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Support IVAW's Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan

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From March 13-16th 2008, Iraq Veterans Against the War will gather in our nation's capital to break the silence and hold our leaders accountable for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. We hope that you'll join in supporting this, because this is a story that every American needs to hear!

This spring, a main priority for Vietnam Veterans Against the War is to support IVAW as they conduct their own Winter Soldier Investigation, in March, around the 5th Anniversary of the war on Iraq. IVAW faces similar challenges that VVAW faced 40 years ago. Faulty intelligence and outright lies have brought our generations closer; shared by eerily similar experiences, politics and atrocities. War crimes have been identified, and once again, politicians and generals repeat history by blaming 'a few bad apples' for such atrocities, rather than examining the military policies that destroyed Vietnam then and are destroying Iraq and Afghanistan now.

January 1971, VVAW held the Winter Soldier Investigation, where veterans testified about war crimes and atrocities they committed or witnessed in Vietnam. This spring, the largest gathering of veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan will share their experiences in a public investigation called Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan. Providing testimonies to war crimes the United States perpetuates with the ongoing wars and occupations, as well as, the increasingly poor treatment of returning veterans by US government agencies here at home. Veterans participating and attending the upcoming WSI will undoubtedly receive backlash similar to VVAW members in 1971. Since IVAW's inception, it has been a concern of VVAW to provide support, understanding the need of many veterans and veterans speaking out against war. VVAW will participate and provide support IVAW deems necessary for this event including: financial, logistical and emotional.

VVAW is committed to getting IVAW members, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, to Washington DC March 13-16th for the WSI. And it's VVAW's goal to raise enough money to help provide housing for these veterans at the event. Your financial support will help us in achieving this! Vietnam Veterans Against the War are seeking members and friends to host fundraisers, provide monetary donations, personal support and spread the word about Winter Soldier Investigation.

Without you, VVAW would not be able to spearhead or continue supporting such prolific events. Please make a generous tax deductible donation and/or provide with fundraising efforts.

To donate on-line, go to http://www.vvaw.org/store/?mode=ivawdonation

Make/Mail checks to:
VVAW
PO Box 2065, Station A
Champaign IL 61825-2065
Memo: IVAW-WSI

Sincerely,

Barry Romo
Vietnam Veterans Against the War
National Coordinator


SUGGESTIONS FOR SUPPORTING AND FUNDRAISING EFFORTS:

1. Sponsor an IVAW member to get to Washington, DC for WSI.
* Expense per veteran to participate in this WSI is approximately $1600.
2. Host a film screening of Winter Soldier or other GI-movement type films, such as Sir! No Sir! or The Ground Truth.
3. Host a book club reading on Winter Soldier or similar books, discuss the impact and importance of such an event; get others to participate.
4. Host an 'End the Wars in 08 house party.' Open your home to friends, family and fellow activists to network and continue building relationships of solidarity. To increase interest, attendance and donations, you can use the New Year, the wars, and the significance of the upcoming Winter Soldier Investigation.
5. Help with outreach in your area, such as: peace and justice organizations, community colleges, universities, local VA and Vets Centers…wherever you might find veterans.
6. If you know Iraq or Afghan vets who may be interested in attending and/or testifying themselves – talk to them, help get them in contact with IVAW event organizers.
7. Mentor. Testifying and listening to testimonies will be stressful to many veterans. If you can go to DC, offer personal support to those attending. After the event has concluded you can volunteer to provide support to a vet in your area.


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