Another Casualty Of War: Jacob George RIP

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1peacefrom the hills

A graphic Jacob used in his emails.

**Staff note: We first met Jacob online in May, 2011 when he was suggested as someone who might like to participate in organizing the occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC planned for October of that year. He was on his bike trip called “A Ride Til The End” but had taken pause to help in clean up efforts after tornadoes swept through Alabama.

Jacob and his colleagues were planning a bike tour of the East coast called “Bikes Not Bombs” which would make stops along the way to hold public events. This is what he wrote to us about the trip:

Basically, any place or event where people gather is an opportunity to speak about the senselessness of war.  We’re a creative group of veteran/artists that pride ourselves on presenting palatable dialogue about the occupations to any audience.”

He was excited about the October2011 DC occupation and agreed to carry promotional postcards for it and pass them out along the way. Other groups involved in planning October2011 helped to arrange speaking events for the Bikes Not Bombs tour.

Jacob took a pause in planning the tour during the summer to travel to Afghanistan where he connected with the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers. Here is a statement he put out in early September about the tour:

“On a bicycle tour beginning in New York City, the riders of “A Ride Till The End” (ARTTE) are sharing a message of peace and discussing the reality of a decade at war. ARTTE rider and Afghanistan veteran Jacob George will be speaking at several events this weekend, including a rally at Ground Zero on September 11. Jacob recently returned from Afghanistan as a peace activist and he will be discussing his work with the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers and his experience of life on the ground for Afghan people. This portion of the ride is known as the Bikes Not Bombs Bicycle Tour and the purpose is to raise bicycles for veterans. ARTTE will be in New York City from September 8 to the 13 and is available for interview.”

This was our last email correspondence with Jacob in early October before the occupy began as final plans were made for the first night of October2011 on Thursday, October 6.

We’re great!  About to wrap up most of our events with a little sabbatical in Asheville, NC. 

Also, we’ve been speaking with folks about a March from NYC.  It sounds like fun!  Kinda wish we could go back and do it again. 

It’s great to hear your gettin a good response, the response around Oct. 6 on our end has been very enthusiastic and the spark on Wall st. has a lot of people interested. 

Needless to say, we’re excited!


Jacob performed the first night in Freedom Plaza and the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers joined us by Skype. It was a powerful beginning to the October2011 occupation.

Jacob participated in many events with our allies Veterans for Peace. He participated in the actions to support Chelsea Manning.

Here are some photos:

Jacob George throws medals at NATO meeting place in Chicago, IL in May, 2012.

Jacob George throws medals at NATO meeting place in Chicago, IL in May, 2012.

Jacob George at the Manning Demonstration in Fort Meade, MD in June, 2013

Jacob George at the Manning Demonstration in Fort Meade, MD in June, 2013

Jacob touched many people during his brief time on Earth. He will be remembered and loved.  Please donate to the fund for the upcoming celebration of his life. CLICK HERE TO MAKE A DONATION. Any amount will help.

Rest in Peace Jacob. We love you.

More from fellow Afghanistan War Veteran, Brock McIntosh, Remembering Jacob George, published on the Iraq Veterans Against War website. 


Last week “bicycle ridin, banjo pickin, peace rambling hillbilly from Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas” Jacob David George died as a result of moral injuries sustained in Afghanistan. Jacob joined the US Army before the attacks of 9/11. He served three tours of Afghanistan (2001, 2002, 2003/4) and came back a changed man. He said that after witnessing wholesale slaughter and picking through body parts he was affected by Post Traumatic Stress. He understood that to be profoundly affected by war was not a disorder. Jacob often talked about the moral component of PTS, the trauma caused by taking part in or witnessing events that are contrary to your very being. This is different to the PTSD of the military psychiatrist who is interested in events that put the individuals own life in danger. This is the opposite, it is trauma caused by harming others. Jacob advocated for healing rituals and ceremonies to come to terms with the trauma of war. He talked about the need to heal the soul as well as the brain. He described throwing his medals back to the US Government during the 2012 NATO protests in Chicago as the most therapeutic thing he had done. The following is a poem written by Jacob that he later turned into a song.

Support the Troops

“We just Need to support the troops” is what they tell me well,
This is from a troop so listen carefully,
What we Need are teachers who understand the history of this country,
What we Need is a decent living wage, so people ain’t cold and hungry,
What we Need is bicycle infrastructure spanning this beauteous nation.

