August 31, 2010
Under the Hood has become my refuge from a closed-minded and dehumanizing military culture. The support I have received from my family at Under the Hood has helped me take the liberating leap from obedient soldier to war resister. Under the Hood has changed my life forever.
-- SPC Victor Agosto, Afghanistan War Resister
This evening, President Obama will address the nation about the end of the U.S. combat mission in Iraq. Before the nighttime address, he will travel to Fort Bliss, Texas, to thank troops for the sacrifices they have made. We invite you to show your concern for the troops by supporting a gathering place outside another Texas base, Fort Hood, called Under the Hood. It's an oasis where soldiers can get together, relax, receive counseling and speak freely about the wars and the military.
By donating to Under the Hood, you will support the troops and their right to resist unjust wars. According the CODEPINK member Heidi Turpin, "Unlike the military budget that is draining our treasury, the café operates on a shoestring of $36,000 a year, so a $50 or $100 donation will make a huge difference."
You can also support the troops by speaking out about the terrible legacy of this 7-year occupation of Iraq. This evening, CODEPINK groups will gather in public places to watch President Obama's speech, inviting the press to hear our analysis of how this war has destroyed Iraq and why we need to hold responsible those who dragged us into this debacle. We invite you to check out our talking points and tweet with us as you watch the speech.
Don't be hoodwinked by Obama's claim that the Iraq war is ending. We still have 50,000 troops there, tens of thousands of contractors and the biggest Embassy in the world. While we watch President Obama try to put a positive spin on a disastrous war we should have never started, let us redouble our efforts to bring ALL our troops home--from Iraq and Afghanistan. Join us in Washington DC on October 2 as we gather with civil rights activists, union members, women's groups, youth and the peace community to call for jobs and bringing our war dollars home. Learn more about One Nation Working Together and sign up here to join me, Alice Walker, Medea Benjamin, and activists from around the country. If Glenn Beck could bring out hundreds of thousands of people with his message of glorifying war, surely we can bring out even more people with our message of glorifying the power of peace building in helping us restore our economy and our democratic ideals.
U.S. Army colonel (retired), official of the U.S. State Department (retired)