Our monthly membership meeting is on the first Monday of every month at 5pm at the Veterans Memorial Building, 112 West Cabrillo Blvd. There will be discussion about Veterans for Peace future efforts.
Here is an update on Chapter 54 activities and invitation for you to meet up with your chapter of Veterans For Peace in activism.
Chapter 54 was the origin of four workshops at the national convention, more than any other chapter of Veterans For Peace. Dr. Gilbert Robledo presented one on the Teen Memorial/War Moratorium that the chapter installs at Santa Barbara City College and elsewhere where permitted. Dr. Albert Holtz presented one on Depleted Uranium. Paul K Chappell presented one on “The End of War”, the title of his newest book, now selling in bookstores and online…and I presented one on Homeless Veterans and Returning Vets.
Chapter 54 Vice President Bob Potter passed away recently. Read Elizabeth Colon’s Adagio for him here: http://www.vfpsb.org/2010/07/adagio-for-bob-potter/. His book of poetry “Poems in Transit” is available online www.BobPotter.org a poem about Arlington West was read at the national convention and can be found at http://www.vfpsb.org/2010/07/three-thousand-deaths-a-poem-by-bob-potter/ and an edited version of his production of “Mother Courage” may soon be available. We miss him and wish his family and friends well in their loss. Bob Potter… Presente!
Chapter Cofounder and President Daniel Seidenberg’s new book “Vietnam Ambush” is now available at Chaucers or online http://www.publishamerica.net/product89152.html – or from him directly or at our installations of the Iraq Moratorium or Arlington West, or our weekly installation of the Inconvenient Booth at Santa Barbara City College West Campus.
Chapter 54′s extreme producer Ron Dexter’s award winning film “On The Edge” is available online http://www.videoproject.com/ont-655-v.html and Ron continues to produce cards and letters to the editor that are worthy of yet more awards!
Chapter 54 member Professor Thomas Scheff’s film and poem “A Wake on the Pier” http://www.soc.ucsb.edu/faculty/scheff/main.php?id=39.html is also available online.
Chapter 54 member Paul K Chappell’s two books, “Will War Ever End” and “The End of War” are available in bookstores and online and are rapidly approaching best seller status! They are recommended reading as all chapter 54 books are!
Please join us every third Friday for the War Moratorium (details below this message) or, during the summer, fall and spring semesters every Tuesday at SBCC West Campus for VFP’s Inconvenient Booth, a sustainability outreach to the students. Or join us for our regular setup of Arlington West the first Sunday of every month. You can also join us in our efforts to get equal access in the high schools, where military recruiters are spreading their propaganda but where they have no alternative view. We want parents, students, veterans and citizens to attend the school board meetings and insist upon equal access. Another issue we want to pursue more in the schools is to allow students and parents to opt out of having their private information passed on to the recruiters. We are also pushing the chapter’s Depleted Uranium project ( pasted below this), a nationally recognized effort to represent veterans suffering from DU poisoning. We were recently honored as a chapter by the Office of the America’s (see release at bottom of this email) and by UCSB veterans for helping them on Memorial day week 2009. Chapter 54 is presenting a workshop on ending homelessness among veterans (also pasted at the end of this post).
If you have not been active you can donate to the chapter:
VFP Chapter 54
P.O. Box 21852
Santa Barbara, CA 93121
but your activism at our events, Arlington West and others, constitute your dues as our chapter is supported by donations and grants given to those events.
What would you like to see your chapter do?
In solidarity, Lane Anderson, Lifetime Member of Veterans For Peace
This is setup every third Friday at SBCC:
WAR MORATORIUM & TEEN MEMORIAL
AT SANTA BARBARA CITY COLLEGE
A mock cemetery of the U.S. Military Teen casualties is planned in Santa Barbara, California on (every third Friday), part of the National and International grassroots War Moratorium Movement calling for the immediate end of war and occupation from Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine.
