26 February 2009

19 More Months in Iraq: How to Bring Immediate Relief

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement from Veterans for America on President Obama's Iraq announcement:

As President Obama finalizes his Iraq withdrawal plans, Veterans for America urges President Obama to address the dire conditions on military bases and in communities here at home. Multiple tours, inadequate dwell time between tours, the continued use of stop loss orders and the heavy use of the National Guard all risk further damaging our military and undermining the faith that service members and their families have in their civilian and military leaders. Many of our brave service members and their families need immediate relief.

At least a dozen Army Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs) are scheduled to deploy to Iraq before the majority of troops are withdrawn. Virtually all units will be on at least their second tour and many will not have had adequate rest between their tours. Louisiana, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin will all send citizen soldier BCT's to Iraq over the next several months.

Oregon is scheduled to send the 41st BCT to war for a third time since 9/11. Many Oregon Guard members have not had the three years at home between tours that President Obama promised while campaigning.

As we continue to churn our troops for another 19 months, VFA urges civilian and military leaders to provide adequate dwell time for every service member and to cease our heavy reliance overseas on our National Guard. Our troops, their families and their communities deserve no less.

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