FAYETTEVILLE, NC -- March 17 -- Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) will join with Military Families Speak Out, Veterans for Peace, Gold Star Families for Peace, and others in Fayetteville, North Carolina, home of Fort Bragg and the Army's 82nd Airborne Division. On the 2nd anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, IVAW, will be saying no to the war and occupation. Iraq Veterans Against the War is calling for all the troops to brought home now and an immediate end to the occupation of Iraq.
On Saturday, March 19 Iraq Veterans Against the War will gather at 10 a.m. at the County Health Center, 227 Fountainhead Lane, and at 12 p.m. march to Rowan Street Park. There will be a rally from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Rowan Street Park with speakers from Iraq Veterans Against the War, Military Families Speak Out, and others, including co-founders Michael Hoffman and Kelly Dougherty.
Iraq Veterans Against the War will be participating in a press conference on Friday, March 18 at 1 p.m. at the Quaker House, 223 Hillside Ave. Speakers include Michael Hoffman, co-founder and national coordinator of Iraq Veterans Against the War, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the invasion of Iraq, Nancy Lessin and Charley Richardson, co-founders of Military Families Speak Out, and Lila Lipscomb, co-founder of Gold Star Families for Peace co-founder and member of Military Families Speak Out member featured in Fahrenheit 911.
The following veterans are available for interview:
- Charlie Anderson, Virginia Beach, VA, served as a Hospital Corpsman, 2nd Class with the US Navy. He served in Iraq from Feb to May of 2003 with the 2nd Tank Battalion of the Marines.
- Jason Bohrer, Binghamton, NY, served as a Corporal in the 1st Marine Division in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2000-2004.
- Kelly Dougherty, Colorado Springs, CO, was deployed in Kuwait and Iraq as Sergeant in 220th Military Police Company of the Colorado Army National Guard from Feb 2003 to Feb 2004.
- Stephen Funk, San Francisco, CA, was the first conscientious objector imprisoned for refusing to fight in the Iraq War. He was Lance Corporal in the Marines and served a five month sentence (September 2003 to February 2004) in military prison at Camp LeJeune in North Carolina.
- Chris Harrison, New York City, NY, was a First Lieutenant in the Army Reserve who has served since December 1996. He applied for Conscientious Objector status (in Dec 2002); his claim was still unresolved at the time of his discharge in Sept 2004
- Abdul Henderson, Los Angeles, CA, served as a Forward Observer with the 1st Marine Division during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
- Michael Hoffman, Bucks Country, PA, served as a Corporal with the 1st Marine Division during the U.S. invasion of Iraq from March to May 2003. He is a founding member of IVAW.
- Jimmy Massey, Waynesville, NC, was career Staff Seargent and Recruiter in the US Marine Corps. He served in the 2003 invasion of Iraq and was sent home after protesting the shooting of Iraqi civilians. Will be in Fayetteville Friday thru Sunday.
- Camilo Mejia, Miami, FL, served in Iraq with the Florida National Guard. He refused to return to his unit in Iraq, citing moral reasons, the legality of the war, and the conduct of US troops towards Iraqi civilians and prisoners.
On May 21, 2004 a US military court sentenced him to the maximum penalty of one year's imprisonment for desertion. Camilo was released on February 15, 2005.
Patrick Resta, Philadelphia, PA, served in Iraq as a Medic with the North Carolina Army National Guard attached to the 1st Division from February to November of 2004.
Alex Ryabov, New York City, NY, served as a Corporal with the 1st Marine Division during the U.S. invasion of Iraq from March to May 2003.
Aaron Vogel, Agoura Hills, CA, is currently a Seargent in the Army Reserves (since January 2000). He served in Iraq from April 2003 to 2004.
To arrange an interview with a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War contact Katya Kruglak at 703.304.5075.
Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) is a group of veterans who have served since September 11th, 2001 including Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. We are committed to saving lives and ending the violence in Iraq by an immediate withdrawal of all occupying forces. We also believe that the governments that sponsored these wars are indebted to the men and women who were forced to fight them and must give their Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, and Airmen the benefits that are owed to them upon their return home.