Iraq veterans present the folded flag to Representative Hoyer's Chief of Staff.
Iraq Vets Announce Tri-Folded Flag Campaign to Hold Congress Responsible:
"FUNDING THE WAR IS KILLING THE TROOPS"
Washington , DC : Iraq Veterans Against the War is urging a rapid and safe withdrawal of troops from Iraq , adequate funding of the needs of veterans when they return and the rebuilding of Iraq by Iraqis.
According to Garett Reppenhagen, Chair of Iraq Vets Against the War: " Iraq Veterans Against the War is a growing movement of Iraq War era veterans and active duty service members that are opposing the occupation of Iraq . Through our military experience we have learned that the continued presence of US troops in the Middle-East is instigating further hatred toward American Armed Forces and undermining our nation's security. As a result, our military in Iraq is viewed by the majority of the world as occupiers and not peace keepers. The Iraq Veterans Against the War stands by the belief that funding the war is killing the troops."
IVAW will be holding a press conference, rally and the delivery of Tri-Folded American Flags to Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Hoyer, and Majority Whip Clyburn on Tuesday, July 17th at the Upper Senate Park at 1:00 PM. A rally will be held at 2:00 PM and flags will be delivered at 3:00 PM.
Speaking at the press conference will be Garett Rappenhagen, Adam Kokesh – who recently gained national media attention when the Marines threatened him with discipline for his anti-war advocacy and Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr. is the President of the Hip Hop Caucus, an Air Force Officer who is being threatened with discharge from the Air Force Reserve Individual Reserve Program as a 'national security threat' due to his anti-war, climate change and civil rights activism.
Adam Kokesh described how funding the war is killing the troops saying "As a proud combat veteran who believes in a strong US military and national defense, I find the Iraq war most offensive. Resources that could be allocated to a multitude of other projects to enhance our security are instead being diverted into the futile occupation of Iraq . The brave men and women who have sworn an oath to defend the Constitution deserve better than to risk their lives in a misadventure that is detrimental to our security, and our Constitution. Further funding of this quagmire will only result in more needless deaths."
Rev. Yearwood put the blame for failure to end the war on the Democratic Party leadership saying "On Nov 7, 2006, America went to the polls to demand an end to the war in Iraq, yet this Democratic Congress continues to fund the occupation. As a board member of Progressive Democrats of America, I can say we did not vote for a Democratic Congress or a Republican Congress, we voted for a Human Congress. Representatives Pelosi, Hoyer and Clyburn are putting the interests of the Democratic Party before the interests of humanity, and until they use their leadership in Congress to de-fund the war, Iraq Veterans Against the War holds them personally responsible for the deaths of U.S. soldiers." Yearwood is also a board member of VotersForPeace which puts 'peace before partisanship.'
The Tri-Folded Flag Campaign is being spearheaded by Iraq Veterans Against the War but already other anti-war groups are joining in. Among the groups already signed on to the multi-month campaign are Military Families Speak Out, Veterans for Peace, VotersForPeace, Grassroots America, the Hip Hop Caucus and Democracy Rising. The campaign will let the House Democratic leadership know that voters will be holding them responsible for failing to end the war by sending them tri-folded flags between now and the end of September.