What is Washboard Express?

Washboard Express is a way for me to express my own opinions, to be a provocative gadfly, by writing a "letter a day" to the President. I may miss a day here and there, because sometimes my family with be my first priority, but my goal is to write a total of 365 letters, representing one full year. To say I have opinions about most things would be to understate the obvious. Those of you that know me, know this is true, those who don't know me, will learn that it's true. The Washboard is a reference to going back to basics and "keeping it clean," so if you would like me to post your comments or opinions on this blog, I only ask that you be respectful. So go ahead, express yourself, and I look forward to an exchange of ideas and opinions.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Day 25... Dear Mr. President...How can we "celebrate" Memorial Day?

Day 25

Dear Mr. President,

This afternoon I walked around our little community to see how people were celebrating the Memorial Day holiday. I saw families at the lake swimming and picnicking, there was volleyball, and horseshoes being played, and people having a good time. Others were in their yards by the pool or just hanging out. I think this is pretty typical all across America, but what about the families that have lost loved ones in the various wars, how do they “celebrate” the holiday while the rest of us eat hotdogs?

I can only guess that their celebration is one of sadness and loss. Yes, it is understood that when a loved one is deployed there is a chance that they will not return alive, or may return with severe injuries, but does the “knowledge” ever really prepare you for the reality? I don’t thing so, and especially not for the thousands of children that lose a parent.

We still have 46,000 U.S. troops in Iraq even after all other nations have withdrawn their troops. The U.S. Troop Casualties are almost 4,500 in just Iraq, and 54 percent of those casualties were under 25 years old, really just kids. 98 percent of those killed were male and 2percent female, that’s 90 women killed in the Iraq war ‘so far.’ It’s bad enough that we keep sending our young men off to be killed, but women… mothers, daughters, wives, and sisters? What have we become as a nation that tolerate these needless deaths?

How many lives are enough to satisfy our greed for more oil, because we all know that’s what this has been about from the beginning? How many lives of our young men and women will be enough to satisfy Halliburton and the other corporations that profit from the deaths of our young people?

From the Congressional Research Service the estimate for deploying one U.S. soldier for one year in Iraq is $390,000. Multiply that by the 46,000 troops we still have there and you get an astounding $17,940,000,000 for one year. Think what could be done with that $17 billion right here at home. Think what that kind of money would mean to those families who are have been kicked out of military housing and are now struggling to make ends meet after the loss of a husband, or wife… or father or mother. How can we continue to justify these wars when we are not even willing to take care of the families after their loved ones have sacrificed their lives for us?

I’ve said it before Mr. President, and I’ll say it again… It’s time to bring our troops home, it’s time to take care of their families, it’s time to take care of the thousands of wounded soldiers that fill our military hospitals… It’s time to take care of the people in “This Country” and let the other countries take care of their own people.

It’s hard to celebrate Memorial Day when we are doing nothing to prevent further losses of lives.  Mr. President, please bring our troops home!

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers
The Gadfly Granny

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