Carolyn Ho's letter to her sisters in spirit

Dear Sisters in Spirit,

Metaphorically and literally, women are vessels within which transformation gestates and expresses in the world. I am appealing to this power deep within your being for tangible, ongoing support as I continue the work of building a public opinion campaign in defense of my son, Lt. Ehren Watada. When I first heard of his decision to be the first American Army officer to refuse deployment to Iraq in Jan. 2006, I could only comprehend its impact in a personal way. As a mother, I experienced shock, dismay and untold grief for him and his future. “What would it be like to be a stranger in one’s own country, to be vilified, hated, and demeaned?” I wondered.

Contrary to expectation, the response of the American public has been both profound and visceral. Despite the hate-mongers, there exists a groundswell of support that has grown exponentially. I have come to realize that my son, in a small part, embodies the hope of the nation --- to end an illegal, immoral war that has brought death and destruction to over 650,000 Iraqis and Americans. Beyond this, his act of conscience adds momentum to the call for an end to the insidious erosion of our democratic institutions and the rule of law.

Ultimately, he models for others the fact that we can no longer hide behind the cloak of fear while all is crumbling around us. Despite the consequences on this plane, he demonstrates the courage to live authentically. After all, what is freedom if a man betrays the inner voice of conscience?

The 3 charges leveled against him amount to a maximum of 8 years in a military prison. The battle must be waged not only legally but in the court of public opinion. Time is of essence. We need your support now. You can drive the lieutenant’s campaign forward through numerous activities. Educate and dialogue with your network of family, friends, and acquaintances through classroom activities, house parties, church, community and political gatherings. Circulate a petition. Communicate to your elected representatives, the military (write a letter to Lt. Commander General Dubick of Ft. Lewis) and the media. Banner, rally, and demonstrate on the Lt.’s behalf. For information concerning these activities, how to’s, and for upcoming events, consult website.

Reach deep within the well of your creativity and devise actions that resonate for you.
As women, you are in a unique position to effect change. Let your voices resonate.

In peace and gratitude,
Carolyn Ho