Stop The Endless Wars-Listen To The Gals And Guys Who Have Been There-Veterans For Peace-VFP
By Frank Jackman
Recently I wrote a comment in this space about “street cred,” anti-war street cred in that case placing the anti-war organization Military Families Speak Out directly in the front line of those who have earned that honor, earned it big time as those of us, even many veterans like myself could expect out in those mean sullen anti-war streets. In that comment I had placed Military Families in the same company as those from my generation, my war generation, the Vietnam War, who too “got religion” on the questions of war and peace and who ran into the streets in the late 1960s and early 1970s to put muscle into that understanding. I noted that there was no more stirring sight in those days than to see a bunch of bedraggled, wounded, scarred, ex-warriors march in uniform or part uniform as the spirit moved them, many times in silent or to a one person cadence, in places like Miami and Washington with the crowds on the sidelines dropping their jaws as they passed by. Even the most ardent draft-dodging chicken hawk in those days held his or her thoughts in silence in the face of such a powerful demonstration.
That was then and now is now. Now that spirit of military-borne resistance resides a greying, aging, illness gathering relatively small group of veterans who have formed up under the dove-tailed banner of Veterans for Peace (VFP). While that organization is open to all who adhere to the actively non-violent principles stated below who are veterans and supporters the vast bulk of members are from the Vietnam era still putting up the good fight some forty plus years later. Still out on the streets with their dove-tailed banners flailing away in some off-hand ill-disposed wind stirring those crowds on the sidewalk once again. Still having that very special “street cred” of those who had have to confront the face of war in a very personal way. Listen up.