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New Website for Suzanne Swift

A new website has been constructed in support of Iraq Veteran Suzanne Swift who was arrested as a deserter on June 11th. Suzanne went AWOL after suffering extensive sexual abuse and harrassment while enlisted, and suffers from PTSD. She is being held at Ft. Lewis outside Tacoma, WA. A rally is being held at Fort Lewis on July 15. Below is an update from the website by her mother, Sara Rich. The website also includes a petition, letter writing campaign and other calls-to-action.
Update from Mom

I got to spend a day and night with Suzanne today up at Ft. Lewis. She was feeling horrible emotionally and I could tell she needed her mom. So, I got to take her off base and take her to get her hair done, out to sushi and to do a little shopping for socks and things she has been needing.

I then met her Captain and Sergeant and talk to them about any misunderstandings. I looked them both in the eye and told them the military has traumatized my daughter and I will not let it happen again. That I will protect her from being re-traumatized. They both understood that and were very responsive and kind. I got the cell phone number from her Captain, whom was very nice, in case of emergencies. They let her stay at the hotel with me for the night, which was so wonderful.

I had a long conversation with Colonel Katherine Miller who is a step down from the base commander. She said she moved Suzanne to the 42nd because the Captain is one of her best. I have to agree and Suzanne feels safe with him. She asked me to let her know if I thought Suzanne was feeling suicidal. That concerned me that she would consider that for Suzanne. Other than that she was kind and thoughtful. She did say that she did not see this having a good outcome as the damage to Suzanne is already done and we have not addressed the AWOL charges.

She is on edge. Frustrated and very tired. No one is being mean to her, but she does not trust anyone which is mentally exhausting. She took time to read all the letters and cards we have received and was so touched by all the love and support. I really believe this support is what is keeping her sane so far. Let's keep it going.

Her attorney is going to be here for a meeting the investigating officer today, 6-29-06. The psychological evaluation is Monday the 2nd of July. Her attorney will be here for that also. She is now with the 42nd MP Company. They are due to deploy to Iraq in October. I ma hoping this process goes faster than that. we are planning a Nation wide rally/vigil for Suzanne on her 22 birthday which will be on July 15. We have been calling it "Meet me in Ft. Lewis" but for those who cannot make it to up to Washington are free to organize in their own towns and communities.

The website is up and almost running. suzanneswift.org ......bookmark it and we will be updating it frequently. Fund raising is moving along. If you want your contribution to be tax deductible send your checks to:

Community Alliance of Lane County
458 Blair Blvd
Eugene, OR 97402

CALC is a 501(c)3 organization. All donations are tax deductible
In the comments space they should put: Suzanne Swift Legal Defense Fund.

If you want to send it directly to Suzanne you can still use:
Suzanne's Defense Fund
P.O. Box 51584
Eugene, OR 97405

Senator Wyden, Congressman DeFazio, and Senator Murray have all been wonderful. If you want you can call them and thank them for advocating for Suzanne. Still have heard nothing form Senator Smith's office and I have put in the formal request for help. You can call and write him if you want to take action.

Senator Gordon Smith
Eugene, OR Office
Federal Building
211 East 7th Avenue, Room 202
Eugene, OR 97401
Phone: 541.465.6750
Fax: 541.465.6808

If you are in New York, Congresswoman Maloney is an advocate for women in the military and writing her would be great.

Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney
Attn: Director of Constituent Services
1651 3rd Avenue, Suite 311
New York, New York 10128 phone (212) 860-0606 fax (212) 860-0704

Anything else? I don't know, but please keep in contact with us~
Thank you so much.
Peace~

Sara Rich, M.S.W

=================================================

July 15, 2006
Meet me in Ft. Lewis!
Please save the date: Saturday, July 15

As we gather at the gates of Ft. Lewis in Tacoma, WA to mark Suzanne Swift's 22nd birthday.

Suzanne Swift was arrested at her mother's home in Eugene on June 11 for being AWOL from the U.S. Army. Though she'd already served tours of duty in Kuwait and Iraq, Specialist Swift could not return to Iraq for a second tour of duty because she was suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder due to the sexual harassment and assault she faced at the hands of her commanding officers.

Swift, who has gone public with her charges against the perpetrators, has been forced back into active duty and back into her fatigues. She is confined to the Ft. Lewis base while her case is under investigation, and she may face court martial and prison time.

Please come Saturday, July 15 prepared to show your support for Suzanne!

homepage: homepage: http://www.suzanneswift.org


Thanks 07.Jul.2006 13:29

Mollie

Your daughter is very courageous and I hope that many people show up.
It is easy enough to find Ft. Lewis--exit 119 off of I-5.
What time?

Time 08.Jul.2006 18:25

gk

What is the time for this?

birthday demo in Albuquerque July 15 15.Jul.2006 08:57

Jeanne Pahls stopthewarmachine@comcast.net

We wanted to let you know that we will be doing a "Free Suzanne Swift and Matt Vargas" demonstration here at the Truman Gate of Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico today, July 15, 2006 from 11-2. (Matt Vargas is a young man here in Albuquerque whose story is very similar to Suzanne's, and although it doesn't contain sexual harassment/abuse, he received so much harassment and abuse from his platoon mates and commanding officers that he went AWOL and eventually holed himself up in a home with a gun with the intention of killing himself. The Albuquerque Police Dept. tear-gassed him out of the building, arrested him, put him in the county jail and then turned him over to the military. This happened at the end of May.)

We will be thinking of Suzanne and Matt today, standing at the Kirtland Air Force Truman Gate. Many thanks to Suzanne for her courage in saying no to this awful situation.