Saturday, March 8, 2014

G.I. Coffeehouse Tour a success

"G.I. Coffeehouse: VFP Support Made a Big Difference!"
2014-03-07 from "Veterans for Peace" []:
In photo from Left to Right: Alex Bacon, Meike Capps-Schubert, Malachi Muncy and Gerry Condon talk about GI coffeehouses and the importance of GI outreach today.

The GI Coffeehouse Tour has successfully completed its nearly three week journey from San Diego to Seattle. Events in 13 cities raised awareness about the importance of ongoing outreach to GI's. Supporters donated $9,000, or $3,000 for each of the three participating GI coffeehouses.
Veterans For Peace was among the national organizations that sponsored the tour and donated funds to cover upfront expenses. Other tour sponsors were Iraq Veterans Against the War, Civilian Soldier Alliance, the Military Law Task Force of the National Lawyers Guild, the GI Rights Network, The Center for Conscience and Action, War Resisters League, Center on Conscience and War, the Catalyst Project and Courage To Resist.
Iraq veteran Malachi Muncy represented Under The Hood Cafe and Outreach Center, which he manages. Coffee Strong was represented by its co-coordinator, Coast Guard veteran Alex Bacon The Clearing Barrel was represented by its co-founder and manger, German peace activist Meike Capps-Schubert.
VFP Board member Gerry Condon, who also serves on the board of Under The Hood, helped coordinate the tour and was its driver. Thanks to VFP chapters and members who organized many of the local events and played key roles in all of them.
The tour also visited Arlington West during its tenth anniversary. Every Sunday for ten years, VFP members have been putting up this memorial to the fallen soldiers and all the victims of the Iraq and Afghanistan occupations.
Col. Ann Wright participated in the “Pop-Up GI Coffeehouse” events in San Francisco. The touring activists then followed Colonel Ann and Toby Blome of Code Pink to Marysville, California for the monthly anti-drone protest at Beale Air Force Base.
VFP members and friends who turned out for a potluck dinner in Portland, Oregon, heard an active duty GI thank Coffee Strong for helping with his application for a Conscientious Objector discharge. Several organizers of the Shelter Half, the Vietnam-era GI coffeehouse at Fort Lewis, spoke at events in Olympia, Seattle and Everett, Washington. Two women veterans spoke about their struggle with sexual abuse in the military, and with the resultant Military Sexual Trauma (MST).
Tour organizers from the three GI coffeehouses are deeply grateful for the enthusiastic support they received along the way, including generous donations. Those who were unable to attend these west coast events still have time to donate to the three coffeehouses, or even to become a monthly sustainer of all three together.

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