Iraq Veterans Against the War 6th Annual Convention


Doing the three part series on Agent Orange is something that I felt had to be done, because Agent Orange is residue from the last war the American people were not committed to Vietnam.

Though the reasons were different, the same failure to relate to those who carry the burdens of war remain despite the strategy of not blaming our troops and their families for the wars or for participating in them.

However, VT just does not have the resources, money, or paid staff to be able to fight old wars like Agent Orange when Vets who fail to question the wars have mainstream VSOs like the American Legion, VFW, and VVA to turn to, our youngest and brightest generation of Veterans and their families with the ability to QUESTION, have no one to turn to PERIOD.

Thus, I must maintain a policy of only providing assistance and advice to Veterans and Military Families who question their wars, have no one else to turn to for advice, and are discriminated against by the mainstream VSOs for their ability to THINK.

VT frankly has no Veterans Service Officers on staff anyway, nor do we possess the political clout of mainstream VSOs who are too close to Congress and politicians for comfort. Thus, I’ve made a conscientious decision to refer any Vet or family member unable to question the war(s) onto a mainstream VSO. They should be able to satisfy your needs without discrimination, since you strongly support continuing the wars.

The Agent Orange articles were time consuming in research, data dump, and only served to piss a few mainstream VSOs off at VT. This is precious time taken from my own personal moral goal of ending the war(s) in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As of today, I switch focus back to where it belongs, those smart enough to QUESTION their war(s), and who no shit have nowhere else to turn. To that end, we announce the 6th Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) National Convention to be held in Austin, Texas (near Fort Hood) after the July 4th patriotic exploitation.

Robert L. Hanafin, Major, U.S. Air Force-Retired, VT News

Iraq Veterans Against the War will be holding their 6th National Convention, no not in Los Vegas Casinos and Convention Centers, nope not for a Golf Tournament in Indianapolis, Indiana, no not some fancy hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, not even to Orlando, Florida for golf and a fancy hotel, but on a college campus in Austin, Texas not far from Fort Hood!

Unfortunately, if you are an Iraq or Afghanistan Vet, supporter, or family member wishing to attend this event the late registration deadline has passed:


However, contact Bobby Hanafin, Major, U.S. Air Force-Retired at VT News for information on last minute sign-up and participation, and I will point you in the right direction.


Huston-Tillotson University
900 Chicon Street
Austin, Texas 78702-2795
Phone: (512) 505-3000


Thu, July 8  12:00 PM – 7:00 PM   Registration, Ft. Hood Outreach, Reception
Fri,   July 9   9:00 AM – 9:00 PM    Welcome, Panels, Workshops, Appreciation Dinner
Sat,  July 10  9:00 AM – 4:00 PM   Panels, Workshops, Elections, GI Outreach Concert
Sun, July 11  9:00 AM – 12:00 PM  Board Meeting, Creative Day at Under the Hood Cafe

Sorry, but to our knowledge no Golf Tournaments are planned, drinking will be kept within reason, nope IVAW doesn’t do bingo, and given all the problems coming out of Fort Hood, Texas over the past year, Austin is where IVAW decided to hold its 2010 Convention the 6th of many more to come.

WHO and WHY:

All members of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) are highly encouraged to attend the convention. In addition to building relationships with other members, IVAW will be discussing the most important issues facing our GI and veterans movement.

Members will have a chance to discuss lessons learned, brainstorm innovative ideas,  and develop a common orientation towards the goals and strategy of IVAW for the upcoming year (2011).

Members will also meet with the current board and candidates, elect members for open board positions, review the status of the IVAW organization including finances, and participate in active duty outreach at Fort Hood.

Key allies and supporters (such as the Campus Anti-War Network, Vietnam Veterans of America, Veterans for Peace, Military Families Speak Out (MFSO), Gold Star Families for Peace, etc) are also welcome to attend the convention but are responsible for the cost of their own registration and travel arrangements. We are happy to recommend inexpensive housing accomodations near the convention site.

Preference for on campus housing is given to IVAW members and those with disabilities.


The deadline for early registration was June 8th, and late registration has passed.

