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Page 9
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On IVAW's 10th Anniversary


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Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) congratulates our younger brothers and sisters in IVAW on your 10-year anniversary. VVAW has dedicated its work over the past 47 years to preventing more wars like Vietnam. We have worked for peace, justice and the rights of all veterans.

After the 9/11 attacks, VVAW stood up against the wars with Afghanistan and Iraq. We held local demonstrations and took part in national days of action against these unjust wars in the Middle East. We hoped that there would not be a new generation of veterans, knowing all too well the burdens and struggles which the victims would bear. We would not have wished that on anyone, let alone a whole generation. As the US seemed determined to repeat history, we welcomed the veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan and we were honored when you looked to us for a name, guidance, and ideas.

Since IVAW's formation, our organizations have worked side by side. Individually and organizationally, VVAW has been with you since the beginning. IVAW joined us in speaking to high school students about our experiences. Together we challenged the recruiters targeting innocent students. Like us, you have found ways to channel your experiences into art that transcends the accepted norms about war, racism and sexism. As we commemorated our 40th anniversary in Chicago in 2007, we did so with IVAW members present.

One of our proudest moments was supporting IVAW's Winter Solider: Iraq and Afghanistan event in Washington, D.C., 37 years after our own Winter Soldier Investigation. VVAW was able to support the event financially and logistically. We saw the torch passed to the newest generation of veterans speaking truth to power. You inspired us with your determination, dedication and tenacity.

The work for VVAW and IVAW goes well beyond the end of our wars. Early on, VVAW served as a family for Vietnam-era veterans as we struggled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Agent Orange, and everything else that life threw our way. In the last ten years, the camaraderie has developed into a sense of family between IVAW and VVAW. We are all comrades in misfortune, dealing with PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injuries, Military Sexual Trauma, and more. As we lose brothers and sisters to the aftereffects of our wars, we join together to pay witness to their lives, to mourn, and to move on.

Our common experiences bring us together. Our commitment to peace, justice and the rights of all veterans carry us forward. As VVAW approaches its 50th anniversary, we truly hope that IVAW's 50th consists of a celebration of peace, not a melancholy welcoming of the next generation of veterans.

<< 8. The Last Time I Dreamed About the War: Essays on the Life and Writing of W. D. Ehrhart10. Alternatives To Incarceration for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans >>