A Mother, A Daugther, A War

March 21st, 2004 - by admin

by Adele Kubein / MoveOn.org –


A Mother, A Daugther, A War
Adele Kubein / MoveOn.org

March 20 marks the anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq. It’s a good time to take a moment to honor the sacrifices our troops there and their families are making. More than 100,000 American troops are serving in Iraq today.

Here’s the story of one mother, Adele Kubein, whose daughter was injured while serving in Iraq:

A Mother, A Daugther, A War
Adele Kubein / MoveOn.org

(March 19, 2004) — When my daughter enlisted in the National Guard I was proud of her, for having the discipline to make it through basic training. But I had friends who went to Vietnam, and I said: “Baby, are you sure you want to do this? And she said: “Oh, mom, I’m going to fight fires in Oregon, build roads, and there’s never going to be another war.”

When she called me after her unit went from Kuwait to Mosul in a convoy and told me that she had gone through roads with depleted uranium dust and tanks with dead bodies in them, I was afraid. I knew that my daughter was facing mortal danger.

Mom, I Had To Kill Someone Today
I cried for joy that she was alive when her helicopter was shot down because the one in front of her, everybody died on. But when she called me up and told me, “Mom, I had to kill someone today, and I looked in his eyes and I saw him die,” I cried with her because I knew there was no going back then.

I want to know that there’s a good reason for what happened to my daughter, and to all the other kids that have been killed an injured in Iraq.

My daughter told me stories about the Iraqi people, their casualties are just as high as ours, and they love their families just as much as we love ours.

When my daughter was injured, I cried, I wept with joy to know that she was coming home, because I knew that so many other people were not going to come home.

My Daughter Went to Iraq to Build Schools
My daughter accounted for herself; she did her duties regardless of her fears and feelings. She thought she was going to Iraq to build houses and schools for people who needed them. That’s what they told them in the Oregon National Guard. Instead she ended up in an ever-escalating cycle of violence.

Our nation is based on accountability. I want to know that what our loved ones are going through is for a good reason. When I visit my daughter once more and hold her as she weeps about the things that she has seen and done, I will tell her that she did the right thing. But I want to know that the people who lead this country are doing the right thing also. [1]

Of course, this is just one story. Thousands of our troops in Iraq have been injured, and hundreds have been killed. Countless Iraqis have also been killed. [2]

One simple way to show our respect and gratitude for our soldiers’ service, and our hope for their safe return, is to put a candle (or a light resembling one) in a window tomorrow night.

Our troops and their families are making incredible sacrifices. Many reservists serving in Iraq left with as little as a week’s notice, and have been told they’ll be there for a year, at constant risk to life and limb. At the same time, the Bush administration has tried to short-change soldiers, veterans, and their families on combat pay, [3] health care, [4] and education funding. [5]

One way we can help is by giving to a fund called the Armed Forces Relief Trust, which helps military servicemembers and their families with emergency expenses, medical bills, flights home, and education costs. If you’d like, you can give at:


Please take a few minutes to honor our troops tomorrow by putting a light in your window. And if you can help some families in need, that’s great too.

[1] Adele made this statement at a press conference announcing our Censure campaign, on February 10th.

[2] According to an editorial in today’s New York Times, “The innocent Iraqi casualties of Mr. Bush’s war are literally countless because the Pentagon refuses to estimate their number.” http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/19/opinion/19FRI1.html?hp

[3] http://www.ajc.com/news/content/news/0803/14paycut.html

[4] http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A4064-2003Jan16

[5] http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/110009_military25.shtml