Folks can still register but will be responsible for your own housing off campus.

Registration fees go toward covering the costs of the venue, food, printing materials and other related convention expenses.

The member late registration rate is now $75.00 ($50 + $25 late fee).  Membership means individuals who have served in any branch of the U.S. military since 9/11.

Supporters and allies are able to register late for convention for $100.00 ($75 + $25 late fee).

If you have questions about late registration, email with “Late Registration” in the subject line.


You have three options to make your registration payment:

1) Credit Card: Fill out the form below and hit “Continue.” This will take you to a payment page where you can fill in your credit card information.

2) Check: Email your responses to the form below to so we know you want to register and mail a check to:

IVAW Attn: Convention 630 9th Avenue Suite 807 NY NY 10036

3) Pay at the door: Email your responses to the form below to so we know you want to register. You can get fundraising tips here. Bring the late registration fee of $75 for IVAW members and $100 for allies and supporters.

If you have questions about late registration, email with “Late Registration” in the subject line.



The format for convention will be themed panels followed by member organized workshops that delve deeper into the issues raised in the panels.

Panels will be on:

– the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and occupations,

– Reparations, and

– VA benefits

All taking place on Friday and Saturday, July 9th and 10th, followed by break out sessions.


At the time of registering you must include your intended arrival and departure date. This information is necessary for IVAW to plan adequate housing and food needs.

You do not need to have your itinerary or ticket in hand at the time of registering, but we do encourage you to make travel arrangements ASAP.

Please share with IVAW the intended time of your arrival and departure as soon as your plans solidify so we can plan airport pick ups, etc.

BY CAR: IVAW encourages members to car pool to the convention. It is cost efficient, green, and an excellent way to strategize with members and supporters en route to the convention. For a listing of carpools or to post your own, please click here.

Several major thoroughfares go through Austin, TX.  The college campus is located a few blocks east of IH-35. Take the 7th Street exit from IH-35 and travel east to Chicon Street. For more detailed directions try Google Maps.

There are free parking lots right across from the university on Concho Street (#25 on the campus map below).

BY BUS: Greyhound bus tickets can be booked through their website or by calling 1-800-231-2222.

Huston-Tillitson University is about a fifteen minute or four mile drive from the Austin Greyhound Terminal. The public bus runs from about 6:00AM to 10:00PM.

BY AMTRAK: Amtrak train tickets can be booked here or by calling 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).

BY PLANE: Flying to Austin makes sense if you are coming from far away or have a tight schedule. The cost for a flight can be greatly reduced the sooner you book your flight. We recommend checking out and budget airlines like JetBlue or SouthWest.

Huston-Tillotson University is about a fifteen minute or seven mile drive from the Austin airport. We will coordinate your pickup at the airport but you need to let IVAW know you need a ride and when you arrive/depart. Private shuttle services or public transportation is available at the airport terminal.

The public bus from the airport terminal to the university takes about forty-five minutes. This runs from about 6:00AM to 10:00PM.

All IVAW Members are highly encouraged to fundraise locally to attend the convention.  Fundraising tips are available here.

A limited number of travel stipends were available to pay for members’ airfare. [Sorry, these have been closed out].

IVAW is unable to subsidize allies or supporters travel. Travel and lodging for invited guests will be handled on a case by case basis.

Please email with “Travel Stipend” in the subject line if you have any questions.


The IVAW national office and convention committee has prioritized creating a safe and secure space for everyone at the convention and will make every effort to acommodate for disabilities and any special housing needs.

ON CAMPUS: IVAW has secured a limited number of dormitory style rooms at the Allen-Frazier Residence Hall (#8 on campus map). Preference will be given to IVAW members for on campus housing. Today you can still register but will be responsible for your own housing off campus.

OFF CAMPUS: Huston-Tillotson University is located in downtown Austin so most of the hotels in the area are pricey. A list of recommendations can be found here.

If you require alternative housing arrangements or have any special needs please email with “Housing” in the subject line.


Given that some of our members have young families, Childcare is being organized locally for parents bringing their children to convention. If you need childcare or would like to volunteer as a childcare provider please email with “Childcare” in the subject line.



