For Immediate Release
Veterans Organization Supports Colin Kaepernick
ST. LOUIS, MO. - Veterans For Peace, a national organization made up of military veterans and military members, released a statement in support of Colin Kaepernick.
To question his patriotism and use smear tactics to quiet him is in direct contradiction to the spirit of the right to freedom of expression. His act of protest is a political act to register his discontent with the actions of his government. It is a nonviolent act that demands positive change for a better future for all of us. It is exactly the kind of speech the First Amendment was designed to protect and as veterans we applaud his use of his rights for the cause of equality and justice; rights and ideals that we are told we served to defend.
Veterans For Peace supports Kaepernick’s right to freedom of expression. We applaud his choice to exercise that right and call on others with high visibility to speak out and take action in various ways for peace and justice and demand a fair and just national response to address these and many other critical issues faced by people both here in the U.S. and abroad.
Michael McPhearson, Executive Director, Veterans For Peace-National;
“I am a veteran. I have refused to stand for the national anthem. When I do, I do not salute or place my hand on my heart. Racism affects every system of government to the wars we fight abroad to the senseless deaths of black youth at the hands of police. I stand solemnly with my head down at parade rest reflecting on all the unjust acts my nation is doing to people both at home and abroad.”
McPhearson was a field artillery officer of the 24th Mechanized Infantry Division during Desert Shield/Desert Storm.
Bill Creighton, President, San Francisco Chapter of Veterans For Peace;
Our country has a rich history of nonviolent resistance to injustice. Colin Kaepernick is exercising his right of freedom of speech. As a veteran, who served for the values laid out in the Bill of Rights, I firmly support his right to speak out and act on his beliefs.”
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Veterans For Peace is a national organization founded in 1985. It is structured around a national office in Saint Louis, MO and comprised of members across the country organized in chapters or as at-large members. The organization includes men and women veterans of all eras and duty stations including from the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), World War II, the Korean, Vietnam, Gulf and current Iraq wars as well as other conflicts. Our collective experience tells us wars are easy to start and hard to stop and that those hurt are often the innocent. Thus, other means of problem solving are necessary.