Wednesday, March 27, 2019

First time to table at Texas State University

Big thanks to Greg Moses for inviting us to be part of a tabling day at Texas State University in San Marcos today! Hart and I were so glad to be joined by GI resister, Stephen Funk (and his adorable dog, Crisco) and by Mia Estrada from the Philosophy Department at TX State. And thanks to Alan Pogue for coming and taking photos! We value all the engagement with students who stopped at the table to talk about the issues addressed by the reflection question, the Peace Wheel and the Penny Poll.

Penny Poll results showed a strong priority for Education, garnering a full 30% of the penny vote, followed by 23% for the Environment, 21% for Health Care, 11% for Humanitarian Aid, 10% for the Military and 5% for NASA. Several students put all their pennies into the Education jar, and a student made the apt observation that if we didn't have catastrophes caused by climate change, we wouldn't need so much humanitarian aid. 

Thanks, Bobcats, for welcoming us to your campus today!

Mia models our t-shirt!

Stephen's sign with our guest dog, Crisco

A few of the responses to our reflection question

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

A sober anniversary

A message from Matt Howard, co-director of About Face: Veterans Against the War:

Today is a sober anniversary not only for folks in our community, but for the entire nation: it's the 16th anniversary since the Bush administration launched an invasion of Iraq. An occupation that would go on to destroy lives, waste tremendous resources, and destabilize entire nations where people are still organizing for their survival to this day. Its impacts will continue to reverberate for generations to come.
The invasion was also a moment of reckoning for the people who went on to start our organization. Each of our co-founders served in the invasion of Iraq, saw the war for the lie that it was, and returned home to create a space for fellow post-9/11 veterans to organize to end the occupation and to tell the truth of what they experienced.
A lot of time has passed since that moment, and our organization has grown and transformed in ways that are both very visible and unseen. We have changed our name to match our changing membership and to reflect our focus not just on the specific occupations we were engaged in and politicized by, but on the deeper root cause for those wars and so many others: militarism.
As we mark this anniversary, we want to re-dedicate ourselves to that long-haul commitment. Just this past weekend, Drop the MIC Campaign Co-Directors Krystal Two Bulls and Brittany DeBarros completed an action packed Drop the MIC Tour stop in the Bay Area. While they were there, they led a training for veterans and members, held an event lifting up anti-war feminist leadership alongside our allies youth organization Bay Peace and Filipino womens rights organization Gabriela, and marched with the indigenous community in the Bay against fossil fuel extraction. 
From here, they'll continue building with communities across the country to connect around the shared understanding that we can't end militarism without dropping the Military Industrial Complex that holds it up (stay tuned for more information about this tour stop).
As you end your day, we have two asks for you. The first is to join our Drop the MIC Campaign. By signing up, we will send you information about ways to support, how to lend your skills, and invitations to events near you.
The second ask is to support our friends at the Iraqi-led Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq. They have tirelessly supported Iraqi women and LGBTQ folks over the last 16 years, throughout the war and the rise and fall of ISIS. If you have any resources to spare, we know they will put them to good use.
Thank you for sharing our commitment to a future without anniversaries like these ever again. 
In solidarity,

Matt Howard
About Face: Veterans Against the War
(formerly Iraq Veterans Against the War)

Friday, March 1, 2019

Earn money for college and help the earth and children at the same time!

At the Akins HS career fair this week, Hart and I met several enthusiastic Americorps members who are working with this after-school 4-H program with elementary school students.  This is a good opportunity for high school graduates to get great teaching experience along with a living stipend and an education award toward college.  And it's helping kids learn about the earth, gardening and animals!