led coalition and Houthi forces have contributed to the ongoing humanitarian crisis, although coalition airstrikes ate the leading cause of civilian casualties according to the UN. While efforts to hold the parties to the conflict accountable have been difficult, the United States cannot credibly push for peace while continuing to arm one side of the conflict. Congress can end this contradictory policy and move to alleviate civilian suffering in Yemen by passing House Concurrent Resolution 81.

Under the United States Constitution, Congress has the exclusive authority to declare war. US involvement in Yemen’s civil war has never been publicly debated or voted on by Congress. The Obama and Trump administrations has also consistently refused to brief Congress on the level and degree of support for the Saudi-led coalition, thus hindering efforts to create accountability for the US government’s actions. Moreover, continued support for the Saudi-led coalition could make the United States complicit in the coalition’s war crimes. Congress must exercise its constitutional authority and end US military support for the Saudi-led coalition.

The YPP and the other signatories to the letter urge members of the House of Representatives to vote in favor of House Concurrent Resolution 81 and end US involvement in Yemen’s civil war.
Read on to view a PDF of the letter here.

Support MFSO with a Tax Exempt Donation

As we approach the end of the Obama administration and prepare for the many inevitable challenges we will face under the new president’s administration, we wish to remind you that Military Families Speak Out is focused and prepared to do everything we can to stop the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen and call for the immediately withdrawal of our troops. We are studying and preparing our position statements on potential cabinet appointments because we understand how these choices can deeply affect what happens to our troops and their families.

After 15 years of military intervention, which has resulted in the needless loss of lives and trillions spent on endless wars, we find ourselves no closer to peace and so during this season of giving and hope, we are asking you, our friend and ally, to help us continue the important work of Military Families Speak Out.

Military Families Speak Out is in a unique position to demonstrate the futility of continuing our military presence in the Middle East. We must end our military presence in these countries and stop the bombing and destruction. We must demand our leaders use diplomacy and address the root causes of these wars.  There is no military solution to our problems in the Middle East and surrounding areas.  We need to stop sending our troops to wars that are unending and unwinnable.  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 invite you to help us by making a donation to MFSO this year. Since 2002, Military Families Speak Out has been on the front lines organizing and publicly speaking out.  Our commitment to be heard is unstoppable, but we need your help.

Over the years your generosity has helped us become strong and we are listened to by many in our neighborhoods and around the globe. Your support, especially this year, will help us broaden our membership to younger military families who are affected by recent deployments. It will help us keep watch over the new administration’s appointments and policies.  MFSO members work around the clock preparing members to speak to the media, and are there to help them and be by their side when they find the courage to speak out and share their stories of separation and loss. Our leadership is there to make sure their stories are spread on social and printed media.

This past year, your donations helped us to send members such as Tim Kahlor, ever-vigilant Army dad, and Marcia Westbrook, Gold Star mom, to national events so they could tell their compelling stories in New York   and Washington DC. This year we will be present at the Women’s March on Washington and any other events where we are needed. Our current campaign for letters of condolences to families, who have had a military member die by suicide stateside, will need a new push under the new administration.

A donation of any amount will help us continue the work we already do and also help us continue our coordinated actions and monthly strategy meetings with executive directors from Iraq Veterans Against the War and Veterans for Peace. Support is greatly needed to keep up with the regular demands we receive at our donated office in California, that come from military families around the country who ask and receive emotional support, referrals for care when their loved ones return from deployments and guidance on how to stay in touch with their loved ones while deployed.

Please consider a donation to Military Families Speak Out at this time. After 15 years of war, we stand ready to meet the challenges ahead with renewed vigor and hope that you will know that any donation is an investment in finally ending these wars. Every day these unjust wars continue is another day our loved ones and many innocent civilians will suffer. This is why your donation and participation is vital to us.

Please consider becoming a sustaining member, receive monthly newsletters and a gift of thanks from our governing board.

MAKE A TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATION HERE TODAY ormail your donation to MFSO, 1716 Clark Ave PMB 122, Long Beach, CA. 90815.

PLEASE ACCEPT OUR GRATITUDE IN ADVANCE FOR JOINING US IN OUR STRUGGLE TO END THESE UNJUST WARS AND BRING OUR LOVED ONES HOME TO REUNITE WITH THEIR FAMILIES AND BEGIN THE HEALING PROCESS. 

Thank you and please let us hear from you throughout the year.  Please keep in touch with us via our websitewww.mfso.org  and Facebook page.

National Coordinator Pat Alviso and Steering Committee Members; Marlene Alvarado, Tina Lopez, Macgregor Eddy, Lorna Farnum, Barry Saks, Bill Scheurer, Mary Hladky, Paula Rogovin, Jeff Merrick, Marcia Westbrook, Rosssana Cambron, Casey Stinemetz and Corla Coles