Wednesday, November 28, 2007

IVAW - E-Newsletter - 11.28.2007

Dear IVAW Supporter,

IVAW members are speaking out all over the country. I want to point out two of the most recent articles about IVAW members, which you can read on our website.

Fighting Apathy

San Francisco Chronicle reporter Joe Garofoli interviewed IVAW members Jabbar Magruder, Geoff Millard and Selena Coppa for an article about recent films that have dealt with the Iraq war and their failure to find an audience in a country that continues to show apathy toward the war and returning veterans.

"'America doesn't want to deal with Iraq, period,' Magruder said. 'There's just apathy. And that's what a lot of veterans, no matter what their position on the war, are finding when they come back home.'"

Read the rest of Garofoli's article on our website.

The Resister

In Denver, my friend and longtime IVAW member Mark Wilkerson was profiled in 5280 magazine. Mark served in Iraq in 2003 and 2004, and then went AWOL after being denied Consciencious Objector status. He was sentenced to seven months in prison after turning himself in, and soon after his release last July, he participated in the largest gathering of anti-war Iraq Veterans to date in St Louis during IVAW's annual meeting. Mark talks about his experience in St. Louis in the article:

"I feel rejuvenated coming here," Mark says. "And I want to do the same thing that all of you here want to do—keep this number from getting any higher," he says, pointing at the black number, 3,781, written on duct tape on his shoulder. It is the number of American soldiers who'd been killed in Iraq at that date. Mark talks about enlisting as an optimistic teenager, his experience on the ground in Iraq, and his eventual disillusionment with the war. And he tells the group about going AWOL, about deserting the brothers in his unit. To the assembled vets, Mark's actions have made him a hero. But Mark is less certain. "I don't know where that line is between courage and cowardice," he says, adding: "Peace cannot be won with the barrel of a gun. This war won't stop until more soldiers stand up and say, 'I'm not going to go.'"

You can read more of Mark's story on our website.

How you can help

IVAW members speak out so that other veterans and active duty service members will know that they're not alone. There are lots of ways you can help - by making a donation ( ), telling veterans and service members you know about IVAW, and by supporting war resisters. Many resisters have fled to Canada to avoid prosecution, and last week, the Canadian Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal by two resisters who are seeking refugee status. Courage to Resist is stepping up and pushing the Canadian government to pass a provision that would allow US war resisters to stay in Canada. You can help support war resisters like Brandon Hughey and Jeremy Hinzman, seeking refuge in Canada, by signing on to the "Dear Canada: Let US War Resisters Stay" appeal. Find out more about how to support US war resisters at .

The more IVAW members speak out, the more applications for membership arrive at our office in Philadelphia. Before he turned himself in at Ft. Hood, Mark Wilkerson, Elizabeth Spradlin and I founded IVAW's first chapter in 2004. Last week, we welcomed chapter number 32. With your support ( ), we'll continue to grow, and grow stronger, so we can bring an end to this war.


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

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