The actions here, across the country and world mark the continuation of the War Moratorium, to unite individuals and groups who act to end Wars and Massacres, on the Third Friday of every month.
The local mock teen Cemetery will begin @10am in Santa Barbara, California at Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) on the West Campus lawn across from the campus library overlooking Ledbetter Beach on the Pacific Ocean.
The event is sponsored by the SB Vets for Peace Chapter 54. The event will consist of a mock cemetery of the U.S. Military Teen Dead, from the Iraq & Afghanistan conflicts. To date we have information on 314, 18 & 19 year old casualties from both conflicts.
The “Tombstones” will be set up by volunteers from the SB Vets for Peace Chapter and SBCC Students. Staff, Students & visitors passing by on the walkway between the East & West campuses will be asked to come down on the lawn to place a placard of the colored photo & information of a teen casualty on the “Tombstones.” Information about the cost of war and the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq, Afghanistan and Palesstine will be shared.
An SBCC Form for students TO BE TAKEN OFF THE MILITARY’S RECRUITMENT LIST, in opposition to the Solomon Amendment will be given out. The Solomon Amendment, passed in 1996 & revised in 1998, 1999 & 2000 by Congress so that federal agencies would be supported by colleges & Universities that receive federal funding. It is seen as a way that colleges & Universities can help the military meet national recruiting goals. Federal Funding will be taken away from Colleges & Universities if they can’t comply with the Solomon Amendment. Colleges supply student names, phone numbers and other private information to 17 components of the U.S. Military Service, each term or semester, for students age 17 & older who are registered for at least 1 unit. If students withhold the release of their “Directory Information” Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, THEN COLLEGES MAY NOT RELEASE IT TO THE MILITARY EITHER.
From Bob Potter:
On Sunday night November 16, 2008 Veterans for Peace Chapter 54, Santa Barbara was honored at a banquet in Los Angeles with the prestigious Peace and Justice Award for its work in initiating the Arlington West memorial and carrying it forward over the past five years.
Together with actors/peace activists Bill Farrell and Sean Penn, Veterans for Peace were the guests of honor at the 25th anniversary celebration of the Office of the Americas, the international peace organization founded by Blaise and Theresa Bonpane. The award was presented by noted Vietnam Veteran and activist Ron Kovic. A distinguished audience at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel joined in the tribute.
Ron Dexter, Korean War veteran and longtime VFP member, accepted the award on behalf of Chapter 54 and other Veterans for Peace chapters across the country which have followed the local chapter’s lead in creating Iraq War memorials modeled on Arlington National Cemetery. Dexter traced the evolution of Arlington West from a protest to a memorial, reaching beyond the “choir” to bring home to a wider audience the realities of war and the achievable goals of peace.
The official award citation reads as follows:
Office of the Americas Presents its Peace and Justice Award to Veterans for Peace
The Office of the Americas and Veterans for Peace share a common objective. We both are dedicated to the abolishment of war as an instrument of national policy. Together with Veterans for Peace we want to see an economy where the bankruptcy of military production is replaced by the life affirming investments in social programs for national and international betterment. We believe a better world is possible.
Veterans for Peace has chosen non-violence as their methodology and the impact of that soul force resounds internationally.
The Arlington West Memorial began with the Santa Barbara Chapter and has spread throughout the United States. News programs have featured these memorials which have drawn respect from the entire political spectrum. Veterans for Peace are out on the beaches before dawn each Sunday to set up markers for the dead and wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. They also have a special beachside statement on behalf of the peoples of these countries who have died in an unnecessary and illegal holocaust.
Veterans for Peace has a multitude of other programs as well. In Vietnam they bring medical supplies, build clinics and advocate for victims of agent orange (dioxin). In Korea they have created the Korean Peace Campaign to investigate massacres conducted by our troops in that yet unresolved conflict. In Columbia they conduct fact finding missions to educate our citizens about our military involvement, the role of paramilitary death squads, human rights abuses, and the impact of chemical defoliants in the so-called “War on Drugs.” In Puerto Rico Veterans for Peace has struggled to end six decades of US Navy bombing and shelling on the Island of Vieques.
