Letter to the Editor for 12-31-2015

Special to the PRESS

Dear Editor,

A group of us veterans who live in the lower Rio Grande Valley are in the process of organizing a chapter of Veterans For Peace (VFP) for veterans in our geographic area.  VFP is an organization for veterans with over 140 chapters, most of them in the USA, that has been around for decades.  The following are quotes from VFP and can be found on http://www.veteransforpeace.org/who-we-are/

Welcome to Veterans For Peace

Veterans for Peace is a global organization of Military Veterans and allies whose collective efforts are to build a culture of peace by using our experiences and lifting out voices.  We inform the public of the true causes of war and the enormous costs of wars, with an obligation to heal the wounds of wars.  Our network is comprised of over 140 chapters worldwide whose work includes: educating the public, advocating for a dismantling of the war economy, providing services that assist veterans and victims of war and most significantly, working to end all wars.

Statement of Purpose

We, having dutifully served out nation, do hereby affirm our greater responsibility to serve the cause of world peace.  To this end we will work, with others:

To increase public awareness of the costs of war

To restrain our government from intervening, overtly and covertly, in the internal affairs of other nations

To end the arms race and to reduce and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons

To seek justice for veterans and victims of war

To abolish war as an instrument of national policy

To achieve these goals, members of Veterans For Peace pledge to use non-violent means and to maintain an organization that is both democratic and open with the understanding that all members are trusted to act in the best interests of the group for the larger purpose of world peace.

VFP is especially needed today because the US government has been involved in military actions since the Vietnam War that have killed more civilians than combatants, and continues to be.  Modern warfare creates wounded individuals, both military and civilians, who would have died in earlier conflicts but now have horrific physical injuries and mental trauma that require lifelong care and treatment.  Such care and treatment is underfunded in the USA and the underfunding is even worse overseas.  Veterans in the USA have higher rates of homelessness and unemployment than the general population.  Ironically, veterans often exhibit behavioral and social interaction issues caused by combat while on active duty and are given less than honorable discharges.  They are then excluded from benefits — the degree depending on the type of discharge.  VFP is not a service provider, but we can assist veterans in getting the help they need from service agencies.

The founding members of the Rio Grande Valley area have been active in working for various progressive political issues.  A veteran must have a copy of their DD 214 to become a full member.  Interested parties can contact the people listed below:

For more information contact:




Walter Birdwell

Laguna Vista

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