By Kathy Allwein

Lebanon, Pennsylvania

My son, Tony, is in the Army. His job was in communications but as he found out, during a war you are used wherever the military needs a body. He directed traffic in Baghdad and also was a rear gunner on a daily patrol. Now he is stationed in Frederick, Maryland.

I never understood the Bush administration’s reasons for this war and have been against it from the beginning. After reading the website of Military Families Speak Out, I knew I wanted to be a part of this group. They are military families and people with a direct connection to the war.

If I were president, I would withdraw our troops immediately. We are the cause of the chaos over there, not the solution to it. Since we created this mess, we must pay to rebuild the country, and the Iraqi people should be hired to rebuild it, not American workers.

My son joined the army, as most young people do, out of a sense of duty to his country. While the intentions of those who join the military are indeed honorable, they are not always treated honorably. My son was promised that his student loans would be paid as part of his contract. After he returned from Iraq, he was told his loans do not quality for the repayment program because they are non-government loans.

For more information on Military Families Speak Out, go to www.mfso.org