Veterans sign on to Support Congressman Murtha

Murtha said, "The future of our country is at risk. We cannot continue on the present course."


At the School Of America Watch in Columbus, Georgia, the weekend of the 19th, Nov. 2005

Over 70 Veterans with service from the 40’s to 2005 signed on to a letter of support for Congressman John Murtha.  Inital supporters held six purple hearts, a silver star and others who had served in combat and peace time.  Dennis Kyne, who spoke at the event, asked all veterans, regardless of politics to sign on.  Kyne stated, “It has been seventeen months since we viewed the photos of Abu Ghirab.  It is the implied policy of this administration that torture will be accepted.  We have not heard a whimper from the Medical Community.  The legal Community, nor the Civil Society. Finally someone has spoken for the troops and the victims.” 

Murtha said, “The future of our country is at risk.  We cannot continue on the present course.” 

 The original letter was sent certified mail by Ward Reilly to Congressman Murtha, and can be viewed at

The USA today quotes Terry Madonna, a political scientist at Franklin and Marshall College, who runs the Keystone Poll, “It is a telling moment when someone like Murtha makes this transition.”

It is a telling moment when Veterans, from all wars, recognize the leader. 

That is what the military is about, Follow the Leader.  Now we know who the leader is. 

Copy of letter follows.  Contact information for Congressman Murtha is

November, 19th, 2005

To: Rep, John Murtha
Western (Pennsylvania)

Dear Representative Murtha,

Greetings from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. My name is Ward Reilly, and I was a
volunteer Infantryman, having served as a mortar gunner in the Weapons
Platoon of Co. “C”, 1st Bn 16th Infantry(Rangers), from 1971 to 1974. I was
extremely lucky to have been stationed for 30 months at Panzer Kaserne near
Stuttgart, Germany.

I am writing to you today to thank you for your courageous stand in calling
for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. As you have so
eloquently stated, WE, our nation, has now become the enemy, and the reason
for the insurgency.

I represent a large group of Veterans who became active in trying to prevent
the invasion of Iraq, and have fought, within the system, to try and force a
“cease fire” and an immediate withdrawal from Iraq for the exact reasons
that you have bravely stated to Congress this week.

Many veterans have signed this letter in support, all men and woman that
love our nation. We are vets from every conflict from WWII to Iraq.

The principle reason for this letter of thanks and endorsement of your
stand, aside from the stated, is that we want to share with you, one fact
that we now believe is the single most important piece of information in
regards to the TRUTH about how the war was started.

The White House Administration is now repeatedly stating, to justify their
criticism of you and ALL the anti-war citizens, that “all the democrats
voted approval for this war side-by-side with the republican members of

Colonel, we have evidence, provided by veterans that were involved, that the
Bush/Cheney administration started strategic bombings of military targets,
targets NOT IN the “No-Fly-Zones”, four months PRIOR to the congressional
vote “authorizing military (military) action” in Iraq.

Sir, that is treason, and a war crime, plain and simple, and it COMPLETELY
negates every bit of subterfuge that the administration is stating about
their being justified because “Congress voted to allow military action”.
What we are saying, is that the Administration started the war long before
they had approval, and before you voted on authorizing military action.

(Obviously, time is of the essence in this matter, as our troops are dying
in a war where they cant really fight back, and they are little more than
targets in a country where, as you also stated, they have become the enemy,
of an Iraqi people that want them gone NOW.

