I thought you would be interested in this excerpt from a statement that
made on the Senate floor on March 20 in
support of our troops in Iraq.
As military action begins in Iraq, I send my strong support, as
as a mother, as a grandmother, to our
sons and daughters who are
carrying out the mission asked of them.
Military personnel from my State of California are a lead contributor in
this effort. They include marines from
Camp Pendleton and Twentynine
Palms, carrier groups from San Diego,
and Air Force personnel from
Travis Air Force Base.
There are many more soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines from
throughout California serving us today,
including 6,100 Guard and
reservists who have recently been activated.
Thousands of California
families are impacted.
Like all Americans, I hope and I pray that
hostilities end soon and that
casualties are minimal. And like all Americans,
I very much hope that
democracy in Iraq will take root. Last
night, I saw an interview with a
young man who is a soldier in the Army,
and he was as eloquent on this
same point as any statement I had ever
heard, eloquent in his simplicity,
in expressing his hope for this mission.
Congress is supporting our troops from the minute they went in. I believe
one way we can demonstrate that is to
ensure that the lives of both parents
of dual-military families with small children
are not unnecessarily put at risk.
We must be mindful of the impact on a
child when both parents are put in
harm's way. I believe we can make sure
they are not both placed in harm's
way. I will work to make sure of that.
I also intend to work to provide additional funding for four important
First, we need to increase funding for impact
aid programs to help school
districts with military families. Our
children of military families need
attention now. They must have attention
now. And we are not fulfilling our
responsibility to our military families
if those children do not get help.
We have heard from many military families struggling to pay for daycare
and other expenses who have one family
member deployed from home.
We have heard from them that they are
having a very hard time.
Next, I think we need to help with homeland defense. Clearly, everyone
has told us--from the CIA to the FBI to
Secretary Ridge--that the
probability has now greatly increased
that we will be facing more problems
here at home. That is why I am supporting
the Schumer amendment to
reimburse our States for this burden.
Many people throughout California have asked me, what can they do to
support our troops? The Department of
Defense has provided some
excellent ideas that can be accessed on
the official DOD Web site,
DefenseLINK. I think it would be good
for those who want to do
something now to get on that Web site.
We have a link on our Web site as
well. The ideas are there on how to send
a virtual thank-you card to our
troops, how to provide them with telephone
calling cards.These are things
that will make their lives much better.
Let's do everything we can for our troops and everything we can to protect
our homeland. And let us all pray for
our men and women in uniform, and
for their families and for wisdom for
all those who send them forward i
For more information on supporting our troops, please visit the special
section of my Senate website at