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Veterans

75-Year-Old Former Paratrooper Walks The Walk Against War

Fifty-four years ago, Windsor Wade marched off to war. Today he is walking for peace. The 75-year-old former paratrooper is on PeaceWalk 2024, organized by Veterans For Peace, winding its way for 700 miles from Maine to Washington, D.C. Wade served in Vietnam in 1970-71 with the 173rd Airborne Brigade, Binh Dinh province, Landing Zone English, in one of the infantry’s most dangerous jobs – a Radio Telephone Operator – for the company commander. His decorations include the Combat Infantry Badge, Parachutist Wings, and Air Medal from the government of South Vietnam. The retired Rochester City Schools history teacher said, “Making this walk for peace as a former paratrooper is the best way for me to let the world know my absolute disgust with Israel’s abhorrent actions in Gaza and the West Bank."

US Veterans To President Biden: Arming Israel Violates The Law

In a letter today to President Biden and top members of his administration, Veterans For Peace cited existing federal law that gives the President “…no discretion whatsoever to allow any military assistance of any form to be delivered to Israel,” based on that country’s “serial violations of the Symington-Glenn Amendments, codified at 22 U.S.C. § 2799aa.” The letter states, “The President may not waive the cutoff of the above aid and exports under the Glenn Amendment where there has been a nuclear weapons detonation, or the offending state has received a nuclear explosive device.

Biden’s Mixed Messages On Gaza Aren’t Fooling Veterans

President Biden added to the confusion over U.S. policy when, during his press conference announcing the airdrop, he twice said the aid was going to “Ukraine.” His confusing Gaza with Ukraine is understandable given that he is pushing for a huge funding bill that would send $61 billion to keep the Ukraine war going, while sending an additional $14 billion in military aid to Israel.  This would be in addition to the normal huge US military aid to Israel, and supplemental shipments of tanks and 2000-pound bombs that have obliterated entire civilian neighborhoods in Gaza.

Veterans For Peace Calls For Criminal Investigation Of Biden Administration

In sixteen U.S. cities, March 5-7, members of Veterans For Peace will hand deliver an exhaustively researched letter to U.S. State Department offices that has gotten no response from the department’s Inspector-General since February 11. The cities are Buffalo, New York, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Portsmouth, NH, Greensboro, NC, Boston, San Diego, Tucson, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta,  Bridgeport, CT, Los Angeles, Dallas and Houston. Josh Paul, former State Department senior official who resigned over weapons shipments to Israel said, “The Secretary and all relevant officials under his purview should take this letter from Veterans For Peace with the utmost seriousness.

The US Postal Service Network Consolidation Plan

A core feature of U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s 10-year plan, “Delivering for America,” is an initiative to restructure the nation’s postal network by consolidating processing and distribution operations in regional centers, mostly in urban areas. In 2023, two years into the 10-year plan, USPS reported that the agency had committed $7.6 billion out of a total $40 billion restructuring budget and plans were on track to open 60 new Regional Processing and Distribution Centers across the country in the coming years. Through this consolidation plan, many postal processing and distribution facilities in smaller communities will be converted to Local Processing Centers with reduced functions.

Veterans For Peace Joins International Delegation Attempt To Reach Rafah Border Crossing With Gaza

VFP member Danny O’Brien, VFP Board member Gerry Condon, and VFP Advisory Board member, journalist Chris Hedges, are among an international delegation of writers, lawyers, journalists, activists, students, and organizers who arrived in Cairo, Egypt this week with the goal of reaching the Rafah border crossing with Gaza. VFP Advisory Board member, retired Colonel Ann Wright, was refused entry into Egypt. Their goal is to exert pressure to open the border for the immediate entry and sustained flow of urgent humanitarian aid—food, water, fuel, and medical aid to 2.3 million Palestinians facing starvation and death as genocidal Israeli airstrikes continuously pound defenseless civilians.

Armistice Day And The Empire

In 1954, the US Congress renamed Armistice Day to Veterans Day. The stated reason was to remember all generations of US veterans, not just veterans from the First World War. Congress advanced this rationale on the disingenuous notion that Armistice Day’s purpose was a celebration of veterans. It was not. Armistice Day’s purpose was to serve as a reminder of the horrors of the First World War and carry forward the declaration of those veterans of Never Again. For a US government implementing a militarized Cold War foreign policy in 1954, a reconciliation-based holiday was inconvenient and problematic.

