September 28, 2009
CONTACT: American Friends Service Committee and Military Families Speak Out
Stacy Hafley, 573-303-1203, firstname.lastname@example.org
Erin Polley, 317-626-0868, email@example.com
850 Empty Combat Boots
Stand at Attention
in Obama's Front Yard
Military Families, Veterans
and Quaker Group
Host Memorial on Eighth Anniversary
of the Invasion of AfghanistanWASHINGTON - September 28 - Military Families Speak Out (MFSO), a military family organization opposed to war and The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), a Quaker organization dedicated to peace and non-violence, will host the first ever memorial to the U.S. soldiers and Afghan civilians killed since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan on October 7, 2001. The exhibit will be October 3 & 4 on the south-east quadrant of The Ellipse, located in front of The White House in Washington D.C.
Since the start of the war, 850 U.S. Soldiers have died and credible estimates put the civilian casualties in the tens of thousands. The National Priorities Project says that taxpayers in the U.S. will have paid $228 billion for total Afghanistan war spending since 2001. According to a recent CNN Poll, 57 percent of Americans who responded say they oppose the U.S. war and occupation in Afghanistan, the highest percentage ever since the invasion in 2001.
Larry Syverson of Richmond, VA serves on the Board of Directors of MFSO and is the father of three sons who have served in Iraq -- one of whom is currently serving in Afghanistan. Syverson said:
"I feel that the war in Afghanistan was wrong to begin with, and Obama taking it over does not make it right. Obama is out of touch with the American people. Americans are turning against the war. Instead of increasing the troops, the President should be bringing the troops home now."
Maggie Pondolfino of Portland, Oregon is the mother of a soldier deployed to Afghanistan after serving one deployment in Iraq; Pondolfino who serves of the Board of Directors of MFSO says:
"The administration that briefly gave me new hope has sent my son to another war with no clear mission and no exit strategy. I know that no good will come from continuing the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, just more heartbreak, sorrow, and tragedy."
Peter Lems, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is an analyst for the American Friends Service Committee; Lems recently visited Afghanistan on a fact finding mission and says:
"AFSC believes that conflicts can never be solved by military means, in fact true security cannot be gained through arms. In order to move forward, the aspirations and well-being of the Afghan people must be at the center of rebuilding Afghanistan. The International community must respect this principle if there is to be a secure, peaceful and stable future for the Afghan people.
Members of Military Families Speak Out and Gold Star Families Speak Out are available for interview including those whose loved ones are now serving in Iraq and Afghanistan or will soon be sent there, those whose loved ones suffered physical and psychological injuries in Iraq, and those whose loved ones died as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization that includes people of various faiths who are committed to social justice, peace and humanitarian service. Its work is based on the belief in the worth of every person and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice.
Military Families Speak Out (www.mfso.org) is an Organization of people opposed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who have loved ones or relatives in the Military. MFSO was formed in 2002 by two military families and has grown to over 4,000 members speaking out to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. New families are joining daily.
Quakers and Peace (including the Peace Testimony)
Bring Australian Troops home from Afghanistan
China Maps an End to the Afghan War