On Memorial Day, Anti-War Veterans Remember the Fallen, Demand Right to Heal

For Memorial Day veterans of the global “war on terror” from Iraq Veterans Against the War as well as Vietnam Veterans Against the War and allies will gather at 11am at the Vietnam War Memorial Memorial at Wacker and Wabash for a ceremony decrying the horrors of war, remembering those who have died and are dying and calling for the fulfillment of the right to heal.The ceremony will call particular attention to the death of  Joshua Casteel, a victim of US militarism.  He died of lung cancer caused by toxins spread by US burn pits in Iraq.

There will also be a tribute to Thomas Young, who was the subject of the “Body of War” film and whose injuries from his deployment to Iraq have severely worsened over the years to the point that he decided to stop taking in nourishment to end his suffering.

Veterans will talk about the effects of US militarism on Iraqis, Afghanistanis, and US troops and call for an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  demand for the “Right to Heal” in cooperation with Iraqi women’s and labor organizations. They will also talk about IVAW’s cooperation with the Mental Health Movement which fought the closure of the city’s mental health clinics and has connected the PTSD of veterans returning from war to that of those affected by violence in Chicago amidst an overall bleak picture of continuing underfunding of mental health care.

Finally, veterans will talk about their continuing unmet mental health needs and IVAW’s

Speakers will include:

Jacob Crawford, Iraq and Afghanistan vet

Alejandro Villatoro, Iraq and Afthanistan veteran

Representatives of National Nurses United, Mental Health Movement, Civilian Soldier Alliance, IVAW/NNU campaign to improve VA health care

WHAT: Ceremony honoring the losses from wars, calling on end to those wars

WHEN: Today (Monday 5/27) 11am

WHERE: Wacker and Wabash, Vietname War Memorial (lower level by river)

WHO: Iraq Veterans Against the War, Vietnam Veterans Against the War and allies (National Nurses Union, Mental Health Movement)