As Wars Expand, Veterans And Others Plan Peace Walk To Washington, DC

The Israeli War on Palestine, made possible by US support, is beginning to become a regional conflict. In addition to this, the US is backing conflicts in Ukraine targeting Russia, in the Horn of Africa and in Latin America and increasing its aggression against China. Congress is appropriating hundreds of billions of dollars for the Pentagon while the majority of people in the United States struggle to meet their basic needs each week and the climate crisis worsens. To raise awareness about this, Veterans for Peace is organizing a Peace Walk 2024 from Augusta, Maine to Washington, DC, arriving in July to protest the NATO meetings being planned then. Clearing the FOG speaks with Tarak Kauff and Ellen Davidson, two of the Peace Walk organizers.

Book Review: Soldiers As Workers In A Toxic Workplace

For decades, the armed services and contractors on bases abroad used massive burn pits for waste disposal, rather than safer methods. They burned everything from tires to computer equipment to medical waste and more, often using jet fuel, a known carcinogen, as an accelerant. These dangerous fumes would probably never have been allowed in stateside civilian workplaces. In the U.S., a company may risk penalties for illegal emissions or dangerous working conditions. If a civilian worker is lucky, their job may even have a union contract and a way to fight an unsafe workplace. Even without a union contract, if a job is lousy or overtly unsafe, a person can often walk away.

Why Veterans Are Calling For Peace In Ukraine

In Ukraine right now, we have a stalemated war of attrition, where as Caitlin Johnstone writes, “soldiers are being killed and maimed in a battle for inches.  At least tens of thousands have died in this war with hundreds of thousands wounded, all for those teeny, tiny little blips on the map. Ukraine is now freckled with more landmines than anywhere else on earth, which experts say will take decades to clear. This giant deathtrap is exacerbated by the cluster munitions that are covering the land with greater and greater frequency, which will go on to detonate and kill civilians (mostly children) for years to come.

Floating For Peace On The Golden Rule

It’s 10 p.m. at Montrose Harbor in Chicago. Kiko and Tamar help me step from the dock into the wobbly rowboat. Kiko rows us out to the Golden Rule and I climb aboard in wonder. Oh my God! This is it – the 30-foot, anti-nuke sailboat with a history going back almost seven decades . . . back to the era of atmospheric nuclear testing and the Cold War at its simmering height. The Golden Rule: “Floating for sanity in an insane world.” Well, somebody’s got to do it! The United Nations has tried. In 2017 it passed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which was finally ratified (by 50 countries) in 2021. Technically, nuclear weapons are now “illegal” – what a joke. The possibility of nuclear war, i.e., Armageddon, is more alive than ever. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock is now set at 90 seconds to midnight.

Can We Finally Have Peace On The Korean Peninsula After 70 Years?

July 27, 2023 is a historic date for the American veterans who participated in the Korean War.  It was the 70th anniversary of the signing of the temporary Military Armistice Agreement that stopped the fighting after two years of over 575 talks between warring parties.    Three days of events in Washington, DC from July 26-28 will marked the 70th anniversary with a call for a peace agreement to end hostilities on the Korean peninsula. I was in Korea 70 years ago and I witnessed the cease fire. We U.S. soldiers in Korea welcomed the armistice and were told that a peace agreement would be negotiated in quick order. It never happened.

US Veterans Try To Stop Students From Joining Up

March 20 marked the 20th anniversary of the United States’ invasion of Iraq. The war took hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives, with some estimates of Iraqi casualties putting the number at over 1 million. More than 4,600 U.S. soldiers died in Iraq during and after the invasion, and thousands more have died by suicide. Meanwhile, and not coincidentally, the U.S. military is facing its worst recruitment crisis since the end of the Vietnam War. The Defense Department’s budget proposal for 2024 outlines a plan for the military to slightly cut back on its ranks, but to reach its projected numbers, it will still need to embark on a heavy recruitment push.

Veterans For Peace Memorial Day Statement

This Memorial Day we remember all who have died in war and understand that no one wins in war. Many of us have been personally touched by war. But we must also extend that mourning. We remember the civilian victims, and their families. Honoring and remembering some deaths while ignoring others not only perpetuates war, but also ignores the moral injuries of war, a significant cause of veteran suicide. Veterans For Peace is made up of military veterans, family members and friends who are joined by our pledge to serve the cause of world peace and abolish war. We bring a different message to Memorial Day than the themes usually promoted by popular media, the government and traditional veterans’ organizations.

‘This Is Not A War Story’ Explores Emotional Wounds Of War Veterans

War in film is a staple genre in a tremendously lucrative industry. Hollywood inundates our culture with glamorous depictions of wars, both fictional and real. Yet the truth of America’s forever wars, both for the countries invaded and veterans who return home, are rarely explored in depth in popular culture. This Is Not a War Story explores one part of the human toll of US wars through the lens of veterans who return with physical and mental wounds. Writer-director and star Talia Lugacy and actor Eli Wright join The Chris Hedges Report to discuss the film. This is Not a War Story is available to stream and purchase on DVD.
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