A message to supporters from First Lt. Ehren Watada
February 24, 2007
Thank you for the skills, expertise, and tremendous sacrifice that you invested in the mobilization of support for my case and that of all war resisters. I ask you to please remain focused and committed until the Army realizes it has indeed lost this fight. Make no mistake, the Army can choose to lose small by immediately granting my resignation; or they can lose big when they are forced to drop all charges due to double jeopardy, promote me to Captain, and grant me an honorable discharge anyway. Even in the off-chance that they succeed in re-trying me, public opposition to this war (including the military) grows daily, congressional investigations bring more information to light, and we will have five more months to add to the groundwork that has already been laid.
The Army refuses to admit that public opinion affects them directly. However, there is no doubt the intense media coverage, the 1,500-plus supporters who lined I-5 and the dozens of supporters who crammed the ridiculously small court room had an impact on Ft. Lewis personnel. People may not vote generals into office, but the Army is made up of people, and people will be affected when they see hundreds, thousands, and tens of thousands of their fellow citizens supporting a soldier who publicly opposes this war. I have been approached numerous times by military of various ranks, military dependents and Army civilians who support and agree with my decision. Your support and commitment is not only for me, but hundreds of others who comprise the U.S Armed Forces.
Let us not forget the other war resisters who are facing court martials and lengthy imprisonments: Spec. Augustine Aguayo, Spec. Mark Wilkerson, and other brave, patriotic soldiers whose names we may never know but who have nonetheless chosen to take a stand and refuse to be complicit in this illegal and immoral war. These troops have taken the road less traveled. Even though it is an arduous, difficult, and lonely path — it is one that they are entitled to follow. Please help spread word of their plight. Keep the flame of hope alive.