Thank you again for your courageous stand on this matter….many, many
veterans are hanging their hopes on you to stop this disaster as soon as

We the undersigned, at the “School of America’s Watch” (SOAW), Ft. Benning,
Georgia, and other Veterans from around the nation are, Respectively yours,

R. Ward Reilly RA E-4 U.S. Army Infantry 71-74

Billy Kelly 1Lt U.S. Army Infantry Silver Star, Bronze Star, 2 Purple Hearts
Dave Cline Pfc. U.S. Army Infantry Vietnam 3 Purple Hearts
Roy Bourgeois U.S. Navy Vietnam Purple Heart
Camilio E Mejia E-6 U.S. Army Infantry Iraq
Fred Louis E-S USA 67-69 Purple Heart Vietnam
Chuck Heyn E-5 USA 66-68 Combat Medical Badge, Silver Star
Douglas Drews E-6 USAF 68-72 Vietnam
Daniel Rutter TSgt USAF 87- Present 66TRS Pensacola, AF
Joshua Casteel E-4 USA 97-05 Iraqi Freedom
Michael Hoffman E-3 USMC 99-03 OIF / Founding Member IVAW
Nick Przybyla E-4 USN Afghanistan / IVAW
Dennis Kyne E-5 USA 87-03 Operation Desert Storm
Chad Hetman 0-3 USA 94-Ind
Gordon Soderberg HM3 USN 82-87 Service in the Middle East
Jim Goodnow SN1 USCG 59-61
Debra J. Clark AGT USA 76-84 CID
Mariela Guzman E-5 USN 98-02
Marty Bates E-7 USAF 20 Years
Bob Gronko E-2 USMC 73-76
Ron Chew USA 53-56
Gary Sorensen E-4 USA 61-64
Tom Contrestan E-4 USA 70-72
Hervie Harris E-4 USN 65-69 3 Tours Vietnam
David Waters E-5 USA 66-69 Vietnam Veteran
Gary Cheney USA 67-70 Vietnam Veteran
Reid Jenkins USCG 68-72
Phil Standon USN 59-70
Will Thomas E-3 USN 61-63 Cuban Campaign
Rudy Simons USA 51-53 Korea
Ray Kell USA 45-46 South America
Jack Neis CPT USAF 64-69
Wayne Wittman USN 48-51
William Sloan USA 59-62 Germany / Berlin Wall
George Aros E-6 USAF 68-76 1st SRW
Archie Goodwin USAF 43-45
John H. Moore Lt USA 62-65
Ray Parrish SGT USAF 72-75 Turkey
Scott Satterwhite HMZ USN 90-99 3rd Marine Division, Okinawa
Tom Palumbo E-5 USA 78-91
Richard Gilchrist E-5 USA 59-61 Vietnam
William Ryerson E-4 USAF 65-69 Korea
George E. Taylor Lt. USN 61-65
Jim Steinhagen PFC USMC 48-52 Korea
Wayne Olson E-4 USA 62-69 Vietnam
Edward Bloomer E-4 USA 66-68
William A. Basinger HM2 USN 53-68 Japan Occupation / Korea
Gerry Waite CPT USA 68-81 Vietnam
John Amidon USMC 65-69
Larry Shwarczynski USA 63-66
Jim Driscoll USMC 67-70 Platoon Commander Vietnam
Elliott Adams USA 173rd Airborne Vietnam / Korea
William Von Andton CW2 USA 68-70 Vietnam
Jack Gilroy USA 53-56 Austria / Germany
Phil Stanton USN 69-70 Vietnam
Ellen Barfield USA 77-81
John Murray USA 51-53
David Mezzera 1 LT USA 68-70 Vietnam
Barry Scanlon E-5 USMC 72-76
Ed Vail 1LT USA 3 years RVN 5 months
Thompson Bradley E-4 USA 56-58
Patrick Reising E-5 USA 69-71 Vietnam
John Grant E-5 USA Vietnam
Barry Riesch E-4 USA Vietnam
Frank Corcoran E-4 USMC Vietnam
Jay D. Alexander E-4 USA 79-90 Panama
David Harris CPT USAF 65-67
Robert Breslin CPT USMC 60-65
Robert Cierna E-5 USA 70-72
Brian McMahon E-4 USA 68-71
Ed Byrne USA 54-55
Joseph Kling USNR 56-68
Joey B King 82nd Airborne Division
Archie Wayne Blumhorst USMC 57-63
Barry Scanlan USMC 72-76
Wallace Parker 1Lt U.S. Army, Vietnam
Tim Goodrich USAF Saudi Arabia

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