In rare public display, troops collect signatures against buildup in Iraq
President Bush's plan to send additional troops to Iraq is facing public opposition from a slice of the American population that rarely speaks out: the military rank and file.
A group of service members came to Capitol Hill on Tuesday armed with signatures from more than 1,000 military personnel who want Congress to stop the troop escalation and find a way to bring forces home.
"We will not be silent while thousands die," said Sgt. Liam Madden, 22, an active-duty Marine and Iraq war veteran who is helping lead the effort to organize resistance to the war from inside the military.
Madden said he believes that the war "benefits neither the United States nor Iraq, and especially not the American military. ... If you are funding a war that puts them [U.S. troops] in harm's way, you are not supporting them."
The signatories represent a tiny fraction of the military personnel who have served in and around Iraq since the 2003 invasion.
Still, according to the group, those who have signed the appeal include about 100 officers. Approximately 70 percent of signatories are active-duty military, while the rest are reservists or National Guard members, said Madden, who said signatories will not be identified publicly to protect them.