What we Need are more trees and less play stations,
What we Need is a justice system that seeks the truth,
What we Need are more books and less boots,
What we Need is love for every woman and man,
From southern Louisiana to the mountains of Afghanistan.

Now, it’s true the troops need support,
The support to come home,
They need treatment and jobs and love for the soul,
See, war ain’t no good for the human condition,
I lost a piece of who I was on every single mission,
And I’m tellin’ you, don’t thank me for what I’ve done,
Give me a big hug and let me know we’re not gonna let this happen again,
Because we support the troops and we’re gonna bring these wars to an end.

In the USA 22 veterans kill themselves every day. In 2012 more UK soldiers and veterans killed themselves than were killed in Afghanistan. In the USA 30% of veterans have considered suicide. More veterans of the Falklands War have committed suicide than were killed in action. The suicide rate among veterans in the USA is double that of the civilian rate. These statements are controversial not because they overestimate the problem but because these figures do not include the veterans who drink themselves to death. The veterans who no longer care for their own well being and drive cars into trees or the veterans who die homeless on the streets. To admit the scale of the problem would be an admission that war is harmful to those who take part in it long after returning home.

In memory of Jacob David George and in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the USA please consider donating to the Jacob George Celebration of Life Fund which will help pay for a celebration/memorial event on Sunday 5 October in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

RIP Brother.

Video of Jacob at First Unitarian Church in April, 2013

The Human Cost of War: IVAW Testimony ~ Jacob David George from First Unitarian Church on Vimeo.

  • zabelisa

    I bet he was on anti-depressants. It is well documented that they exacerbate ideas of suicide and homicide in many people.

  • FederalReserve Brown

    thank you israel for the false flag.

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  • MorganD

    I’m a disabled combat vet who is on anti-depressants. That’s not what caused him to commit suicide.

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  • zabelisa

    Just because you are on anti-depressants doesn’t mean that you know what they actually do to your body. I don’t care if you’re a combat vet or anything else. Antidepressants interfere with several functions in your body and you are not even aware of it. It can (and does) impair cognitive function, autonomic nervous system and hormonal functions enough to push you over the edge. This is a very complex process and I think I know a bit more than you do, I have a science degree and extensively study trauma and psychosomatic physiology as well as an indepth understanding of PTSD. All I am saying here is that it often aggravates the pre-existing condition (such as PTSD) and rarely gives relief unless one seeks other coping methods (eg. change diet, support people, spiritual practice, enjoy nature, physical activity, etc etc)

  • MorganD

    Oh, so you have a college degree in something semi-related and that means you know more than myself, my physician, and the FDA? Since you “know more than I do” why did you mention all the physical possibilities when we’re talking about mental state. Careful, you might be talking to someone else with a background in science… of course that never occurred to you, did it?

    I’ll give you a break, I’m an accountant. But you popped off without any idea who I am or what my background might be – admit it.

    Yes, zabelisa, as a disabled combat vet who is on anti-depressants, I DO KNOW MORE THAN YOU about the mental state of a vet, because I live it daily. I tried all your other methods, and yes, they help, but the biggest one of all is to understand that “the pill” doesn’t cure the problems, it just makes them manageable.

  • zabelisa

    I shouldn’t bother with responding because OBVIOUSLY you don’t know the first thing about how the body and mind work. They cannot be separated in case you haven’t heard. Your doctor does’t give a damn about you, he doesn’t have time and the FDA are in cahoots with Big Pharma so don’t tell me who’s interests are at play here (clue obviously not yours). Did you know that 95% of serotonin is manufactured in your gut? do you even know what en endocrine system is and where it is located? (hint: throughout your body) What you eat has a lot to do with your mental states (be it sugar, alcohol, caffeine or gluten). I have more than a college degree and probably know a lot more than any health practitioner you have encountered in your life. I study how the parts work together not in isolation like your people would like to have it. Antidepressants can help in the short term but they are extremely detrimental in the long term. Balance is not achieved through taking pills but taking care of yourself and understanding how all the parts work together is a good place to start.

  • MorganD

    ya know, the VA has an anger management group – maybe you should drop by. No brakes on the hate train WOOT WOOT!!!!

