For Immediate Release
Matt Howard, About Face: Veterans Against the War, 415-819-6430, Colleen Kelly, Veterans For Peace, 314-761-7428
Veterans Unite with Poor People's Campaign
Veteran organizations call for a decrease in military spending.
WASHINGTON - About Face: Veterans Against the War and Veterans For Peace, as poor people who have served this country, are joining the Poor People’s Campaign (PPC): A National Call for Moral Revival. Members across the country will join the Poor People’s Campaign to speak out against the War Economy on Tuesday, May 29th.
The United States has engaged in the longest wars in its history while many in this country go without healthcare, adequate water, schools and jobs. Government spending goes to militarization of local police and border patrols, the automation of weaponry, and illegal monitoring of U.S. citizens.
Over 370,000 people have died due to direct war violence and at least 800,000 more indirectly due to the endless wars of the United States since 9/11. The US federal price tag for the post 9/11 wars is about $5.6 trillion dollars, with the U.S. conducting counterterror activities in 76 countries. Because much of that money is borrowed, that amount will continue to balloon alongside increased spending. These wars have displaced 10.1 million people, and have been accompanied by violations of human rights and civil liberties in the US and abroad. (Source: Brown University, Cost of War)
“As veterans we know that our positions are often glorified and are used to support a culture that worships guns and violence at home and abroad, when in reality, we know all too well the dangers and effects of war.” says Michael McPhearson, of Veterans For Peace “the overwhelming cost of unnecessary and aggressive military invasions could be better spent at home meeting human needs.”
“The U.S. spends more on defense than the next eight countries combined,” says Rev. Shawna Foster of About Face: Veterans Against the War, “Yet VA Hospitals are underfunded so that privatization looks like a solution, military personnel are on food stamps, and veterans are homeless. The State Department is underfunded showing very little is prioritized in diplomatic solutions that would prevent more of our young people from going to war. We have to turn this around now.”
The solution to these issues are found in the vision of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who called for a complete moral revolution of values in American society. This dream includes the redistribution of military expenditures for programs of social uplift, the demilitarization of American society, and monetary amends made for damage done across the world.
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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.