Who Are The Veterans For Peace?Posted: May 29, 2012
By Iain Woessner
While attending a Memorial Day event in Albuquerque, NM, our museum director and I came upon met and talked for a time with an organization called Veterans for Peace, a national organization that we had had hitherto no previous knowledge of. Intrigued by their mission, we asked that they explain who they are, and if they might possibly wish to contribute stories for our museum. While we do not normally publish stories from the perspectives of soldiers, we felt that in the wake of Memorial Day that some of the thoughts and aspirations of the organization might be of interest to our readers. Please remember that the museum does not endorse any one group, and all voices and opinions shared here belong solely to the credited authors of their stories. We encourage you to make up your own minds and opinions based upon what you read and see here and elsewhere.
The following is a paraphrased version of VFP’s printed mission statement, which we have kept largely intact save for minor edits to change it from the first to third perspective. For more information on Veterans for Peace, please visit their website here: http://www.veteransforpeace.org/
Veterans for Peace is anti-war, not anti-armed forces. Some of their members and supporters have family and friends who have served or are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. They want all the killing to stop. They want their brave men and women to return safely.
According to their charter, VFP has the utmost respect for those that have been wounded or killed in the conflict. They offer their sincere sympathy and special regard to the grieving families.
Veterans for Peace is a national organization, founded in 1985. The national office is in Saint Louis and they have over 120 chapters nationwide, including Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Taos. They also have dozens of international affiliations in such countries as El Salvador, Russia, Canada, Japan, Guatemala, Vietnam, The Netherlands, Mexico, France, England, Cuba, and Nicaragua. VFP is an official Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) represented at the United Nations.
Their membership is mainly men and women, military veterans, from World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam War, Gulf War, Afghanistan, Iraq and other conflicts as well as peacetime service members.
They draw on personal experiences and persepctive gained as veterans, to raise public awareness of the true costs and consequences of militarism and war and to seek peaceful, effective alternatives.
Having dutifully served their nation, the organization does hereby affirm its greater responsibility to serve the cause of world peace. To this end, they seek to work with others:
–Toward increasing public awareness of the cost of war.
–To restrain the Federal Government from intervening, overtly and covertly, in the internal affairs of other nations.
–To end the arms race and to reduce and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons.
–To seek justice for veterans and victims of war.
–And to abolish war as an instrument of national policy.
Veterans for Peace is a leading voice in the anti-war/peace movements. By speaking out as veterans, they have made room for others to feel comfortable speaking out against the war. They stand with countless brave conscientious war resisters. They have toured military towns speaking to hundreds of soldiers about their GI Rights and post traumatic stress disorder. They have highlighted the resources wasted on the war that should be used to help hurricane survivors and fund numerous other human needs, including the health care of returning veterans.