Friday, May 9, 2008

Winter Soldier Update

To view the newsletter with active links please click the title link. Thanks.

Winter Soldiers testify before Congress on May 15th

Up until now, Congress has heard from their fellow politicians, the pundits, and generals. Next week, they will hear from from the boots-on-the-ground soldiers who have served in Iraq. On Thursday, May 15th, IVAW members will testify before Congress, under oath, about the realities of the occupation.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus will host Thursday's testimony in the Rayburn House Office Building in DC, and will hear testimony on the rules of engagement, the killing and abuse of civilians, the use of drop weapons, and the true consequences of the "surge." Bios of the testifiers, including veterans who served during the surge, are available on our website. You can get more information about next Thursday's hearing on our website, and find out how you can support this important event by helping us pay for travel expenses for the testifiers.
Winter Soldier goes local

Winter Soldier was a watershed event for IVAW, and our members continue to bring the testimony we collected, along with new testimony, to people around the country.

Our Gainesville chapter recently organized a local Winter Soldier at the University of Florida, with six veterans testifying, and they signed up several new members in the process. You can read about the Gainesville edition of Winter Soldier here. Other chapters are planning local events as well. We'll announce future events through this newsletter, and on our website.

There's also a great article in the Houston Chronicle about IVAW members and their thoughts on speaking out at Winter Soldier. And the Christian Science Monitor has an audio slideshow of IVAW members at Winter Soldier.

(And don't forget, you can watch all the Winter Soldier testimony yourself on our website. And broadcast-quality video is now available for download on our site, as well.)

Veterans and Active Duty speak out

IVAW members have found many ways to speak out about why they're standing against the war. From bus tours to leafleting, books to concerts, movies to works of art, our members raise their voices both to spread the word and to let our brothers and sisters in the military know that they, too, have the right to express their opinions.

Warrior Writers and Combat Paper

IVAW's Warrior Writers project has be ongoing since January, 2007. Our members gather for writing workshops around the US, and their writing has been collected in two books: Warrior Writers: Shoot, Move, Communicate, and Warrior Writers: Re-making Sense. You can order your copies in our online store.

A recent article in the Boston Globe profiled Warrior Writers and Combat Paper, another project created by IVAW member Drew Cameron. Cameron and Drew Matott, a paper maker from Vermont, teamed up to turn the uniforms of veterans into paper. Cameron spoke to the Globe about his experiences with the project.

"For me it definitely has been an empowering and healing experience, but it also is very much my method of sharing my sentiment as a veteran that's against the war."

The article also features Aaron Hughes, one of IVAW's Great Lakes Regional Coordinators, who creates art that challenges Americans to stop and think about what it means for their country to be at war.

You can read the full article online.


In our last newsletter I told you about Tomas Young and Casey Porter, a veteran and an active duty soldier in Iraq, both speaking out, and both getting heard. The Los Angeles Times carried a story about Tomas recently, which you can read online. The documentary about Tomas, Body of War, continues to play in theaters across the country. Visit the Body of War website for a full listing of theaters where you can see this amazing film.

Casey, Tomas, Aaron, Drew, and all our other members are finding their voices, and the strength to speak out. Every time they do, new members find IVAW, and our numbers continue to grow faster than ever before. New chapters are being formed all the time, and those chapters provide support to members, old and new. And new members mean more expenses - that's where you can help. Your donations make it possible for us to pay for cell phone minutes, transportation, and new member packets so that we can welcome our new members into IVAW. Please make a donation today to help us continue to grow.

Kelly Dougherty
Former Sergeant, Army National Guard
Executive Director
Iraq Veterans Against the War

No comments:

Post a Comment