Veterans for Peace, a national organization founded in 1985, includes men and women veterans of all eras and duty stations spanning the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), World War II, the Korean, Vietnam, Gulf and current Iraq wars as well as other conflicts. The collective experience of its members tells them that wars are easy to start and hard to stop and that those hurt are often the innocent. Thus, other means of problem solving are necessary.
Members of Veterans for Peace draw on their personal experiences and perspectives gained as veterans to raise public awareness of the true costs and consequences of militarism and war – and to seek peaceful, effective alternatives. Chapters and members are active in communities throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.
September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows has been honored by its involvement with Veterans for Peace, from a wreath-laying ceremony at the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in New York City, to vigiling at the “Arlington West” display in Los Angeles, to speaking at its annual convention and marching with its members in Washington, DC, Fayetteville, North Carolina and beyond.
Veterans for Peace describes major areas of concern and involvement below.
War in Iraq:
When our government threatened invasion, we conducted public forums, met with elected representatives and participated in marches to express our opposition. As the war began, we gathered in Washington, DC, with other veterans groups for Operation Dire Distress. Since then, we joined together with Military Families Speak Out and others in the Bring Them Home Now campaign and supported recently returned vets who formed the Iraq Veterans Against the War. VFP local chapters continue to conduct educational forums, demonstrations and ongoing Iraq memorial displays, such as Arlington West, to remember the growing human cost of the war, to end the occupation and to bring our troops home now!
And at home:
Members and chapters actively participate in efforts to save VA healthcare and defend veterans’ rights; to protect our civil liberties threatened by the “Patriot Act” and other repressive legislation; to provide counseling to active duty military needing assistance through the GI Rights Hotline ; and to provide alternative information to counter military recruiters in the schools.
VFP has worked with other Vietnam veterans to bring medical supplies; help build clinics, hospitals, and schools; advocate for Agent Orange victims and promote reconciliation and friendship between our two countries and peoples.
Each year VFP members from across the country go to Fort Benning, Georgia, to demonstrate for the closing of the Army’s infamous School of the Americas, a training center for thousands of soldiers from repressive regimes in Latin America with long records of human rights abuses.
After revelations of the massacres of civilians by American soldiers during the Korean War, we sent several fact-finding delegations to investigate these allegations and bring the hidden history of that war before the public. Today we continue to work for an end to that conflict through our Korea Peace Campaign.
Along with other veteran and community groups, we actively supported the people of Puerto Rico in their struggle to end the US Navy’s six decades of bombing and shelling on the island municipality of Vieques. We continue to support current efforts for cleaning up the environment and return of the land to the people of Vieques.
VFP sent fact-finding delegations to this violence-torn land and educated U.S. citizens on US military involvement, the murder of union leaders by para-militaries and other human rights abuses, including the harmful effects of chemical defoliants used in the “war on drugs”.
In the 1980s, we opposed US sponsored wars and continue to support people struggling for their rights and dignity. We regularly send election observers to Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador in support of justice and peace.
Web site: http://www.veteransforpeace.org/