And every year your members are participating in the huge demonstration to close the School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Georgia.
We thank you, Veterans for Peace, for your service to your country and for demonstrating authentic patriotism at a time when our country has lost its way.
With love and solidarity,
Theresa and Blaise Bonpane
for the Board of Directors of the Office of the Americas
November 16, 2008.
We are offering to help represent veterans who have been exposed to depleted uranium munitions, dust or radiation and are suffering from cancer or other side effects. We have expertise in medical, legal and administrative law.
We as a chapter of the VFP have started a program and done research to develop a brief for presentation to the VA rating board to obtain service connected disability for the affected veteran. Gulf War I and II vets are encouraged to get in touch with us for information on this project and to register at the Depleted Uranium Registry at:
Update Oct. 2009: Download the Dept. of Veterans Affairs’ “Evaluation Protocol for Gulf War and Iraqi Freedom Veterans with Potential Exposure to Depleted Uranium (DU)” handbook (pdf format).
A.I. Holtz, MD, FAAP has had seven years experience on the VA rating board in the Los Angeles office. He is a Harvard trained physician and has worked for all the branches of the military.
Veterans For Peace Santa Barbara DU Quest: http://www.vfpsb.org/projects/depleted-uranium-quest/
Dear veteran, organization or concerned citizen!
As a counselor for the Santa Barbara Vet Center , a VA outreach program, I became aware of the PTSD and “survivor guilt’ in that community and of things that are useful therapy for those veterans who suffer from PTSD. A key need is to take care of your fellow combat veterans. In today’s military recruits are trained to bring everyone along and leave no one behind. For these reasons many of the returning veterans will find a career helping veterans to be both helpful and fulfilling. I think I can propose such a career path.
The Obama administration will make 3.2 billion dollars available to end homelessness in veterans with 150 million available in the next fiscal year at their Homeless Grants and Per Diem page http://www1.va.gov/HOMELESS/ GPD.asp it seems that there is still 12 million for this fiscal year! Veterans have priority and it could be combined with a non profit management curriculum on the GI bill and used as tutorial/practicum.
Help at all levels can be gotten from Community Partners in the LA area or with organizations listed in the directory in the correspondence below this. Community Partners provides fiscal sponsorship to qualified projects, as an alternative to incorporation as an independent nonprofit organization, mainly in the Los Angeles area. I would encourage you to channel veteran leaders who might be interested in fiscal sponsorship to carefully review the information on their website (http://www.communitypartners. org/fiscal-sponsorship.html).
If after review an individual leader feels that s/he is ready and willing to make a commitment to fiscal sponsorship as a means for realizing their project for housing veterans, I would encourage them to submit a full proposal to Community Partners Incubator Services (see: http://www.communitypartners. org/incubator-services/how-to- apply/) . Veteran leaders may be interested in seeking out fiscal sponsors in other cities. You can find a directory of other fiscal sponsors in other parts of the country at tides center http://www.tidescenter.org/ become-a-project/additional- resources/fiscal-sponsors/ index.html
The way it works, or could work is that the vet gets most of the funding and per diem through the VA Homeless Grants and Per Diem program: http://www1.va.gov/HOMELESS/ GPD.asp and the rest via community partners or foundations…see http://foundationcenter.org/ collections/ You can also get legal advice to start non profit if you want one: http://www.publiccounsel.org/ overview/cdp.html Many vets and organizations have already opened facilities for the homeless veterans and are receiving grants and per diem already…making it an example of good works that pay. Veterans will have priority with the VA and most other foundations. People in general are eager to see vets work in this realm!
Rowland Lane Anderson, Adjutant, Disabled American Veterans Chapter 37
Lifetime Member of Veterans For Peace, Veterans of Foreign Wars and VVA