For Immediate Release
March 23, 2014
Principal Contact (Global Campaign against IEDs):
Americans Call on Congress to Honor Boston Marathon Bombing Anniversary
Group gathers over 1,400 signatures using an on-line petition to commemorate the Boston Marathon Bombing Anniversary and provide support to veterans and Boston bombing survivors
Yorktown, Virginia – The Global Campaign against Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) announced today that its on-line petition calling for Congress to pass House Resolution 190 has exceeded 1,400 signatures in just the last two weeks.
The petition, posted at [ http://www.change.org/petitions/u-s-house-of-representatives-condemn-ieds-and-support-victims-of-the-boston-marathon-attack ] on Change.org, calls for Congress to Pass House Resolution 190 (H. Res. 190). This resolution condemns last year’s Boston Marathon Bombing; calls for needed support for victims of the attack; honors the efforts of the Public Safety Sector who deal with IEDs in the Homeland; and calls upon the U.S. Department of Defense to begin sharing the blast-trauma related research and other IED event data it has with the Veterans Administration and responsible private sector organizations.
According to COL (Ret) Bob Morris of the Global Campaign, the sharing of information on blast injuries is especially important for both the Boston Marathon Bombing victims and veterans.
“The top four IED related injuries,” says Morris. “are hearing loss, traumatic brain injury (TBI), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and vision loss. Over 84% of U.S. military combat injuries in Afghanistan and Iraq are due to IEDs including 249,480 with hearing loss; 222,600 TBIs, 210,202 experiencing PTSD; and 110,022 with vision impairments. 34% of these IED victims suffer from both hearing and vision loss and 75% of TBI victims have visual dysfunctions. Percentages may be higher for Boston victims because they experienced the blast wave without any protective equipment.”
These injuries produce long-term effects. The Boston victims, like veterans, will experience for many years to come.
Public support for the Change.org petition has come from across the United States and is extremely strong.
Her comments echo the official finding in a recent National Institute of Health’s 2014 Report: Gulf War and Health, Volume 9 Long-Term Effects of Blast Exposures, report on blast injuries in Afghanistan and Iraq that identified blast injury as the “signature injury” of Afghanistan and Iraq. One of the reports most significant findings was that: “The committee’s ability to draw conclusions about associations between exposure to blast and health effects, particularly long-term health effects, was severely restricted by the paucity of high-quality information.” The actions called for in H. Res. 190 specifically address this gap.
Jeffrey Norkus, a Massachusetts veteran wrote: “I live near Boston where this horrific event took place. I also served in the US Army and fully support any actionable resolutions which may help keep civilians out of harm’s way.”
Robert Meilke, an active duty military member serving overseas stated: “IED’s are a global threat, not only to our US military serving today and in the future, but also to our law enforcement and first responders and the US civilian population. Support for this action from our US congressional members is imperative. It is one of the greatest threats we face, both globally and within the continental US.”
In her reason for signing the petition, Peg Moore of Florida wrote: “No human being, should ever be touched by one of these body mangling weapons of total destruction. They aren’t meant to just stop an enemy, they are meant to cause life-altering devastation. To kill in the most painful way possible.”
Stephen St. Clair of Missouri posted his reason for signing the petition as: “This is a weapon that cowards use. It should have the most serious penalty received for using it. Those injured need all of our help in any way to continue to live as normal a life as possible. We need not to fear to life our lives but instill fear in those who use these abominations.”
Blinded Veterans Association, AMVETs, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Rolling Thunder, Firefighters, and others are also formally calling on congress to support H. Res. 190. To date, 52 Members of Congress, including Congressman Richard Neal (D-MA) agreed to become formal co-sponsors and joined the strongly bi-partisan for this legislation.
The group is also receiving support from legendary progressive rock artist Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull). In a message contained in Global Campaign brochures available at his concerts, Anderson says: “We don’t always ask our leaders to take us into war. But we all seek to help bring democratic freedoms and human rights – especially for women and children – to troubled nations throughout the world. On behalf of the brave young men and women of our troops, I urge you to support the victims of IED madness, now in need of rehabilitation and care. For them and their families, please support the Global Campaign against IEDs.”
The Global Campaign intends to begin presenting the petition to members of Congress in the near future as it works to have H. Res. 190 passed in time for the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombing.
Morris hopes the increasing show of public support will help move H. Res. 190 through the various committees and to the floor for a vote.
“Many of the Members staffs we contact ‘want to hear from their constituents’ on this issue before making a commitment,” explains Morris. We are hoping the public will provide that voice, especially in Boston, by signing this petition and contacting their elected representatives.
The link for the on-line petition is: [ http://www.change.org/petitions/u-s-house-of-representatives-condemn-ieds-and-support-victims-of-the-boston-marathon-attack ] or [ http://goo.gl/EdxpTy ].
A copy of all signatures and signatory comments received as of the date of this Press Release as well as formal endorsements from Boston IED Victims, Veterans, and the various veterans groups is available upon request. Please contact us for any current updated list.
More information is available on the organization’s website at: http://www.CampaignAgainstIEDs.org and updates on global IED incidents as they occur are available through the organization’s twitter feed: @StopIEDs.