  • zabelisa

    Dear Sir, I am afraid that your anti-depressants might have corrupt your brain function and have impaired your cognitive abilities. If you cannot distinguish between anger and a passion for a subject, I would say that it is you who have the problem.
    I do not support war btw so don’t expect any sympathy from me. Violence has never solved anything as far as I can tell. I think that this is partly why it was difficult for Mr. Jacob to accept that his efforts were in vain and not conducive to peace. He had no idea that none of it had to do with freedom, democracy or human rights. It never does.

  • MorganD

    Combat vets, more than anyone else are opposed to war. Violence, though a tactic of extreme last resort, does, in fact, sometimes solve the problem. See – Hitler, Milosovich, Gadaffi, etc.

    My brain is pretty good. Again, I have been reviewed by more than one psychiatrist and several social workers – do you claim expertise in those areas as well which would trump professionals with firsthand experience?

    Look, I get that you’re angry about war, and Mr. Georges suicide. Both are horrible. However, as my faith prays one time a year “we have shown zeal for bad causes” – basically this started because you posited an opinion “Bet he was on anti-depressants” and I posited an opposing one “It wasn’t anti-depressants”. From then on, you’ve been angry and attacking me just for exercising my right of free speech.

    Sorry if I offended you, but I don’t believe you know as much as you think you do; you’re just operating on conjecture based on your research. My case is only anecdotal, I don’t have empirical evidence either, but I can tell you personally, I know the mind of a disabled vet on anti-depressants, and I don’t want or need your sympathy. My medical team is doing a good job for me, and thanks to them, I’m productive, relatively happy, in a stable career and family relationship (kudos to my spouse who stuck it out for 20 years until we figured out the main problem and is currently dealing with the side-effects of the solution)

    At the end of the day, I’m saying to you, I respect your right to express your opinion – I find it ridiculously funny that you obviously don’t have the perspective to let someone else say “No you’re wrong” and just go on about your business. It tells me your self-image issues may be worse than my anxiety disorder.

    Sorry, I call ’em like I see ’em.

  • JoshFoster

    You don’t support war? Do you pay taxes? Do you not live in the modern world? Don’t kid yourself, you are completely connected and responsible. You may be right in your area of expertise, however you are coming off as a total bitch right now.

  • zabelisa

    Here’s the thing Mr. Morgan, and just so you know I have so much self-esteem that I could probably let you borrow some. I am happy for you that you have a wife who stuck by you as it is very important to have that kind of support for a war vet. However, you have no way of knowing if anti-depressants played a role in Mr. George death while I have much evidence that it might have. So just because you are on them and not thinking of suicide doesn’t mean I am not right. You can ONLY speak for yourself. We will never know the answer for Jacob, but from the stats, there is a good chance that I am right. As human being, I know that our life has to make sense in order to function in this world. War doesn’t make sense so hence you need the pills to make it “go away” so to speak. However, as someone who has been around people with PTSD a good portion of my life (mostly as a result of childhood abuse) I have made a point to look into this in great depth. I lived with these people and know what it looks like. I have found better solutions than anti-depressants I can assure you and numbing the problem doesn’t make it go away, it just prevents you from dealing with it. It is quite normal to be depressed after what you have been through, nothing to call a disease really. You are trying very hard to come to terms with this whole thing but it doesn’t look like you will ever grasp the idea that being functional is not really what this is all about. And that’s why you need the pills. you can tell yourself that you were a hero, and that it was for the greater good, but in the end it’s all about money and power. These people who smile at you don’t give a rats ass, it’s their job to cater to you. I wish you good luck with your life and I will continue to ponder some solutions in the meantime.

  • MorganD

    Uh huh. Sure.

  • Cindy Williams

    He had EVERYTHING to live for ! C’mon dudes. He didn’t kill himself. We are all being mesmerized ! He was murdered, assassinated, like so many other leaders who stand for the truth ! He was a leader, an anarchist, they wanted him dead. I’m not buying it. He had EVERYTHING to live for. Wake up sheep !

  • DR

    I knew Jacob and NONE of this “discussion” honors anything that Jacob spoke about, was so passionate and selfless about. What exacerbates suicide in this instance is very clear in his songs, he felt betrayed by a country that he loves/d. He felt used to kill other farmers, “farmers sent to kill other farmers.” His soul had advanced to a point that he could not live with his part in what he had done in the name of his beloved country. Look him up on Youtube and listen to his lyrics. Stop fighting amongst yourselves, I know this is an old thread, but found it looking for something else and am just glad that Jacob can’t read this nonsense.

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