mfso: charley richardson legacy fund

In late 2003, Allan and I attended a peace rally and meeting at Judson Church, on Washington Square Park in New York City. The church was packed to the rafters, full of anger and energy and the power of determination. A man spoke whose son was in Iraq, and who opposed the war. I wish I knew who that man was. All I know is that he was with Military Families Speak Out.

That night, I decided I would join the movement to support war resisters. I didn't know how or when I would do that, but I knew I had to be part of it.

In Canada, I've learned how vital MFSO has been to the peace movement, and about the unstinting support they've given military members and their families - the real meaning of "support our troops". Now MFSO needs a different kind of support.
When Military Families Speak Out (MFSO) began in November, 2002, co-founders Charley Richardson and Nancy Lessin’s son was being deployed to Iraq. They shared with other military families a deep fear and worry about those who would be in harm's way for no good reason. They also share your deep commitment to bringing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to an end.

With their leadership, vision and hard work, combined with the support and involvement of a growing number of military families, MFSO grew to a powerful organization of more than 4,000 members, speaking out to end the wars in Iraq and now Afghanistan. It is the largest organization of military families speaking out against wars in the history of the country. MFSO helped to change the definition of what it meant to "support the troops," as MFSO's mantra "Support Our Troops – Bring Them Home NOW!" caught on across the country.

MFSO co-founders Charley Richardson and Nancy Lessin now face a very personal struggle. Charley has been battling an advanced, aggressive cancer and the prognosis is poor.

After working tirelessly to amplify the voices of military families in the larger movement to end the wars, this tragic personal situation is curtailing their continued leadership in the organization. Their need to pull back, combined with the economic recession, has put Military Families Speak Out in financial jeopardy.

In Charley's honor, MFSO is establishing the Charley Richardson Legacy Fund. And we need your help to make it a success. We have a donor who has committed to matching contributions dollar for dollar, up to $15,000.

This Fund will celebrate the work that he and Nancy have contributed to MFSO and will provide the core support for MFSO to continue building a movement to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The voice of military families opposing these wars makes a difference. Support Military Families Speak Out and build a legacy to honor Charley.

Click here to make a donation | Click here to read more about Charley & Nancy's story

This is from Charley Richardson and Nancy Lessin:
We, Charley and Nancy, are asking those who know and support the work of Military Families Speak Out to help solidify this vital organization that we have helped to build. The love and support of so many of you has kept us going, even as Charley’s battle with cancer has intensified. We are now asking that you help keep Military Families Speak Out going.

As we step back, we ask that you step up.

Many friends have asked us how they can help Charley and our family. This is how you can help. Your contributions to MFSO, and your words of support, will help build a legacy for Charley, and allow Military Families Speak Out to continue to be a leader in the movement to end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Charley Richardson and Nancy Lessin
Co-founders, Military Families Speak Out

Charley Richardson Legacy Fund.

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