Diggs Brown told people about the progress he saw when he was helping to train a new army, teach English and collect school supplies in Afghanistan.
Gayle Lowe-Kaplan talked about the time her son's Marine unit helped secure an Iraqi town on an election day, when only one villager showed up and an ambush killed one of his friends.
"His convoy was ambushed. He spent three hours alone in the middle of the night with his friend, Sean, whose brains were coming out of his head," she said.
Both testified Wednesday at a state Senate committee hearing on a resolution that criticizes President George W. Bush's decision to send more troops to Iraq. The committee backed the resolution with a party line vote of 3 to 2.
More than 170 people packed the Old Supreme Court at the state Capitol for the hearing. The crowd thinned out as the hearing wore on for about four hours.
Minority Republicans had harsh words for the hearing, with Sen. Andy McElhany of Colorado Springs calling it a "political circus routine."
Colorado and 28 other states are either considering or have passed resolutions or written letters to Congress as part of an organized effort by the New York-based Progressive States Network to pressure the president and Congress to change course.
In Colorado, only Democrats, who hold a 20-15 majority in the Senate, came out in favor of the resolution, sponsored by Sens. Ron Tupa of Boulder and Ken Gordon of Denver.
Tupa said he tried to reach out to Republicans by toning down the measure's wording.
The resolution says sending more troops to Iraq is not in the nation's best interest and that the war has resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians, hurting efforts to bring peace and democracy to the country.
It also says Colorado honors the bravery of servicemen and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and it calls for making sure they have sufficient resources.
"It's impossible to support the troops and not support their mission," said John Buckley, whose son serves in the military.
Brown, who served in Afghanistan in 2002-03 as a Green Beret, is now a city council member in Fort Collins, about 50 miles north of Denver. He argues the resolution in effect says Coloradans have no confidence in the military and its ability to win the war on terror.
He said he thinks the public doesn't hear enough about what American forces are accomplishing, adding that most parts of Iraq are now stable.
"I've got a son-in-law who is on his third tour in Iraq," said Mike Proctor. "He said, 'You want to help me? Send more troops. We'll get the job done quicker, safer, and then we'll come home.'"
"The only people who are upset that we're in Iraq are the terrorists who came across the border, the jihadists, and the Sunnis who lost their power," Brown said.
Lowe-Kaplan, a retired teacher from the west Denver suburb of Wheat Ridge, said she doesn't believe debating the resolution will hurt troop morale.
"This has been an immoral, dishonest, disheartening war from the beginning," she said. "I think the troops are smart enough to know by now that this war isn't winnable, and the people back home are trying to support them by bringing them back home," she said.
Lowe-Kaplan professed pride in her son, who is now stationed in Hawaii awaiting his release in July.
The full Senate will now debate the non-binding resolution.
Copyright Copyright 2007 by TheDenverChannel.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.