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Soldiers who won’t fight focus of book, talk

Post by Scott Fontaine on Sep. 24, 2009 at 11:27 am with No Comments »
September 28, 2009 9:29 am

The spotlight of soldiers who refused to deploy – including some from Fort Lewis – will be on display in Seattle this weekend.

See release below:

Dahr Jamail: Iraq and Beyond: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan

Dahr Jamail Seattle event Benefits Coffee Strong, GI Coffeehouse
September 27, 2009, 6:30 pm
University Temple United Methodist Church
1415 NE 43rd St., Seattle
Tickets $15 @

Award-winning independent journalist, Dahr Jamail, who has reported from the Middle East for the last five years, will speak about the Iraq War, resistance within the US military, and his new book. “The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan” includes a few stories from young Iraq veterans here at Ft Lewis, among many others.

Jamail’s presentation will benefit the new GI coffeehouse, Coffee Strong. Coffee Strong is veteran owned and operated, offering critical services to soldiers, veterans and families. Staff and community supporters are very concerned about soldiers who are deploying to and returning from the Middle East. The vets are familiar with PTSD, untreated medical concerns, suicide, Military Sexual Trauma, and GI Rights. The latter is frequently sought at the coffeehouse.

At Coffee Strong we connect servicemembers with health care and mental health professionals who provide services free of charge. We need community funding to support these critical services; our free coffees to enlisted soldiers are covered by a small grant. With five small grants toward operating costs, we rely on monthly sustaining memberships, major donations and fundraisers like this to keep the coffeehouse services going.

We are seeing more soldiers every month, and have tripled the number served since opening on Election Day last November. You can help us keep our doors open while thousands of soldiers are deployed locally to Iraq and Afghanistan (see Coffee Strong donations mean the Stop-Loss campaign will get national attention, from our staff and Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW).

“Stop-Loss” is the policy that has replaced the draft of the Vietnam era. We see many soldiers facing a third redeployment, and this is critical to these individuals and their families. If PTSD is untreated, these soldiers face a very difficult, often life-threatening return. The transition from military to civilian life is rarely without high cost. See the well-written article on suicide last week.

Coffee Strong hopes to see you at the Dahr Jamail event! Tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets: You’ll hear Dahr relay stories of soldiers who have made national news with their refusals to deploy, as well as many who choose to privately and quietly end their military careers. Seth Manzel, Executive Director, can speak to the quiet resistance taking place, which is equally important.

“[Sgt. Travis] Bishop is the second soldier from Fort Hood in as may weeks to be tried by the military for his stand against an occupation he believes is “illegal.” He insists that it would be unethical for him to deploy to support an occupation he opposes on both moral and legal grounds and he has filed for conscientious objector (CO) status.” See for news on both Bishop and Victor Agosto refusals to serve.

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