Saturday, July 15th marks a national day of action to call for an honorable discharge for Army Specialist Suzanne Swift, who turns 22 on that day. Protests will occur at the gates of Ft. Lewis (exit 119) beginning at 12 pm with a press conference at 3 pm.

In Eugene, a protest will be held at 12 pm at the Federal Building.

Additional protests supporting Swift are also occurring in communities throughout the country on that day.

Protesters will call for an honorable discharge for Swift, who was sexually abused by her sergeant while doing her duty in Iraq as a military police officer. At the same time, Rich will highlight the petition on the Care2 website, which has risen to the number one placement for signed petitions.

For more information on Suzanne Swift and how to sign the petition, please see http://www.SuzanneSwift.org

Sara Rich’s statement:

Suzanne joined the Army with stars in her eyes. She was told she would see far away travel, be trained as a military police officer and when she got out she would be given money for college. Hell of a deal. Not once did the recruiter mention the deadly statistics for women in the military and how going to war dehumanizes many soldiers to a point where they think that raping and harassing women is acceptable behavior.

What has happened to Suzanne is happening to 2 out of every three women in the military right now. Young women and men are being subjected to sexual harassment, intimidation and assault every day and this is a national call to action. We must stop the climate of fear that our soldiers are living in every day. No more sweeping it under the carpet. Help us change the system where this is acceptable and victims are dismissed and their needs ignored.

Take action and pay attention. My daughter is stepping up with her very life. What are you going to do to effect change today?

Support Suzanne and thousands of others in taking action. We demand that Suzanne be given a full honorable discharge from the Army and that all her mental heath needs be fully met. On this July 15, Suzanne will be 22 years old. Don’t allow her to spend another minute under the care of a system that fails so many of its own every day.

Suzanne deserves an honorable discharge today!

Contributions to Suzanne’s legal defense fund are needed.

Contributions are tax deductable. (See http://www.SuzanneSwift.org for how to contribute)

Join me at the gates of Ft. Lewis in Tacoma, WA on July 15 to show support for Suzanne.

Thank you for your time and energy.

Sara Rich, M.S.W