While in Portland, Thursday, I attended a presentation at PSU relating to the impact of the occupation upon the Iraqi people. One of the presenters was the poet laureate of Ukiah, California, David Smith-Ferri who read from his book Battlefield Without Borders‘. Since I hail from Mendocino I was quite surprized to discover that Ukiah, ( I lived on the coast on the other side of the hill ) even had an official poet but Mendo is pretty progressive. So I bought his book as a gift for another friend of mine who has moved here from Mendocino also and has just been diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Also on the panel was Zahra Hamid Sultan, director of Save Refugees and she discussed the plight of the Iraqi people. Sultan explained that there are 4.2 million people internally displaced within Iraq and more than 2.2 million that have fled the country. They have no future, jobs, health care and live in miserable conditions.

Another panel member was Michael Taylor a fellow member of Military Families Speak Out and we had, along with several other MFSO members, traveled back to DC and lobbied Congress together last year. Taylor read from my open letter to help illustrate the effects of war on both the soldier and the people.