Wednesday, May 9, 2007


May 9, 2007

Dear Friend of Iraq Veterans Against the War,

As a regular speaker on behalf of IVAW, I am often asked, “What can I do to help stop the war?” At first, this was a difficult question for me to answer, as I was still struggling to find my voice as a veteran. But there are a multitude of things any compassionate American can do to help stop the war in Iraq. I always tell people, first and foremost: show up. You can’t stop a war from your couch. Second, spread the word. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind. Third, reach out to the troops that you know, let them know that you support them and will continue to do so even if they decide to resist the illegal and immoral occupation for which they are being asked to fight.

For those of you who are tired of the traditional means of activism, here is something else you can do to help. The DC Chapter of IVAW has been very active in getting our message out to the powerbrokers in DC. We regularly meet with Congressmen and Senators, and attend hearings on Capitol Hill to make our presence known. We are also actively involved in supporting other anti-war groups that represent a broader demographic than just the veterans, such as Military Families Speak Out, Code Pink (Women for Peace), Voters For Peace, ANSWER (Act Now, Stop War, End Racism), and UFPJ (United For Peace and Justice). When we attend events hosted by these groups, they appreciate the credibility we lend them as veterans of the war in Iraq.

We also conduct our own actions, such as Operation First Casualty on March 19th. This was a mock combat patrol through Washington, DC to bring the truth of the war home to the American people, because it has long been said that the first casualty of war is the truth. This was organized and hosted by members of DC IVAW with great financial and logistical assistance from the national office, and members from around the country. You can read more about this here.

There is much more that we could do, and in this effort, we ask for your help. What IVAW needs most urgently is a base of operations in DC from which to plan actions and host visiting veterans from around the country. This would allow veterans who would otherwise not be able, to come to DC, meet with Congressmen, attend hearings, participate in demonstrations, and lend their voices to the anti-war movement.

Please become a sponsor of the IVAW DC House by making a monthly pledge until the war is over. Our modest goal is to raise $5000 per month to cover rent and operating costs. We appreciate one time donations as well, but anyone who is able to contribute $100 or more a month will become an honorary member of our chapter and be invited to join us for a weekly sponsor’s dinner hosted at the IVAW DC House. Please make your donations by mailing a check made out to IVAW with “IVAW DC House” in the memo to PO Box 8296, Philadelphia, PA 19101 or by going here, clicking on “Donate Now” and including “IVAW DC House” in the Special Project Support window. If you choose to send a check, please be sure to include your email address if you would like to be added to the IVAW DC Supporter’s email list to receive regular updates of our activities. Please feel free to email me with any questions or comments.

Thank you for your support,

Adam Kokesh