Saturday, May 31, 2008
For the many who knew her: Peg Mcintire died this morning (Friday, May 30th). Her son and daughter-in-law were with her at the time. We in St. Augustine, and
many all over the world, will miss her. She was 97 and has been an
activist for over 50 years. She was one of our elders. The photo below was taken at the Orlando march against the war last Fall.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Thanks to John Dumoulin for posting our Memorial Mile on Daily Kos
Special to The Sun
Last Modified: Sunday, May 25, 2008 at 12:28 a.m.
Motorists were bombarded with the names of more than 4,500 fallen soldiers that were displayed on tombstones along NW 8th Avenue early Saturday.
The 9-inch by 12-inch mock tombstones lined the curb of NW 8th Avenue in neat rows of four across and more than a mile in length near Westside Park.
The tombstones, separated by date signs, show the deaths that occurred throughout each stage of America's war on terrorism.
Each stone gives the soldiers name, age, birth date, rank and hometown as well as a flag if the soldier was from this area.
The demonstration continues through Monday evening and is part of the Veterans for Peace's message about the increasing casualties stemming from the war on terrorism.
At 4:00 A.M. Saturday morning I joined a group of 50-plus people who showed up at the corner of 34th Street and 8th Avenue to lend their bodies, minds and hearts in the set-up of a memorial to the brave men and women who have given their lives or been injured during service to our country in Afghanistan and Iraq. Others had been there since 2:00 A.M. to set up the markers for the memorial.
As the group worked by flashlight, streetlight and moonlight, I could sense a distinct sense of purpose and dedication of those present. I personally felt an intense sadness throughout as I helped to place each miniature gravestone in its exact location according to date of death. The volunteers were young and old, men and women, there to develop a simple, yet very sobering, memorial to the human cost of war.
VFP Chapter in Madison also has a Memorial mile - as reported on DU. I posted a reply about our project.
Veterans for Peace Memorial Day Display
Originally uploaded by Ajax the Pirate
More photos of the VFP display in Gainesville thanks to Benjamin Kite. Posted on FLICKr. the last photo in this series is a panoramic view - follow the instructions above the photo to view it properly. Really cool!
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Friday, May 23, 2008
Bushnell(Florida). As we entered, we were greeted with a quiet respect and dignity. The welcome was extended not because of who we were, but because of the man we had come to visit, Sgt. William "Billy" Donald Healey Jr., USAF, a veteran of the Persian Gulf War era. His service bought us respect. As we entered, the Patriot Guard stood waiting to pay tribute to a casualty of the current war. We found section 324, grave 3157. Across the road three freshly dug graves waited to provide a final rest for others who served. A year ago, Billy lay on the railroad tracks and waited. He lived in St. Augustine for a year. He worked, had friends and hopes but was invisible to most of us. He was one of the homeless. On that morning a year ago, his hope died. Then he died. No family. No place to call home. No refuge from the weather.
No acknowledgment of his service, his humanity or even his existence.Yet, the years he served bought me, a stranger, respect. A small bouquet of flowers and a quick salute to a brother-in-arms I never knew.
We veterans make up less than 13% of the population and 30% of the
homeless. 18 veterans commit suicide every day.
Don't worry about it America. In a few years we will be mostly dead or
incarcerated and the "problem" will be solved. In the meantime, I have
a debt to repay a fallen brother.
- - Terry Buckenmeyer, former SP6, U.S. Army, Member Vets for Peace
Friday, May 16, 2008
Sunday, May 11, 2008
On April 17 the RAND Corporation released a study of service members and veterans back home from Iraq and Afghanistan. The 500-page study was titled Invisible Wounds of War: Psychological and Cognitive Injuries, Their Consequences, and Services to Assist Recovery. It was sponsored by a grant from the California Community Foundation and done by twenty-five researchers from RAND Health and the RAND National Security Research Division. From last August to January, the team conducted a phone survey with 1,965 service members, reservists and veterans in twenty-four areas across the country with high concentrations of those people. Some had done more than one tour.
Here's how the figures add up, just for Americans. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have thus far produced 300,000 psychological casualties, 320,000 brain injury casualties, plus 35,000 (probably understated) officially reported "normal" casualties. This adds up to 655,000 US casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan, an average of just under 101,000 Americans killed or wounded every year since the wars began. (emphasis added)
"Recent U.S. military report called "Transforming the way the Pentagon looks at energy," says that in order to ensure a "reliable" source of oil for the long term the military will increase its efforts to maintain control over foreign sources.
Soaring global demand for dimishing resources means strong international competition in the coming years.
Global power, the Pentagon says, will reside in the hands of those who control the distribution of declining natural resources.
One way to keep control of the global economic system is by holding the keys to the world's economic engine - oil.
During the two terms of the Bush administration, George W. Bush has doubled military spending. The U.S. military now controls just over 50% of every federal tax dollar.
The U.S. Congress is now sharply cutting remaining social programs, public education, and environmental programs."
"The Republicans and the Democrats are partners in funding and promoting the U.S. military empire that consists of more than 750 military bases around the world."
Bruce Gagnon is formerly a resident of Alachua County and involved with the local United Nations Association...HWS