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IVAW Comes to Springs!

February 22, 2012
This is the announcement for a meeting with the Operation Recovery campaign that will take place tomorrow in Colorado
Springs.  Graham Clumpner states his case far better than I could, so I will post it in its entirety.

Feb. 23:  Thursday    5 p.m. in the Colorado College Worner Center, Room 17, 902 N. Cascade Ave ( Two vets talk about Operation Recovery (campaign to stop the deployment of traumatized troops) and goals for the Springs.

This Thursday at 5pm we have two Veteran Organizers who have been down at Fort Hood in the last year and done on the ground organizing with service members. They will be speaking about soldiers’ right to heal and what this means for our community. Please come and bring your questions about whats really going on in the military community and how you help change the course of things. This is not a political event. Until we connect the members of the civilian community with the half percent of the population that serves in the military we will not be able to heal these bitter divisions.

It has been over ten years since 9/11 and we as a country have been at war every moment since then. Afghanistan is the longest war in American History. The suicide rates of our soldiers increased 150% since then. 1 in 3 women in the military are sexually assaulted and the defense department says that over 400,000 soldiers have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. War is trauma. The natural result of being exposed to this kind of an environment is trauma. The 3.2 million veterans that have served in the military since 9/11 have faced many challenges that every day life rarely offers. They have done things in three years that a lifetime couldn’t fill back home. If they do make it home alive, the world they return to may resemble the one they left but they have changed forever.

Because of the overwhelming numbers of returning soldiers our veterans hospitals and military centers are unable to help everyone. Because we are entering the eleventh year of war our soldiers are asked to do multiple deployments to combat zones. In some ways this repeated trauma has not been seen in generations. We do not have enough soldiers to continue fighting these wars unless we use traumatized troops. Our communities are affected by these traumas in various ways. We know soldiers. We know husbands and wives. We see the way this trauma reenters American society and we don’t know what to do. What do you say to someone who has seen death as a normality? How do you reach out and approach them? Operation Recovery is a campaign to stop the deployment of traumatized troops. It was started by Veterans and Civilian allies in 2009 to raise awareness in the military and the surrounding community. The campaign has highlighted the problems endemic in military service at the largest base in the military, Ft. Hood,Texas. They deploy more soldiers than any other base. They have more suicides and sexual assaults. When it comes to the problems in the military, Fort Hood is ground zero. But Fort Hood is not the only place that has these problems. They are anywhere a soldier is treated dishonorably. Every soldier has the right to access health care for the trauma they have sustained and to remove themselves from the source of that trauma. –

Graham Clumpner


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