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Dear Friend,

I thought you would be interested in this excerpt from a statement that I 

made on the Senate floor on March 20 in support of our troops in Iraq.

Sincerely,
Barbara Boxer
U.S. Senator
 

As military action begins in Iraq, I send my strong support, as a Senator, 

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 

programs. 

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
nto battle. 

For more information on supporting our troops, please visit the special 

section of my Senate website at  
http://boxer.senate.gov/CAbases/troops.html