Families of troops in the National Guard's 1775th Military Police unit out of Pontiac say it's not about the war and it's not about politics. They say their peaceful demonstration, held in East Lansing Saturday, was simply about the soldiers and the extra time they will be spending overseas.
The guardsmen were deployed in January of 2003, sent to Kuwait and Iraq, scheduled to come home in time for Christmas. Their tour was extended, once and now they will stay even longer because of a second extension. Military officials in Pontiac say it could be January before they return.
Mark Horak's nephew is serving, and he says the group was told they would need to stay longer because of the recent violent attacks in Iraq. Greg White has a son serving, and he says he's worried about fair deployment and would like to see equal rotation for all soldiers.
Military families staged a peaceful demonstration in East Lansing to make the public aware of how long the 1775th has been away and why they will have to stay overseas. Organizers say the 1775th has been deployed longer than any other National Guard unit and families are hoping to start a Michigan Branch of a group called "Rights for the Civilian American Soldiers". For more information, contact Mark Horak at firstname.lastname@example.org.