Thursday, January 10, 2008

It's that time again. In 2008 --

By Carol Gee

More soldiers are becoming casualties in Iraq. According to McClatchy (1/9/08):

A new military operation involving 74,000 U.S. and Iraqi soldiers is targeting the epicenter of al Qaida in Iraq's operations and the source of recent attacks that have unsettled Iraq after months of relative calm.

. . . About 20 to 30 insurgents have been killed so far, Hertling estimated, refusing to give a firm body count. Three U.S. soldiers were killed by small-arms fire in Salah al Din on Jan. 8, a statement from the military said, and six more were killed by an explosive device in a home in Diyala on Jan. 9.

Those who survive the current Iraq violence will someday come back to the United States. There will be other casualties as the U.S. puts its "mini-surge" into Afghanistan. Many of out military men and women will come back to an uncertain future. Far too many of our veterans are falling through the cracks. Those who do can eventually become homeless.

In December I posted about a group that is trying to help out. I encourage you to look at the list below and see it there isn't something you can do to support their efforts in your area. Tomorrow night is the event in Detroit. Others follow.


Andy Koelz, Program Specialist at Circle of Friends for American Veterans said this last month:

Using the media attention gained from these rallies as support, we hope to spur government action to provide greater assistance to combat the problem of homelessness among veterans. We are a strictly non-partisan organization that only seeks to help veterans. In preparation for our upcoming series of rallies we are making a strong effort to let as many people know about our rallies as possible. The more people in attendance at our rallies the greater the show of support for homeless veterans.

The organization is their big month of rallies about which I again want to remind folks:

Detroit, Michigan……………..……………………………….………………….……………Friday, January 11th at 6:00PM
Michigan Veterans Foundation -2770 Park Avenue, Detroit, Michigan


Charleston, South Carolina……………………………….…………….………………Tuesday, January 15th at 7:00PM
William Aiken House – The American Theater –
454 King Street, Charleston, South Carolina


Columbia, South Carolina……………………………………..……………………….Thursday, January 17th at 7:00PM
American Legion Post #6 -200 Pickens Street, Columbia, South Carolina


Tampa, Florida…………………………….…………..………………….…………………Thursday, January 24th at 7:00PM
Elks Lodge – 3616 West Gandy Boulevard, Tampa, Florida


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania…………………………………..……..…………………Thursday, January 31st at 7:00PM
The National Liberty Museum –
321 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Arlington, Virginia……………………………….…………………………………….……….Friday, February 8th at 7:00PM
American Legion Post #139 –
3445 Washington Blvd., Arlington, Virginia

For more information, call us toll-free at 1-800-528-5385
To learn more about OPERATION UNITED REVEILLE IV and the Circle of Friends for American
Veterans, visit us on the Web at http://www.vetsvision.org/.


To quote further from the organization's press release:

Members of Congress and local politicians have, in the past, come forward at the rallies to offer their support for our country’s homeless veterans. At these rallies, the Circle of Friends promulgates the Veterans’ Bill of Rights and challenges all Members of Congress to affirm their support for it.

Thus far, the organization has garnered support from 25 members Congress representing both Houses of Congress and both major political parties. Presidential candidates of both political parties are also invited to attend the rallies or send a representative. One goal of the rallies is to obtain support from Presidential candidates. The Veterans’ Bill of Rights continues to move forward with resounding community and political support. Major Hampton will travel more than 25,000 miles across America during the 2007-2008 series of rallies, in the process of obtaining support for veterans nationwide.

Once the Circle of Friends has secured the support of several hundred Members of Congress, they will go to the Congress with all the names and tell them it is time to support their words with actions by passing legislation with adequate appropriations.

(Cross-posted at South by Southwest.)

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