Veterans Against War Speak Out
March 14, 2007 9:11 PM
Students were able to hear first hand the opinion of two veterans fighting to end the war in Iraq on Wednesday.
The panel included Sgt. Mike Ergo and Staff Sgt. Christie Hubbard from the Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW). The two members spoke in favor of the anti-war movement and answered the questions of many curious students.
“I’m a patriot,” Ergo said in response to one student's question. “I love this country and I say get the hell out of (Iraq).”
The IVAW was founded in July 2004 by Iraq war veterans at the annual convention of Veterans for Peace in Boston. The organization was established to “give a voice to the large number of active duty service people and veterans who are against this war, but are under various pressures to remain silent.”
There are now currently members of the IVAW in 41 states and Washington D.C. Canada and many bases overseas, including some in Iraq, are also homes to many of the members.
Hubbard has been with the IVAW for a little more than a year, which for her was a way to teach people about the emotional trauma troops experience and also a way to cleanse herself.
“We saw things people shouldn’t see,” said Hubbard. “I don’t think anyone should really have to see them, especially young people.”
Ergo, who spent two years in Iraq serving for the U.S. Marine Corps Alpha Company, has also been speaking with the organization for sometime now.
“I remember getting really upset when I saw protests. I didn’t think they had our best interest in mind,” said Ergo. “Then I realized they were supporting. They were trying to bring the troops home.”
Alex Dempsey also spoke during the rally, educating students about his group Students Against War, which eventually became a speech on the groups feeling towards the war.
“If we’re going to make this thing work then when are we going to do it,” Dempsey said. “There’s a lot of people who have a lot of power who want this war and it’s not going to stop unless we force them too.”
During the discussion students were not only allowed to ask questions, but in addition they could give their opinion about the war.
“I’m glad that the anti-war movement has extended a warm welcome to troops coming back from Iraq,” said Sid Patel, a student who spoke at the tail end of the discussion. “These kind of discussions and events are critical forces to bringing our troops home.”
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