Message of Peace

My name is Mike Hanes and I am with the San Diego chapter of Veterans for Peace. After my experiences in the Iraq invasion as a Force Recon Marine operator, I came to the conclusion that the glory, idealism and patriotism that was sold to us growing up, and later as service members, was to perpetuate an elite agenda of militarism, profit and resource exploitation. I now look at War simply as a means to extract/ secure resources, ensure industrial profits, and keep the populace in a perpetual state of fear.

War is the most insane creation that humanity has ever invented! It ensures a position of de-evolution rather than a state of evolution. We want our next generation to be better than us, not in a state of regression! As we move forward in the 21st Century, it is vitally important for us to elevate our consciousness and understanding of human behavior in order to promote values that is in line with peaceful problem solving. A great place for us to start is trying to better ourselves. Trying to be more empathetic rather than judgmental. Give a little more. Lend a helping hand to others. This I strongly feel is the premise of post traumatic growth for all people, rebuilding and strengthening the individual and those around you.

In an age of rapid technological advancement and the sharing of information, we have the capability to both shift our values quickly and finally make War a thing of the past. It is time to transcend the War mentality and bring humanity together. So how do we create a world of Peace? The great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stated that, “those who love Peace must learn to organize as effectively as those who love War.” In the two year period I have been with the Veterans for Peace, I have seen great organization from this group of dedicated men and women. To follow that up, the great futurist Buckminster Fuller stated that, “you never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” This reality hits us hard in an old outdated socioeconomic system based on competition, scarcity, strategic advantage, and the priority of profit over human well being.

Today in the 21st Century, we have the capability to do much better and we must! I encourage all Veterans, peace makers, young and old people to think out of the box in creating that new model of cooperation and sustainability; to band together being a voice for logic, reason and sanity in making global peace a reality.

May Peace prevail,
Michael Hanes

Patrick Gokey

Patrick Gokey is a veteran of the United States Navy and a lifetime member of Veterans For Peace. He owns and operates Pete's Hamburger Catering in Madison, Wisconsin.


Bob Thomason

Michael, I am sympathetic to your cause but have a question. Do you believe in the use of violence (war) in self defense? I realized our recent wars do not qualify but what about WWII or a future war where we are truly attacked and threatened?

If any wars are justified, do we not need a prepared military? Do we not run the risk of harming ourselves by discouraging young men from serving in the military?

Just some questions I struggle with. As a veteran (you, not me), I’d appreciate your perspective.


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