Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Open Letter to Bush and Congress -- Bring our Troops Home!

by Amy Branham
Mother of Sgt. Jeremy R. Smith
Nov. 1981 – Feb. 2004

President Bush and Members of Congress,

As you enjoy your holiday vacations with your families, I strongly urge you to also remember the sons and daughters of America whom you have sent to fight in a bloody war that has taken them so far away from their families, their lives and their homes. I urge you to remember the sons and daughters of America who will not be coming home – ever.

In November We, the People of the United States of America voted for change. We voted for an end to the war in Iraq. We do not want to continue fighting a war that was never officially declared a war and we do not want our sons and daughters to continue to die in this ill-planned, immoral, misbegotten war without end. We want you to bring them home and to bring them home now.

You have so far ignored our pleas and our cries to end this war. It does not touch your lives and it does not affect you on an hourly basis. But, while you sit in your comfortable homes and offices, safe from harm, there are hundreds of thousands of American citizens who are not comfortable and who are affected. They are either fighting in this war or worrying about their loved ones who are fighting for their lives every day. There are families who are living in dreadful fear of that knock on the door. They watch the news shows and wonder, with every announcement of yet another death of American military members, whether theirs is still alive or one of the dead.

This month alone there have been 61 of America’s sons and daughters killed. That’s 61 families whose holidays are ruined, who will forever have their Christmas tainted by the death of someone they love in this horrendous war. Thousands upon thousands of Iraqis are also dead.

While you sit in your homes, waiting to make up your minds what to do, lives are being forever changed. This war may not affect you or your family, but it does affect hundreds of thousands of people across this country and in Iraq. Every second, every minute, every day and every week that you take to “think” about the war, lives are changed or forever ended.

Last weekend I put up my Christmas tree and was rocked with the memories of the last Christmas I spent with my only son, who died a month and a half later, in February 2004. He was home on an unexpected leave. My husband and I had no money as he had been laid off from work and I was the only one keeping us afloat then. We had barely enough to make ends meet. But Jeremy was coming home and we were determined to make the holiday a good one for him, knowing that this could very well be his last Christmas ever.

I got a PayDay Loan. Then, because all of our holiday decorations were in storage in another city, I went out and bought a small silk tree and decorated it. I bought small, inexpensive gifts and food for our traditional Christmas Eve feast. And when my son came home, I hugged on him, kissed him and spent as much time as I possibly could with him. In the end, it was a good Christmas.

Now, I put that little tree up every year in remembrance of my only son, my beloved boy whose voice I will never hear again, the young man I will never again hug or kiss. And I cry tears of sorrow for the senseless end of his life.

Please, I beg of you, do not hesitate one more hour, one more week to end this war. Do not send more troops to Iraq, do not extend tours of duty, and do not continue in this war. The Iraqi’s do not want us in their country and the American people want their sons and daughters to come home. Please, listen to us and bring them home.

We cannot afford to waste another day while you are enjoying your holidays. Today the death toll is 2,950. How many more will die before you make up your minds to end this war?

Amy Branham
Houston, TX
Mother of Sgt. Jeremy R. Smith
Nov. 1981 – Feb. 2004


Snave said...


If I was a praying kind of guy, your post would make me want to pray. I'll send lots of positive thoughts anyway, to the troops and their families during the holiday season.

This does have to change. I don't see how our country can survive if the Bush administration's approach goes on much longer. There are those who say our country won't survive if we don't stay in Iraq, but I totally disagree with that at this point. Our troops need to get out of there, and we need to see that Bush is out of office as soon as possible, so we can begin to repair the damage he has done. It is going to take years, so the sooner we can start, the better.

PoliShifter said...

Great letter!

I heard on the radio yesterday a disturbing story about how in San Diego some military personell are living in homeless shelters. The base housing is full and the rent is so high in San Diego that they can't afford to rent an Apt.

Others are piled in with family members or piling together into small Apt's.

It was an email read over the radio and the emailer's suggestion was to take all those FEMA trailers in the desert and use them for military housing.

Bush and our Gov are so fucked up. They want us to "support the troops" which to BushCo means not saying anything bad about the occupation of Iraq.

But when it comes to real support (helmet inserts, body armor, housing, PTSD treatment, etc) these fuckers are no where to be found.

Damien said...

Fucking A and Amen to that one Lizzy, its time to start heading home.

You and everyone in Minnosota have a great xmas, and you stay safe lil lady.

Lizzy said...

BushCo has fucked everything up so bad that I don't even know what to say anymore.

I'm glad you guys appreciated the letter.

1138 said...


As a veteran that fought for peace and not for death, that fought for country and not for fascism and oil I very much appreciate the letter.

Soldiers are not cops and cannot handle this job.
Military commanders are not a valid substitute for civilian authority.
We have an obligation to the Iraqi people, and that obligation is to get the hell out of there and let more reasonable nations step in and fix our fuck up.

If you don't mind I'm going to make it my Christmas Day post.