Veterans Deploy to Fort Lewis with Message of Hope for the Troops
Bold Action Coincides With 11th Anniversary of Afghanistan War
WHAT: Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam veterans with the “Our Lives Our Rights” campaign will engage in a week of outreach to soldiers in 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan in late October, with the message “You don’t have to go to Afghanistan.” Soldiers will receive information about Conscientious Objection and other legal avenues to avert deployment.
WHERE: Joint Base Lewis-McChord and surrounding area. WHEN: October 7-13, 2012
Tuesday, October 9, 11 am
Coffee Strong, 15109 Union Ave. Suite B, Lakewood, WA (next to Subway)
WHO: The Our Lives Our Rights campaign is an initiative launched by Iraq and Afghanistan veterans to help service members exercise their rights—first and foremost, their right to become a Conscientious Objector to war. Two progressive veterans’ and service members’ organizations, March Forward! and Veterans For Peace, will be carrying out this week of action.
WHY: From the Our Lives Our Rights campaign: “The Pentagon’s Afghanistan strategy is up in smoke, exposed in recent news reports. The now-ended “surge” failed to break the momentum of the Afghan resistance, and officials have now abandoned their hope for a peace deal with the Taliban. A “withdrawal” strategy based on training Afghans to replace us has been smashed by “insider killings,” where now those supposed to replace us are the biggest threat to our lives. The Afghan people, like all people, do not want to live under foreign occupation.
“The generals and politicians know their war can never be won, and they admit this behind closed doors,” says Iraq veteran Mike Prysner. “But they refuse to take responsibility for a 'military defeat' on their watch. Millionaire politicians are playing politics with our lives.”
“Over 2,000 U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan – more than 250 so far this year alone – and many thousands more have been maimed for life,” says Gerry Condon, a Vietnam era veteran.
“How many more men must die in support of a mission that is not succeeding?” asks Army LTC Daniel Davis, who traveled 9,000 miles through 8 provinces in Afghanistan before writing a grim assessment of the US/NATO occupation. Colonel Davis is right—nobody else should be sacrificed in a lost cause.
Withdrawing all U.S. troops immediately—as favored by a large majority of American – would be the right thing to do. Instead, our elected 'leaders' in government and unelected 'leaders' in the Pentagon are forcing troops into multiple deployments to go on pointless patrols, simply because they don’t want to be embarrassed.
Soldiers have legal alternatives to going to war. These are our lives, so we should exercise our rights. Now is the time to get help from fellow soldiers and veterans who understand what we and our families are going through.
Organizers are available for interview. Visit the campaign website at www.ourlivesourrights.org .