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Iraq War Vets Stand Up for the Truth

Posted by libhom Monday, September 03, 2007

Our military is permeated with people who either were mislead or outright lied to by military recruiters. Anyone who has seen military recruiting commercials cannot help but notice how deceptive the ads are. Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) are doing something about it.

They are launching their Truth in Recruiting campaign on September 17. They make some important points.

As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continue to rage on with ever-increasing violence and destruction, the U.S. military is at its breaking point. Our troops are being deployed repeatedly in combat zones for longer and longer periods of time. Most troops in Iraq are there for at least their second tour, some are there for a third or fourth time. Thousands of soldiers have been involuntarily held beyond their "voluntary" service obligation by the stop-loss policy. Many more thousands have been recalled to active duty as part of the Individual Ready Reserve. Our veterans are returning with unprecedented levels of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and life-changing physical injuries. While the burden of this misbegotten, shameful war continues to fall on the same troops and military families, recruiters are finding it more and more difficult to find eager military recruits.

In order to meet their recruiting quotas, many recruiters use deceptive tactics that don’t tell the whole truth. As Adam Kokesh, former Marine Corps sergeant and Iraq vet, says, “For many of those who enter the military today, their enlistments are based on lies. There are those who join hoping to go to Iraq for a variety of personal reasons, not knowing the truth about the occupation. But there are many more that are promised by recruiters that they will never go to Iraq, that they will get plenty of money for college, that they will receive adequate health care, and that the military will honor the time limit of their contracts without using the stop-loss or involuntarily extending them.”

IVAW already launched a small protest in St. Louis at the time of their annual meeting. The Army actually had a video game they use for recruiting at the Missouri Black Expo. The vets responded to this by standing in formation and shouting three times in unison, “War is not a game!” The protest received lengthy coverage in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Kelly Dougherty, 29, is executive director and served in the Army National Guard as a medic and military police officer in Iraq in 2003 to 2004. She said recruiters often stress the opportunities the military offers to low-income and minority groups.

"We want people to know the truth about military service and that it's not always what they say," she said.

Dougherty said many potential recruits may not realize the consequences the prolonged war in Iraq may have on their service — increased chances of repeated deployment, extended tours of duty, a call back into war even after a contract expires and difficulty accessing benefits upon return.

Video of the action also is available.


One of IVAW's members also has launched a one week vigil to protest the stop-loss policy, where the military breaks their promises made in recruiting by sending our troops to fight in Iraq after the time periods in their contracts are over.

Evan Knappenberger explained, “I spent a year in Iraq. I pulled 97 nights on tower guard. Many of the friends I served with have completed their active duty contracts. Now, they’re being sent back to Iraq for their third or fourth tours. Some soldiers are getting called up after living years of civilian life. Stop-loss is an unethical policy.”

2 comments

  1. Anonymous Says:
  2. I was looking for an email to contact you for comment on a story that I'm writing on Ron Paul after viewing a recent post. You can contact me at cdeitch@steelcitymedia.com Thanks so much....

     
  3. IVAW’s campaign can’t begin soon enough. I saw the Freedom Watch commercial last night. I’m glad it was on CNN around midnight. This Democratic Congress seems week compared to the Bush propaganda machine. It’s like they are not fired up about ending this war. The Republican minority seems like they are in charge. It’s amazing the Democrats whined so much when they were in the minority complaining that they had no power–maybe they should take a page from the Republican play book and grab some cojones.

     

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