The campaign to keep the Oregon National Guard from going to Iraq or Afghanistan is alive and well.
The campaign had a spirited hearing on the two measures, HB 2556-1 and HR 4, before the House Rules Committee on March 11. The Chair of the Rules Committee told us that the bills wouldn't get out of his committee to a floor vote unless we can tell him that we have enough votes (31) for the measures to pass the house.
We have good bipartisan support but we are not up to 31.
If the measures pass the house they will go to the Senate.
We are asking everyone to send a letter to their state representative and senator urging their support of the guard measures.
The easiest way to do this is by going to the following website of the Oregon Progressive Network (OPN):
Click on "Add your name".
You will then see a possible letter.
You can modify the letter, modify the subject line, find your legislators, and choose who to send it to, all at the same website.
You should modify the subject line and content of the eletter to increase the impact of the letters. All very easy!
Below is a copy of the letter from the website.
If for some reason you want to send a letter but do not want to go through the OPN website, you can find your legislator and their contact information at:
For more information about the Guard Home Campaign and the measures before the Oregon Legislature go to:
There are only a few weeks left before about half of Oregon's National Guard force will be deployed to Iraq. 7,200 Oregonians signed a petition in support of legislation that would keep the Guard in service to Oregon when there is not a valid Congressional authorization for a federal call up. HB 2556-1, HR 4 and SR 1 have been introduced and now have significant bi-partisan support in the House and the Senate.
The Oregon National Guard should not be deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan because:
1. Such a deployment may not be legal. I believe the Authorizations for the Use of Military Force currently in place are either expired or over-broad.
2. The deployment of 3,500 Oregon Guard troops would have a detrimental impact on our state's economy. Both the loss of their income and post-deployment medical support are direct costs to the state.
3. Deployment of Guard troops and their equipment undermines the Guard's ability to protect the people and property of Oregon. All 12 of our Blackhawk helicopters are already gone.
4. Oregon has already paid a steep price in lives and treasure for a conflict that was unnecessary. Post-deployment incidences of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), spousal and child abuse, divorce, alcoholism, drug addiction, criminal offenses, homelessness and suicide are staggering, and increase alarmingly with multiple deployments. This will be the 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th deployment for more than 40% of our Guardsmen.
HB 2556-1 simply reaffirms current law, which says that the Guard should serve the state unless called up by valid federal authorizations. HR 4 and SR 1 contend that the Congressional authorizations for war in Iraq and Afghanistan have now expired, and urge (but do not require) the Governor to withhold deployment for that reason.
We owe it to our troops to make sure that the Oregon Guard's deployment is lawful and required. As your constituent, I strongly urge your support of HB 2556-1 and HR 4 or SR 1.