This was a call for nominations for the IVAW Board of Directors.  As per our bylaws, IVAW can have between 7 and 13 board members. For the 2010 Convention, there will be 10 vacant seats on the Board.  We urge you to nominate those members of IVAW whom you feel will be most qualified to lead our organization forward with innovative ideas, initiative, ambition and most of all, the moral courage to do what is right.

For questions about nominations contact

Purpose of the 2010 IVAW Convention

This is the time of year where members must come together to decide our way forward, and chose whom among us are best qualified to take the organization in that direction.  This will be a busy time with 10 seats up for election. Six (6) of these seats will be for a full two-year term with the remainder being a one-year term. The reason for the difference in term length is to stagger  the election process so that we are not electing a completely new Board every 2 years, and that way we can ensure a smooth transition and carry over.  Several Directors have stepped down from the Board in the past, so we decided to fill every seat this year in an effort to stifle attrition. Our tradition has been that the highest vote getters will be elected.  While we would like to  not have people serve on the board with extremely low votes (i.e, 1 vote), we are hoping that we can alleviate this problem by having a high  number of eligible candidates.  Send your nominations to

Members may nominate themselves if so desired. All nominees will receive a questionnaire directly from the Webmaster that must be filled out and returned. After the nomination period each nominee will have 14 days to fill out a candidate questionnaire. Each completed questionnaire will be placed on a page in the members’ section to be reviewed by all members who log into the site. Any member who logs into the site will be able to read the candidate questionnaires.

If you are having trouble logging in or creating an account please email  our Webmaster, Bryan Casler at or call him at (315) 877-3420 for assistance. Nominate cadidates by emailing

For any member attending the national convention, voting will be held during our national meeting. For any member unable to attend the convention, online voting will be open on June 28th. There will be a full email with instructions sent out once all candidate  statements have been posted. Online voting will be the same as in-person votes in that they will include all ballot initiatives.

Becoming a member of the Board of Directors is a serious commitment that requires a lot of time, work and dedication to IVAW and its mission. Most Boards have had members who have resigned long before their terms have expired. Presently, the IVAW BOD is holding conference calls  every month in addition to doing committee work. Directors are expected to meet face-to-face quarterly for weekend-long board meetings that take place in various locations throughout the continental US. Part of our job includes passing the annual budget, conflict resolution, hiring/ evaluating the Executive Director, fundraising, and setting the overall tone and direction for IVAW. Serving on the Board should be taken seriously as it is  hard work. However, it is also important to note that being a member of the IVAW Board is also a very rewarding way to serve the organization. It is a challenge well worth taking on.

If you have any questions please feel free to email us via


Please submit all proposed bylaw amendments and resolutions to

We need to make some important decisions such as amending our Bylaws, passing resolutions, and electing new board members, as well as making plans for the upcoming year. It is imperative that we maximize membership participation. Therefore, we hope that you will make plans to attend and encourage everyone to register.

CORRECTION: Amendments to the Bylaws require a two-thirds majority vote of the members at the annual meeting.

Resolutions require only a simple majority vote in order to pass. An example of a past resolution is our resolution to oppose the occupation of Afghanistan.

Again, please submit all proposed bylaw amendments and resolutions to

The deadline for submitting amendments to our bylaws and other resolutions is Friday, June 18th.  This is to ensure the Board has a few days to discuss and vote on proposed amendments to the Bylaws, thus enabling us to set a threshold for passage at the national meeting, as well as to have everything (bylaws amendments, resolutions, and board elections) online on June 28th for members who are unable to attend the convention to vote on.

The proposed resolutions and amendments to our Bylaws as well as more information about board candidates will be available on the member section of the website on or before June 28th. You must have an online account to access this information and vote online.

If you have had problems setting up your account or need to establish one, go to or contact Volunteer Membership Coordinator Selena Coppa at or (347) 985-6039.


ROBERT L. HANAFIN, Major, U.S. Air Force-Retired, VT News

IVAW Supporter and Adviser


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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.