News Release

Military Families Across U.S. Responding to the Extension of Army War-Zone Stints

The Pentagon announced this afternoon what Defense Secretary Robert Gates called “a difficult and necessary interim step” — extending the tours of duty of all active-duty Army troops currently in Iraq or Afghanistan from 12 months to 15 months. He said: “I realize this decision will ask a lot of American troops and their families.”

Responses to this latest move by the Bush administration are available from members of Military Families Speak Out. Journalists can arrange interviews by contacting the co-founders of the organization, Nancy Lessin or Charley Richardson.

Earlier today, Military Families Speak Out released the following statement to the Institute for Public Accuracy: “While some in the administration and Congress continue to say the U.S. is making progress in Iraq, what military families know is that this month (April, 2007) troop deaths have risen to an average of four each day from an average of two-to-three per day since the beginning of the year. Countless Iraqi children, women and men continue to die daily in the escalating violence. While the new leadership in the House and Senate has put timelines in the versions of the war spending bills to be reconciled and sent to President Bush for what he promises to be a veto, what military families know is that these timelines are either recommendations or come with loopholes that make them non-enforceable. The fact remains that both the House and Senate versions of the war spending bill provide President Bush with the funds he is seeking to continue a war that should never have happened.”

The statement from Military Families Speak Out added: “Meanwhile, the current escalation of the war in Iraq continues, with more troop extensions looming and new units being readied for deployment/re-deployment without adequate training, equipment or time between deployments. What Military Families Speak Out and our over 3,300 member families are not now seeking is for our loved ones to be better trained, equipped and rested to go off to fight and die in a war based on lies. We continue to call on Congress to use its power of the purse to fund our troops and de-fund the war by providing all funds necessary for their safe and orderly withdrawal from Iraq and for the care they need when they come home.”

MFSO can put journalists in contact with military family members across the United States with loved ones who are currently in Iraq or who will soon deploy or re-deploy there.