A Message from Jose Vasquez, Executive Director of IVAW
By Jose Vasquez
To my brothers and sisters in VVAW,
On behalf of IVAW, I want to reach out to VVAW and its supporters with a message of solidarity. During these challenging times, when our national leaders are contemplating escalation in Afghanistan it is more important than ever that we coordinate our efforts to bring about a just peace. Together we are the voice of conscience challenging wrong-headed policies that are destroying the lives of American troops and Iraqi and Afghan civilians.
I came on board as ED this August, right before our national convention, and it's been a challenging transition to say the least. Although 2008 was a big year for us, we entered this fiscal year with a lot of catching up to do financially. Thanks to your support, we were able to get our organizing program off the ground, hiring three full time organizers. However, we are not out of the woods yet and we'll need to focus on fundraising if we are going to continue our successes in 2010. There is much work to be done!
Our national office will be moving to New York City, where VVAW got it's start. We feel the opportunities to network with foundations and have access to media will be enhanced by this move. In the meantime, our members continue to do amazing things.
Our book Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan was translated into Japanese and is doing well overseas. Members toured major cities in Japan sharing their personal accounts of the wars and occupations.
We had two members travel to Erbil, Iraq for the first national labor conference. Following that, we co-sponsored an Iraqi Labor Tour with US LAW and helped raise money for their solidarity fund.
Members marched at the G20 summit in Pittsburgh and held an action at the Soldiers and Sailors memorial that received local and national coverage.
By the time you read this, we will have field organizers down at Fort Hood conducting training for members down there doing GI outreach and support. Simultaneously, we have numerous events planned for our Afghanistan Awareness Month campaign where we are encouraging members and supporters to host screenings, teach-ins, and other activities to educate the public about the "good war."
These are just a few of the exciting things IVAW is working on right now. Stay tuned to our website. If you like what we're doing and want to see it flourish, consider becoming a sustaining donor by clicking the "Donate" button on the site to set up a recurring donation.
Iraq Veterans Against the War
IVAW on Fort Hood Outreach Mission