Historic veterans' speak-out planned at Fort Lewis

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Mary, Mother of Sgt. Kirkland
Donate to bring her to Ft. Lewis!
Photo: Matt Detric

Dear members and supporters,

Since our founding, we have been fighting to expose the U.S. military’s criminally negligent mental health care, which has led to an epidemic of suicides; not only to save the lives of veterans and GIs suffering from PTSD, but to prove that this government cares nothing about our lives, giving all service members the right to refuse to take part in these wars for empire.

For the past year, we have focused a lot of our energy on publicizing the case of Sgt. Derrick Kirkland.

A major event is planned to publicize the case, but we urgently need donations to make it possible. Click here now to donate!

Sgt. Kirkland, an infantryman stationed at Fort Lewis, was on his second combat tour in Iraq when he was sent home for mental health reasons. Sgt. Kirkland attempted suicide three times, then was rated a “low risk for suicide” by Army mental health doctors, mocked and ridiculed by his chain of command, given no treatment but handfuls of pills, then assigned to a room by himself (a violation of Army regulations for soldiers at risk of suicide). Sgt. Kirkland killed himself shortly thereafter. He left behind a wife, baby daughter, and a caring family.

March Forward! members in Sgt. Kirkland’s unit immediately began organizing and speaking out. Word got to Sgt. Kirkland’s mother and brother, who are now active in the campaign, including many soldiers from Kirkland’s unit.

SSG Kevin Baker

I was in the barracks the day Kirkland lost his life—and that day, I saw the true potential for a fighting movement within the ranks of the military, where soldiers immediately started rising up against the horrible conditions we were subjected to. 

We have been working tirelessly since then; our event on Aug. 12 will be another important step towards fixing this broken system.

We need to get the word out to as many soldiers and supporters as possible; we need Kirkland’s brave mother, Mary, with us on that day; we need your support to make all this possible. Please donate today.

Our work on the case is gaining momentum, and culminating on August 12, where we will hold a speak-out at Fort Lewis. Veterans and active-duty soldiers active in the campaign will speak to Fort Lewis soldiers, media, and community members about the crisis in mental health, and how GIs can organize together and fight back.

We in March Forward! are committed to bringing Sgt. Kirkland's mother, Mary, from Indiana to speak about her son’s death.

Funds are urgently needed to bring Mary to Fort Lewis for this important event; please click here to contribute to the travel fund.

This will be a historic event; in the so-called “War on Terror,” never before have so many soldiers from a single unit, united with military families, stood up and fought back against the military.

But we need your help to make this possible. We function off of very little money, and events such as this can cause a huge strain financially. By making a donation, you can ensure that the voice of Mary and Sgt. Kirkland’s fellow soldiers will be heard loud and clear by the press, troops at Ft. Lewis, and the command responsible for Kirkland’s death.

Please make a donation now; every dollar counts towards winning justice for Sgt. Kirkland and all soldiers with PTSD, and towards building a fighting movement within the military that can stop these endless wars for the rich.

Thank you for your continued support,
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Michael Prysner
Iraq war veteran, co-founder of March Forward!

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