• WisPolitics

Monday, August 25, 2008

 5:24 PM 

Pocan joins others in calling for legislation to allow states to bring Guard home

Wisconsin State Rep. Mark Pocan joined a Maryland legislator, antiwar advocates and members of military families on the steps of the Colorado Capitol Monday afternoon in support of legislation that would allow states to pull their National Guard forces out of Iraq.

"This war should never have happened and certainly should not continue, but the cost to the people of Wisconsin has been tremendous," said Pocan, D-Madison. "It's been a cost of not getting dollars for education, it's been the cost of not getting dollars for health care, it's had real costs to every single taxpayer in Wisconsin and yet we as legislators in Wisconsin have very little to say about it."

Pocan appeared at the event in Denver during the first day of the Democratic National Convention to join the "Bring The Guard Home" national organization in promoting legislation that says the 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force has expired and that there is no longer a "lawful basis for Guard deployments" in Iraq.

Parents of Iraqi veterans shared stories of their children returning home from duty and suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and other debilitating mental health problems. They said they were distraught over the thought of their kids being injured for a war that they "don't need to be fighting."

The legislators in attendance represented 10 states that have shown interest in the proposal that would allow them to bring their Guard forces home on their own accord. Maryland Sen. Jamie Raskin said everything about the build up to and subsequent fighting in Iraq has been mishandled, and the states should be allowed to bring their involvement to an end.

"This will be the everlasting shame of the Bush Administration," he said.

Pocan said that while the entire country would have to deal with the aftermath of U.S. occupation of Iraq for years to come, the results could be felt right now in his home state.

"Literally thousands of people in Wisconsin have been impacted by losing family members and friends," he said.

-- By Matt Clark


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