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Friday, March 19, 2004

MoveOn.org  
Dear MoveOn member,

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq. It's a
good time to take a moment to honor the sacrifices our troops there and
their families are making. More than 100,000 American troops are
serving in Iraq today.

Here's the story of one mother, Adele Kubein, whose daughter was
injured while serving in Iraq:

When my daughter enlisted in the National Guard I was proud of her,
for having the discipline to make it through basic training. But I
had friends who went to Vietnam, and I said: "Baby, are you sure you
want to do this? And she said: "Oh, mom, I'm going to fight fires in
Oregon, build roads, and there's never going to be another war."

When she called me after her unit went from Kuwait to Mosul in a
convoy and told me that she had gone through roads with depleted
uranium dust and tanks with dead bodies in them, I was afraid. I
knew that my daughter was facing mortal danger. I cried for joy
that she was alive when her helicopter was shot down because the
one in front of her, everybody died on. But when she called me up
and told me, "mom, I had to kill someone today, and I looked in his
eyes and I saw him die," I cried with her because I knew there was
no going back then.

I want to know that there’s a good reason for what happened to my
daughter, and to all the other kids that have been killed and
injured in Iraq. My daughter told me stories about the Iraqi
people, their casualties are just as high as ours, and they love
their families just as much as we love ours. When my daughter was
injured, I cried, I wept with joy to know that she was coming home,
because I knew that so many other people were not going to come
home. My daughter accounted for herself; she did her duties
regardless of her fears and feelings. She thought she was going to
Iraq to build houses and schools for people who needed them.
That’s what they told them in the Oregon National Guard. Instead
she ended up in an ever-escalating cycle of violence.

Our nation is based on accountability. I want to know that what our
loved ones are going through is for a good reason. When I visit my
daughter once more and hold her as she weeps about the things that
she has seen and done, I will tell her that she did the right thing.
But I want to know that the people who lead this country are doing
the right thing also. [1]

Of course, this is just one story. Thousands of our troops in Iraq
have been injured, and hundreds have been killed. Countless Iraqis have
also been killed. [2]

One simple way to show our respect and gratitude for our soldiers'
service, and our hope for their safe return, is to put a candle (or a light
resembling one) in a window tomorrow night.

Our troops and their families are making incredible sacrifices. Many
reservists serving in Iraq left with as little as a week's notice, and
have been told they'll be there for a year, at constant risk to life and
limb. At the same time, the Bush administration has tried to
short-change soldiers, veterans, and their families on combat pay, [3] health
care, [4] and education funding. [5]

One way we can help is by giving to a fund called the Armed Forces
Relief Trust, which helps military servicemembers and their families with
emergency expenses, medical bills, flights home, and education costs.
If you'd like, you can give at:

http://www.afrtrust.org/aboutcontributing.asp

Please take a few minutes to honor our troops tomorrow by putting a
light in your window. And if you can help some families in need, that's
great too.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

- Carrie, Joan, Noah, Peter, and Wes
The MoveOn.org team
Friday, March 19th, 2004

[1] Adele made this statement at a press conference announcing our
Censure campaign, on February 10th.

[2] According to an editorial in today's New York Times, "The innocent
Iraqi casualties of Mr. Bush's war are literally countless because the
Pentagon refuses to estimate their number."
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/19/opinion/19FRI1.html?hp

[3] http://www.ajc.com/news/content/news/0803/14paycut.html

[4] http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A4064-2003Jan16

[5] http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/110009_military25.shtml