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To all the families at MFSO, you have taken the brunt of the horror of these wars. I stand with you in opposing them, and seeking to bring all our troops home. For the sake of all the children: ours and theirs.
With gratitude to everyone with the courage to speak out against the wars, and especially to Charley and Nancy who have led the way.
Anna has a son in the US Marine Corps.
Charley and Nancy have founded and guided an organization that has given comfort and encouragement to so many military families. I have endured 3 deployments of my son to Iraq with your help.
Andy Sapp served with the Army National Guard in Iraq between November 2004 & October 2005.
“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends…”
Charley & Nancy, this you have done, and continue to do, in the living of your lives beside others who believe and suffer for justice sake. Every time Mary sees a hummingbird, she talks about you, Charley. We join the flocks of brilliant hummingbirds carrying precious drops of love, healing and thanks to you for your love, support, guidance, and the gift of opportunity to speak our hearts.
For the inspiration to believe that we can affect change in our fragile world, and for the strength to move forward with the most beautiful people we have ever known, we are forever grateful. You have our love, prayer, and hummingbird hearts.
Dear Charley and Nancy – thanks for your important leadership on this and so many issues over the years. We are hoping for a strong recovery. Best regards.
Larry and Judy have four sons who served in the military; three are currently in active duty.
When our two Army sons were sent to Iraq in 2003, we were disheartened. We were proud of our sons, but we were against the war. We felt isolated and torn.
Searching the Internet, we found MFSO. Suddenly, we weren’t alone. MFSO allowed us to show we could be a patriotic military family AND be against the war. More importantly, MFSO gave us a forum to speak out against the war. MFSO has helped us survive five tours to Iraq and a current Afghanistan tour.
Thank you, Nancy and Charley, for having the courage and forethought to found MFSO. Your actions have allowed thousands of military families to find their voices. No longer will military families remain silent if their loved ones are recklessly put in harm’s way.
Nancy and Charley, you have changed America and us for the better. Thank you.
Charley’s passion and dedication have inspired countless men and women to fight for safety and for peace. Thanks to Charley’s efforts, we are many steps closer to a world without war.
When my beloved daughter was deployed to Iraq, I despaired and felt that I had no place to turn for resources to help me understand what was happening. It seemed that the exploitation of the valor of our troops would go unchallenged and that military families would have no voice to question America’s hasty entry into an illegal war. Then, through MFSO, Nancy and Charley taught me how to effectively speak out about my opposition to the war and my support of the troops. I, and many others new to public protest, learned how to object to the manifest evils of the war in ways that would earn respect and change minds. Nancy and Charley gave me a way to stand up for what I believe in and to fight back against the injustices inflicted on our brave soldiers and their families by the very institutions they had so loyally sworn to defend. I will always be indebted to Nancy and Charley for turning my despair into hope.
You saw the need and you created something new. I admire your boldness, creativity, perseverance, and openness to all kinds of folks. MFSO is likely to be needed for years to come.
In recognition and tribute to the great work you do. Keep the struggle going.
Dear Charley and Nancy: If we all understood as well as you the inextricable link between the personal and the political, it would be such a safer, more beautiful world. You two are an inspiration. Charley, I’m thinking of you and wishing you strength and healing.
Few voices for peace can be heard in our country. Yours is one of them. Thank you for your work.
Sending lots of love from Val, Lucio, Malena & Pablo!
For Charley and Nancy–with much admiration for the important work that you do. You are truly inspirational!
Shirley’s son Jesse P. served in the Army from 2000 to 2004.
If not for Charley and Nancy I truly don’t think I would be where I am right now. Thanks to them I became an activist and a social worker who not only found my voice, but learned to use it. Thanks to them my son was able to find his way out of the Army safely. Thousands of lives are better off for the good work Nancy and Charley have done through MFSO. Thankful for all they have done, I don’t know what we would have done without them. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family always.
We have looked to Charley & Nancy’s leadership, commitment and friendship in these long days that we have fought to end the wars. After my son was killed in May 2004, they provided the grounding that enabled me to focus my grief and my anger to use my voice to send the message “Bring them home now and take care of them when they get here”. I am grateful that my life’s path crossed theirs.
When the history of the opposition to the Iraq War is written, the honest accounts will credit Military Families Speak Out and name Charley Richardson and Nancy Lessin as the heroes who finally brought the war to an end. MFSO, Charley and Nancy have forever changed the dynamics of anti-war organizing by blazing the trail for military families and vets to break the code of silence and allow military families to speak their minds.
Charley gave us hope, organization, and a voice to make a difference in uniting against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our soldiers and their families represent 1 percent of Americans carrying the burden of two wars for over 8 years. Charley and his wife Nancy gave us brave and strong leadership while the rest of America ignored the pain of these extended wars. Their dedication to soldiers and their loved ones helped many of us survive long deployments.
Nancy Lessin, Charley Richardson and MFSO have been – and will continue to be – a guiding light of the antiwar movement.
Anne’s son Jake deployed twice to Iraq, and her daughter-in-law Cynthia leaves for her second deployment in January 2010.
Charley and Nancy, thank you for standing up and allowing us to stand with you. I will keep you in my heart always. Peace, Annie
Diana’s son served one tour in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.
My father was a C.O. during WWII, my two brothers during the Vietnam War. My son is now a Sergeant in the Army, and will deploy to Afghanistan for the second time this spring. It is hard to buck the tide. Thank you to MFSO for providing support to those of us who also bear the costs of our country’s endless wars.
Many thanks to Nancy and Charley for all their work for peace. They are examples to us all on how to organize and seize the moment to make a real difference. I wish I had more dollars to contribute.