Senator Murray Speaks Out on Troop Surge After Death of Richland Marine - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Senator Murray Speaks Out on Troop Surge After Death of Richland Marine

WASHINGTON- Washington Senator Patty Murray was being outspoken Thursday when she said the mission in Iraq isn't being accomplished, and sending more troops may only amount to more tragic deaths like the loss of a young Richland Marine Wednesday.

To date, 114 Washington and Oregon troops have died in the fighting in Iraq.

Wednesday, Richland Marine Sergeant Travis Pfister was killed when the helicopter he was in crashed 22 miles northwest of Baghdad.

A 1997 Hanford High graduate, Pfister was on his third tour of duty in Iraq.

Now, Murray says Senate Republicans are trying to block attempts to stop the proposed surge.

"They know that we've got the bipartisan votes.  They know there are republicans and democrats who oppose the surge, and they are deathly afraid of having us vote on that, and they managed to get their supporters to block it," she said.

Volunteers packed care packages for troops Thursday as news of Pfister's death hit home.

"It's just tragic that we have to lose any of our soldiers.  You just don't want to see that," said Jan Sass, who heads up an organization that sends care packages to troops.

Four years into the war, 12 troops from the Columbia Basin and Yakima have been killed in the fight, and that's exactly why Murray is trying to stop the surge.

"Our troops deserve to have a mission that is accomplishable, that is supported by the American public, that's the vote we're trying to bring to the United States Senate," she said.