The San Diego Veterans For Peace, Chapter 91, has now embarked on a five-year plan to change public understanding of what the Miramar Air Show is actually all about.
Our homeless veterans are victims of war and as such it requires the full support of our membership and the community at large.
Our active members hold events and participate in several types of activism to further the mission of Veterans For Peace.
VFP United Kingdom is the first international VFP chapter started by veterans who served in the military of a foreign nation.
We are proud to announce that in June 2017 the 3000th sleeping bag set was given out to the homeless in downtown San Diego!
50 years ago, American boys, most under 20 years of age, committed unspeakable acts against a civilian hamlet in Vietnam. Over 500 women, children (yes! there were babies!) and old men were slaughtered by American soldiers. Civilian “collateral damage” is a tragic cost of any war; the My Lai massacre only exemplified it at a highly public level. The San Diego Chapter of Veterans For Peace is named after Hugh C. Thompson, the courageous US Army helicopter pilot who landed his chopper and, along with fellow crewmen, intervened against fellow American troops to end the carnage at My Lai. Thompson reported the “incident” up the chain of command but was met with indifference and ridicule by authorities.
50 years removed from My Lai, today we see American troops in over 120 countries, with US bases in over 80. Most of these troops in our “volunteer armed forces” are Whites, Blacks, and Latinos of limited economic means. They are the ones who risk their lives to further our endless series of wars. We are embroiled in multiple wars and conflicts, and the “Doomsday Clock” has just been advanced 30 seconds closer to midnight, due to escalating tensions over possible nuclear war. Drone warfare is commonplace with mounting civilian casualties, as American warriors in Nevada routinely target and kill in places around the globe. We see weapons of war – the AR-15 rifle, used by our teenagers against each other in high schools.
As citizens, we must draw connections between our foreign war policies of the past and those of today. We must see the links causing the violent war culture bleeding into our civilian lives. Absent the military draft most people do not see the true, total costs of war. Politicians continue to over-fund the Pentagon without any dissent and then reduce spending on programs that benefit our populace. If we fail to speak out, we are complicit in the wars our government conducts in our names.
The My Lai Memorial Exhibit, by allowing you to take part in the artistic process, honors the over two million Vietnamese civilians who died in what we call the “Vietnam War” but what will forever be known in Vietnam as the “American War”. This Memorial Exhibit offers 3 interactive opportunities to dialogue, build a sculptural collage and to share your artwork and comments. You will be able to participate in a strong, anti-war response to the Pentagon’s $63 million campaign to sanitize and to glorify this unnecessary, unjust and immoral military action. The Exhibit is suitable for high school age and above.
The 50th anniversary of the My Lai Massacre will be March 16, 2018 and the San Diego and Chicago Chapters of the Veterans For Peace, the San Diego Peace Resource Center, and the American Friends Service Committee invite you to the following events. These issues are as important today as they were 50 years ago!
Wednesday, March 14: World Beat Center, 2100 Park Blvd, SD 92101; Display open 2PM – 9PM
Speakers Program: 7:30 PM, Dennis Stout, Barry Ladendorf
Thursday, March 15: First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego, 4190 Front St, SD 92103
Display open Noon – 6 PM
Friday, March 16: First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego, Display open 2PM – 9 PM
Speakers: 7:30 PM, Dennis Stout, Marjorie Cohn, Barry Ladendorf
Saturday, March 17: SD Peace Resource Center, 3850 Westgate Pl, SD 92105;
Display open 12PM – 5 PM.
Speakers: 6:30 PM, Church of the Brethren, 3850 Westgate Pl., SD 92105
Fernando Suarez del Solar, Lori Saldaña, David Valladollid
•Marjorie Cohn, Attorney, Author, Legality of War Expert, Drone Warfare Expert;
•Fernando Suarez del Solar, Anti-War Advocate, lost son in Iraq War, Guerrero Azteca Founder;
•Barry Ladendorf, Naval Officer, Attorney, past President of Vets For Peace;
•Lori Saldaña, Peace Advocate, Was President Pro-Temp and on Veterans Committee of CA Assembly;
•Dennis Stout, Photographer, Vietnam Army veteran, offers personal testimony;
•David Valladollid, Purple Heart Vietnam Vet, CEO of Parent Institute for Quality Education, CA Student Aid Comte.
For more information please contact: Gary Butterfield, firstname.lastname@example.org
To view the My Lai Memorial webpage, go to: http://mylaimemorial.org
The San Diego Veterans For Peace Compassion Campaign, an outreach effort to give a sleeping bag set to each of the 9000+ homeless in San Diego, began in December 2010 and continues indefinitely.
The outreach effort began after active veterans in the San Diego Veterans For Peace chapter became alarmed at the life-threatening living conditions homeless veterans and others endure on the streets and under the interstate overpasses in downtown San Diego.
Once learning from homeless veterans on the street that every homeless person in San Diego needed a sleeping bag, a waterproof poncho, and a waterproof stuff sack, the San Diego chapter began seeking donations and purchasing and delivering sleeping bags sets to the homeless. Bag sets are always hand delivered, with each person receiving a set being evaluated for true need. Chapter veterans go out in 2 or 3 car caravans late at night and also hand out used clothing, water, and food that is donated by members, friends, and generous people in the community.The cost to the chapter of sleeping bags sets, originally $35 wholesale, was lowered to $27 per set in mid-2011 after chapter members were able to buy all products directly from the Coleman Company in Colorado, instead of locally from several vendors in San Diego and Los Angeles.
Updated June 2017: San Diego Veterans For Peace has given out over 3,000 bag sets at an average cost of $33 per set. Click the link below to donate now!