The Military Family Peace group Military Families Speak Out is asking all Military Families, Veterans, and supporters who question or oppose the continued occupation of Iraq and escalation of war in SW Asia to add your voice and SPEAK OUT!
Robert L. Hanafin, Major, U.S. Air Force-Retired, VT News
NOW IS THE TIME TO SPEAK OUT!
As the U.S. approaches the start of the 8th year of war in Iraq, Americans need to be reminded that the Iraq war continues under the Obama administration even as the war in Afghanistan escalates! Our troops continue to be in harm’s way and our ‘military’ families are suffering.
The mainstream media will only paint a rosy picture of military families enduring the never ending deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan by showing the American public only how families cope. Not one military family who questions or speaks out against the continued wars for profit under the Obama administration has been seriously interviewed by any major media outlet. With the Defense Industry having commercial interests in PBS, there is also pressure on public television to paint a rosy picture of how our military families and troops cope or are enthusiastic about yet another tour in Iraq or Afghanistan.
If you really care, and seriously want a balanced picture on how these never ending deployments are hurting our military families despite those who courageously or unwittingly COPE, please make your voice heard by joining MFSO at one of the activities listed below.
You do not have to be a military family member or even Veteran to help us out. JUST BE THERE to show how seriously YOU support America’s Military Families with more than yellow ribbons, a pat on the back thank you, then go on with business as usual just like CONGRESS.
Let MFSO know what you will be doing to commemorate this tragic anniversary by responding to the Survey Monkey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GMRYRCW. If you are unable to attend but would like to get more involved, please contact MFSO Organizer Nikki Morse at [email protected].
This email contains information about what we know is happening around the country. If you are participating in something that isn’t listed, please let us know. If you would like to order MFSO t-shirts or brochures, please go here or email [email protected].
If you or your organization plans on coming to Washington, DC, in direct support of Military Families Speak Out (MFSO) please email Nikki at [email protected] and let her know when you, your group, or bus will be in town. She can be reached throughout the activities at 347-703-0570. National Director Deb Forter will also be there, she can be reached at 508-237-5343.
Note: The actions planned by MFSO pretty much correspond with the plans of most other Peace groups and individuals coming to the March anti-war demonstrations. Although the primary march and rally is planned for 20 March, Peace groups will begin arriving, setting up, and taking action about a week prior with events set up similar to both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.
• Monday, March 15, 2010
Peace of the Action: Beginning March 15th, a tent city will be erected on the grounds of the Washington Monument as a base camp for actions, community gathering and joint activities http://peaceoftheaction.org
• Thursday, March 18, 2010 – Joint Press Conference with Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER), Veterans for Peace (VFP) and Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), Time and Place TBD.
• Friday, March 19, 2010 – Capital Hill PEACE Visits
9 a.m. We will be gathering in the basement cafeteria of the Cannon House Office Building at the corner of New Jersey Ave and Independence Ave to prep for visits to Congressional offices. If you are able to schedule visits with your legislator, please contact Nikki at [email protected] otherwise we will send you with otherwise scheduled visits.
• Saturday, March 20, 2010
National Assembly, ANSWER Coalition and others D.C. March http://answer.pephost.org/site/PageServer?pagename=M20_homepage
9:30 a.m. Gather at the Peace of the Action campsite at Madison Dr, NW & 15th St, NW for a Memorial service marking the anniversary of the war(s) and honoring the fallen.
12:00 p.m. Demonstration and March. Military Families Speak Out (MFSO) will be marching with Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) and Veteran for Peace (VFP) at the front of the march. If you haven’t been able to join us at either of the previous points, please find us then.
5p.m. Social gathering with VFP/IVAW at Bus Boys and Poets, 5th and K, near the Chinatown Metro stop
• Sunday, March 21, 2010
Noon – 3 p.m. Joint strategy session with Military Families Speak Out, Veterans For Peace and Iraq Veterans Against the War. at the Church of the Holy City, 16TH and Corcoran St. NW, Washington DC to talk about future actions and activities
4 – 6 pm VFP DC chapter is hosting a ‘speak out’ event at the Church of the Holy City, more details to follow.
Many buses have been organized from various places around the country. Information about buses is at http://www.pephost.org/site/PageServer?pagename=M20_transportation.
For getting around Washington, DC, information about the Metro system is at http://www.wmata.com/.
