Marla Ruzicka gave a voice to thousands of victims and their families in Afghanistan and Iraq. She campaigned tirelessly for civilians who were effected by the wars in those countries and demanded accountability and compensation from the American government. She started out as an activist, but turned into an aid worker after securing funds from the US Congress. She carefully documented names and ensured funds got to the right people and founded the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict.
Marla was killed in 2005 by a car bomber in Baghdad. She was only 28, but her courage and will reminded many of us that wars are not just events. Marla is my hero for putting a human face to war.
In an essay sent to Human Rights Watch shortly before she died, Marla wrote: “A number is important not only to quantify the cost of the war, but, to me, each number is also a story of someone whose hopes, dreams and potential will never be realised, and who left behind a family.”
* See video below