For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Colleen Kelly

Veterans Plan Armistice Day Events in Cities Across the U.S.

ST. LOUIS, MO. - Veterans For Peace chapters across the United States are gathering to “Reclaim Armistice Day” the original intention of Veteran’s Day.

Almost a hundred years ago the world celebrated peace as a universal principal.  The first World War had just ended and nations mourning their dead collectively called for an end to all wars.  Armistice Day was born and was designated as  “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated."
After World War II, the U.S. Congress decided to rebrand November 11 as Veterans Day. Honoring the warrior quickly morphed into honoring the military and glorifying war. Armistice Day was flipped from a day for peace into a day for displays of militarism.
Veterans For Peace has taken the lead in lifting up the original intention of November 11th – as a day for peace. As veterans we know that a day that celebrates peace, not war, is the best way to honor the sacrifices of veterans.  We want generations after us to never know the destruction war has wrought on people and the earth.  <To Read Full Statement>

Veterans Available For Interviews


Michael McPhearson
Executive Director of Veterans For Peace

MILITARY SERVICE: He was a field artillery officer in the 24th Mechanized Infantry Division during Desert Shield /Desert Storm. Michael joined the Army Reserve in 1981. He is a ROTC Distinguished Military Graduate of Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina. His military career includes 6 years of reserve service and 5 years of active duty service. He separated from active duty in 1992 as a Captain.

PROFESSIONAL: Former co-chair of the Saint Louis based Don't Shoot Coalition that formed in the aftermath of Michael Brown's police killing death in Ferguson, MO. From August 2010 to September 2013, Michael worked as the National Coordinator with United For Peace and Justice. He is a former board member of Veterans For Peace and as well as Executive Director from 2005 to 2010. He worked closely with the Newark based People’s Organization for Progress and the Saint Louis centered Organization for Black Struggle. Michael is a member of the National Association of Colored People, The American Civilian Liberties Union and Military Families Speak Out. Michael’s son, now an Army veteran himself; served a tour in Iraq in 2005 to 2006.



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Kourtney Andar
Board Member, Veterans For Peace

MILITARY SERVICE: Georgia Army National Guard as an infantry soldier from 2011 to 2013

PROFESSIONAL:  Has advised and done campus organizing on issues of feminism, racism and sexual violence. Has served on the steering committee and people of color caucus for a grassroots environmental organization.  Is currently on the Executive Committee of Veterans For Peace.


Brian Trautman
Board Member, Veterans For Peace

MILITARY SERVICE: Served four years on active duty (U.S. Army) as a cannon crewmember

PROFESSIONAL: He has been employed in various administrative and faculty positions in higher education over nearly two decades, including as an instructor of peace studies and economics at a community college since 2008.


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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.

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