MFSO is not reserving a block of rooms at a hotel; however National Director Deb Forter will be staying at the Allen Lee Hotel at 2224 F. St NW and other members are welcome to join her there. Rates are $100/night and can be reserved at 202-331-1224. There is inexpensive housing ($5/night) available at St Stephens – 16th St & Newton St NW. Contact Robby Diesu at: [email protected]
———————-Actions around the Country—————
Saturday, March 13
St. Charles – Fox Valley Citizens for Peace & Justice St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Protest in St. Charles http://icjpe.org/actions/index.php?id=4062
Chicago – Iraq Veterans Against the War mud-stenciling contact Aaron Hughes at [email protected]
Sunday, March 14
Belfast – Women in Black, Standing for Peace Belfast Weekly Vigil http://mpjen.org/calendar/?id=1133&t=1268546400
Ellsworth – Local Activists Ellsworth Peace Vigil http://mpjen.org/calendar/?id=274&t=1268546400
Bar Harbor – Local Activists Bar Harbor Peace Vigil http://mpjen.org/calendar/?id=1240&t=1268546400
Waterville – Waterville Area Bridges for P & J Waterville Bridge Peace Vigil http://mpjen.org/calendar/?id=1254&t=1268546400
Skowhegan – Waterville Area Bridges for P & J Skowhegan Weekly Vigil for Peace http://mpjen.org/calendar/?id=1822&t=1268546400
Detroit – Detroit Area Peace w/ Justice Network Pointes for Peace Vigil http://michiganpeacenetwork.org/calendar/?id=1285&t=1268546400
Bloomfield NJ Bloomfield Peace Action Silent Peace Vigil http://njpon.org/calendar/?id=941&t=1268546400
Monday, March 15
Deer Isle – Island Peace & Justice Deer Isle Vigil for Peace http://mpjen.org/calendar/?id=1031&t=1268629200
Grand Rapids MI Peace Presence Grand Rapids Peace Presence http://michiganpeacenetwork.org/calendar/?id=1189&t=1268629200
Detroit – Detroit Area Peace Justice Network Ferndale Anti-Occupation of Iraq http://michiganpeacenetwork.org/calendar/?id=1244&t=1268629200
Ferndale- Detroit Area P w/ Justice Network Anti-Occupation of Iraq Protest http://michiganpeacenetwork.org/calendar/?id=1244&t=1268629200
Binghamton NY Broome County Peace Action Binghamton Peace Vigil http://ny4cg.org/calendar/?id=1625&t=1268028000
Delmar – Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace Delmar, NY Vigil for Peace http://ny4cg.org/calendar/?id=1696&t=1268028000
Aiken Women in Black Silent Vigil for Peace http://scpej.org/calendar/?id=1528&t=1268629200
Tuesday, March 16
Atlanta – Emery students Stand for Peace Vigil http://gpjn.org/calendar/?id=251&t=1268715600
Kankee – Speak Out contact IVAW member Tyler ([email protected])
Bangor – Peace & Justice Center of Easern ME Bangor ME Peace Vigil http://mpjen.org/calendar/?id=1239&t=1268715600
Wednesday, March 17
Chicago – M20 Coalition 7th Anniversary of Iraq Invasion March http://icjpe.org/actions/index.php?id=4065
Adrian – The Lenawee Peacemakers Lenawee Peaceful Demonstrations http://michiganpeacenetwork.org/calendar/?id=1127&t=1268802000
St. Paul – Women Against Military Madness Vigil to End the Occupation of Iraq http://mapm.pjep.org/calendar/?id=760&t=1268802000
Minneapolis – Twin Cities Peace Campaign Special Bridge Vigil: 7 Yrs Too Long http://mapm.pjep.org/calendar/?id=1825&t=1268802000
Chapel Hill NC Pease1st Anniversary of Iraq War Vigil http://ncactionnet.org/actions/index.php?id=4232
Spiotta Park NJ Military Families Speak Out Anti-War Vigil http://njpon.org/calendar/?id=886&t=1268802000
Teaneck, MFSO and Bergen P&J Coalition Weekly Vigil, 4:30 PM contact Paula at [email protected]
New York – Grandmothers Against the War Rockefeller Ctr NYC Against War http://ny4cg.org/calendar/?id=1627&t=1268802000
Staten Island – Peace Action of Staten Island Staten Island Weekly Vigil http://ny4cg.org/calendar/?id=1730&t=1268802000
Madison, WI- IVAW Mud-stenciling contact Nate at [email protected]
Thursday, March 18
Augusta ME Waterville Area Bridges for P & J Augusta Peace Vigil http://mpjen.org/calendar/?id=1253&t=1268888400
