SGT. MARSHALL THOMPSON: Most soldiers want to withdraw. That is proven. There was a Zogby poll. 72% of recently turned Iraqi vets want to be out of Iraq by 2006.
AMY GOODMAN: 2006?
SGT. MARSHALL THOMPSON: By 2006.
That means this year.
And my experience backs that up absolutely.
There is a lot of pressure for soldiers not to speak out. There’s fear of court-martials. There’s fear of their commanders getting mad at them. There’s a lot of reasons why soldiers don’t speak out.
But nobody should be fooled.
Soldiers know what’s going on over there, and they are not happy about it.
AMY GOODMAN: So you’re going to walk across Utah. How are you going to do this?
SGT. MARSHALL THOMPSON: One step at a time.
It’s going to be 500 miles. I’ll walk about 20 miles a day. Originally I planned to walk one day for every 100 soldiers who have died, so it would be 26 days. However, since we’ve planned this, the number has increased to over 2,700 U.S. casualties in Iraq, and so I’m going to have to add a day at the end, unfortunately.
AMY GOODMAN: And who will walk with you?
SGT. MARSHALL THOMPSON: Well, we’ve got a lot of support. Anyone is invited to walk with me. We want this to be an inclusive event. So that maybe you’re a conservative and maybe you like the war, but you just think that we need a plan to get out, I want those people to come walk with me, because at this point it doesn’t matter why we got into the war or what the partisan politics were about. What matters is that two soldiers die every day on average.
And any way that we can end this war one day sooner is two lives saved. And I would walk 500 miles for that. I would walk 1,000 miles for that.
AMY GOODMAN: Other soldiers, will they walk with you?
SGT. MARSHALL THOMPSON: Yes. There will be other soldiers walking with me.
I’ve received an enormous amount of support from fellow soldiers.
I got an email yesterday from a soldier in Iraq who said, “I know what you’re saying. I can’t publicly support you, because I’m afraid of what might happen to me, but thank you for what you’re doing. And I’ll be walking with you in spirit.”