This moving appeal from the mother of Lt. Ehren Watada, the first commissioned officer in the U.S. military publicly to refuse to go to Iraq because the war is illegal, invites you to participate in the National Day of Action in support of Lt. Watada on Tues., Jun. 27.[1]  --  Because outside Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest the nation's newspapers have been giving the Watada case the silent treatment, this demonstration of support is particularly important.  --  Lt. Watada says we're living in a time when Americans need to make sacrifices to perserve their democracy.  --  Are you willing to help?  --  For details about how you can use your First Amendment rights and show your support right here in Tacoma, where Lt. Watada made his announcement of his decision to refuse deployment to Iraq, click here! ...


By Carolyn Ho

Thank You Lt.
June 26, 2006

I am the mother of Lt. Ehren Watada, an officer stationed at Ft. Lewis. He is part of a Stryker brigade unit that deployed last week to Iraq. Despite an unflinching commitment to his men and to democratic ideals, he chose not to accompany his men. His decision came through much soul-searching and through research and consultation with experts across disciplines, inside and outside of the military and the government.

After weighing the evidence, he came to the conclusion that he could no longer be silent while atrocities were committed in the name of democracy. He could no longer be a tool of an administration that used deception and lies to make the case for pre-emptive war.

As a member of the armed forces, sworn to uphold the U.S. Constitution, he refuses to blindly participate in a war of aggression, an illegal war that undermines who we are as a nation and violates international law. Implicit in his oath as an officer is the duty to disobey all unlawful orders for; to carry out these orders renders him an accomplice to a criminal act. Furthermore, to order his men to participate in a war of aggression multiplies his guilt a thousandfold. His conscience will not permit him to do so. He believes that he can best serve them by taking a stand against the war. In so doing, he demonstrates that one does not relinquish the freedom to choose what is right, even in the military, and that the freedom to choose what is right transcends the allegiance to man and institutions.

As a mother, I have evolved from fearing for his safety and for his future to the realization that there is a higher purpose to all that has transpired. My son no longer stands at the crossroads. He has chosen “the road less traveled.”  Come what may, he is committed to staying the course.

I invite you to affirm your support of Lt. Ehren Watada on June 27th, National Day of Action (details below). On this day, groups across the country will participate in peaceful demonstrations, prayer services, candle light vigils, parades, leafleting, visitations to recruitment stations to provide counsel to prospective recruits, etc. Please contact your local organization for details.

My deepest thanks,

Carolyn Ho
Ehren’s Mom