News Release

U.S. Military Families in Iraq

Relatives of U.S. military personnel stationed in Iraq are currently in Baghdad. They are meeting with members of the Governing Council and ordinary Iraqis, as well as with U.S. soldiers including their loved ones stationed in Iraq.

Today they expressed surprise at the dire conditions of schools and hospitals that they have visited. They also report that many Iraqis they encounter want direct elections.

In the United States, media can contact: Andrea Buffa [andrea@globalexchange.org] and Victoria Cunningham [victoria@codepinkalert.org]. They are in touch with members of the delegation and can arrange interviews upon their return to the U.S. after December 8.

Family members of U.S. military personnel currently in Iraq include:

* MICHAEL McPHEARSON
McPhearson, who has a son in the military, said: “Both George Bush and Hillary Clinton have a hidden agenda. They are both using their trips to Iraq to better position their political parties in the upcoming elections. The only agenda of our delegation is to uncover the truth.”
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* FERNANDO SUAREZ DEL SOLAR
Fernando Suarez del Solar, whose son Jesus was a Marine who died in combat in Iraq, said: “Our mission is not photo ops. Our mission is talking to ordinary Iraqis and U.S. troops, figuring out why things have gone so terribly wrong and what we can do to stop the violence and bring the troops home.” He is also bringing thousands of letters of peace from children in the United States to children in Iraq, as well as medical supplies for hospitals.
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* ANABELLE VALENCIA
Valencia, a military mother and school teacher traveling with the delegation, said: “I want to see my son and daughter and talk to the other troops. I want to talk to the Iraqi people, especially the women. And I want to talk to the U.S. authorities and ask them when they are going to send our troops home and allow the Iraqis to run their own country.”
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* MIKE LOPERCIO
A businessman from Tempe, Arizona, whose son is stationed in Iraq, Lopercio said: “I want to ask Iraqis how they feel about our presence and if they understand and agree with our objectives. I want to find out if the current attacks on our troops are acts of a small minority or supported by most of the population.”;
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167