Washington, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–As we celebrate the holiday season, many are focusing their thoughts and attention on those who cannot be with family members because of service in Iraq.
Military Families Speak Out (MFSO), a national organization of over 3,100 families opposed to the war in Iraq who have relatives or loved ones in the military, has members across the country who are suffering this holiday season with pain, tears and fear rather than holiday cheer.
"I miss Bob every day but the holidays are an especially sad time," said Debbie Whitfield of Pittsburgh, PA whose son-in-law was killed in Iraq in 2005. "Last year as I decorated my house, so many things reminded me ofBob. I hang a stocking for everyone. I took his out and just held it,wondering what to do with it. I don't want my granddaughter to forget her Daddy, but I have to keep reinforcing that he can't come home. Three Christmases ago Bob spent the holidays with us, two Christmases ago we senthim gifts to Iraq and last Christmas we laid a wreath on his grave. I praythat this is over soon so that families will be spared the grief that we live with."
"We have only one child. This year he is in Iraq," said Tim and Laura Kahlor of Temecula, CA, whose son is currently serving his second extended deployment to Iraq with the Army's 1st Armored Division. "We will not decorate, it's too sad, all the memories of unpacking decorations are associated with our son. When Ryan was in Iraq in 2003, he told us to decorate like he was at home. This year he says it will be just another day in Iraq. We wanted to send him a small tree and a Santa hat, but he said he didn't want anything. When you are surrounded by death and trying to survive why would anyone care about celebrating anything?"
"This is probably going to be one of the hardest holidays. It is the baby's first Christmas and my husband won't be here to share it," said Haeley of the Hudson Valley area, NY whose husband is serving in Iraq with the National Guard, under a stop-loss order. "I sometimes want to throw away the ornament that I have for the tree proclaiming this year as our first Christmas together because it's a lie. I want him home so he doesn't have to miss out on anything more with his son."
From their website: Military Families Speak Out is calling on Congress to end funding for the war in Iraq, save what is needed to bring our troops home quickly and safely. Funding the war is not supporting our troops. The way to support our troops is to bring them home now and take care of them when they get here.