Manchester – Veterans for Peace End the Occupation Vigil http://nhvpjen.org/calendar/?id=1178&t=1268888400
New York-Veterans for Peace 034 NYC Vigil at Downtown PEACE Recruiting http://ny4cg.org/calendar/?id=1770&t=1268888400
Charlottesville – Charlottesville Center for P & J Peace Demonstration http://vpan.org/actions/?id=3771
Friday, March 19
San Diego – Veterans for Peace San Diego = Iraq – 7 Years of War http://calaction.org/actions/index.php?id=4176
Bloomington – Bloomington Peace Action Coalition Get on the Bus for DC Peace Demo http://network4peace.org/actions/?id=4093
Newport – Intercommunity Justice and Peace Ctr. War Moratorium http://ohiopeacenetwork.org/calendar/?id=1692&t=1268974800
Brunswick – Brunswick PeaceWorks Brunswick PeaceWorks Vigil http://mpjen.org/calendar/?id=316&t=1268974800
Augusta – Augusta Women in Black Augusta WIB Vigil http://mpjen.org/calendar/?id=1152&t=1268974800
Farmington – Western Mountains Peace Action W. Weekly Vigil for Peace http://mpjen.org/calendar/?id=1150&t=1268974800
Lansing – Greater Lansing Network Against… Noon-hour Peace Vigil http://michiganpeacenetwork.org/calendar/?id=1663&t=1268974800
Minneapolis – The Iraq Moratorium Committee Iraq War Protest and Bannering http://mapm.pjep.org/calendar/?id=747&t=1268974800
Montclair Parishioners for Peace & Justice Montclair Peace Vigil http://njpon.org/calendar/?id=1179&t=1268974800
Columbus – Columbus Campaign for Arms Control, Peace Prayer, March, and Forum http://ohiopeacenetwork.org/actions/?id=2179
Cincinnati – Intercommunity Justice and Peace Ctr. Mt. Healthy Peace Vigil http://ohiopeacenetwork.org/calendar/?id=1693&t=1268974800
Logan – Cache Valley Peace Works Peace Vigil http://utahactivistsnetwork.org/calendar/?id=1056&t=1268974800
Bellingham – Local Activists Bellingham Vigil http://wanet.org/calendar/?id=1796&t=1268974800
Hayward – Peace North – Wisconsin Hayward Iraq Moratorium http://wiscaction.org/calendar/?id=1283&t=1268974800
Saturday, March 20th
San Francisco – San Francisco ANSWER San Francisco
Readers are more than welcome to use the articles I’ve posted on Veterans Today, I’ve had to take a break from VT as Veterans Issues and Peace Activism Editor and staff writer due to personal medical reasons in our military family that take away too much time needed to properly express future stories or respond to readers in a timely manner.
My association with VT since its founding in 2004 has been a very rewarding experience for me.
Retired from both the Air Force and Civil Service. Went in the regular Army at 17 during Vietnam (1968), stayed in the Army Reserve to complete my eight year commitment in 1976. Served in Air Defense Artillery, and a Mechanized Infantry Division (4MID) at Fort Carson, Co. Used the GI Bill to go to college, worked full time at the VA, and non-scholarship Air Force 2-Year ROTC program for prior service military. Commissioned in the Air Force in 1977. Served as a Military Intelligence Officer from 1977 to 1994. Upon retirement I entered retail drugstore management training with Safeway Drugs Stores in California. Retail Sales Management was not my cup of tea, so I applied my former U.S. Civil Service status with the VA to get my foot in the door at the Justice Department, and later Department of the Navy retiring with disability from the Civil Service in 2000.
I’ve been with Veterans Today since the site originated. I’m now on the Editorial Board. I was also on the Editorial Board of Our Troops News Ladder another progressive leaning Veterans and Military Family news clearing house.
I remain married for over 45 years. I am both a Vietnam Era and Gulf War Veteran. I served on Okinawa and Fort Carson, Colorado during Vietnam and in the Office of the Air Force Inspector General at Norton AFB, CA during Desert Storm. I retired from the Air Force in 1994 having worked on the Air Staff and Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon.