Join us for the weekly vigil at Pack Square Vance Monument, Tuesdays from 5:00 to 6:00pm.
NEW MEETING TIME: Second Tuesday of the month at 6:30pm

Note that we are currently meeting at Firestorm Books and Cafe on Haywood Street in west Asheville

Visit VFP HQ at Phil Mechanic Studios, 10
9 Roberts St., Asheville, NC 28801 (828-222-3002). Hours: Tue-Sat 11am to 3 pm

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

By VFP099 member Ed Sacco
Published in Asheville Citizen-Times April  11, 2016

How do we prevent our society from snuffing out the best of a healthy childhood, and infecting our youth by a way of life that lacks Spiritual courage? At this time in history, the future legacy we create for all of humanity, especially our children, depends on our active participation in healing our nation. 

To be a visible witness, to stand against the illusions of our “way of life” requires the courage of a spiritual warrior. One who will stand fast and see through the “soft rhetorics” of celebrating our military power which diverts us from the evils of war. War is hell! Good people seem to be overwhelmed and paralyzed with inaction, or withdrawn to “a way of life” for comfort and security, ignoring the horrible suffering that war inflicts. Notice how Americans admire and celebrate the military more than any other institution including organized religion, Congress, schools, and the press.

I lived the American dream, proud to live in a country that offered hope, had a citizen army, didn’t torture like our enemies, and offered social programs including an affordable college education. The “progressive spirit” was shared by most. The first president I voted for was Dwight Eisenhower who promised to end the Korean war. Later the Nixon administration expanded our democracy by lowering the voting age to age 18.

  The world wasn’t perfect. The capitalistic system I supported has not resulted in a contented and happy people. We now idolize the “free market;” favoring profits over people. The lessons and tragedies of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam did not bring us peace, but led us to constant war. I do not wish to discredit the military, but the policies of politicians“we the people” elected to office.

I am thankful for the spirit of my formation years, but, what kind of world are we modeling for today’s youth? In 1966, 80% of American college freshmen identified “a meaningful philosophy of life” as an essential goal. In 1996, 70% identified “being well-off financially” as the top value; a meaningful philosophy of life fell to sixth place with 42%.

President Eisenhower, a military man,  knew the horrific  influence of war. He warned that this was not a way of life for the hopes for our children.

Today, war is the new “normal.” No teenager in America can remember a time when our country was at peace. We need to take a stand for peacemaking, for compassion and empathy, and selfless service for others. The future legacy we create for all our children depends on it. We cannot serve a loving God otherwise.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Doing Peace with our Muslim Friends

“In Asheville, NC, a local activist contacted the Imam of the Islamic Center to see if they would like people to stand vigil outside when they meet for prayers on Friday afternoons. The Imam accepted our support, and a coalition of members from various organizations, incl other clergy and Veterans for Peace, stood for the first time last Fri. It was very rewarding; after services the members invited us for lunch and tea. The men and women (separately) discussed Islam and learned about one another. I can't begin to articulate how wonderful it was to engage in honest discussion and learn about each other's lives—that we all want the same things—peace and a better world for our children. We have people committed to stand every Friday, incl Christmas and New Year's Days, into mid-January and/or as long as the Center's members feel they want us there. This is a great way to show the Muslim community support and learn about Islam."

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Letter from a CODEPINK peace delegate to Cuba

Letter from Cynthia Heil, Chapter 099 member, submitted to and printed by the Asheville Citizen-Times:

I was privileged to be one of a 60-person CODEPINK:  Women for Peace delegation attending the Fourth International Conference on Peace and the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases, November 23-25, in Guantanamo, Cuba.  The delegation's purpose was to represent the US, celebrate increased diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba, and join Cuba's call for closing the US navy base and returning Cuba's land.

I acted on this opportunity for outreach to Cubans during this time of renewing relations with our neighbor to exchange ideas on issues critical to both cultures.

Thanksgiving Day, following the conference, many CODEPINK delegates fasted 24 hours in solidaarity with Guantanamo prisoners who are on hunger strides for justice.

"We call for closure of the Americfal prison where so many horrific human rights abuses have occurred", said CODEPINK organizer and delegate Nancy Mancias.  "I will be fasting with 49 other delegates on a day that is historically known for sitting around a meal table...."

Our delegation is committed to closing the US base that has occupied land in Cuba for over a century and lifting the US embargo that has strangled Cuba's economy for over 60 years.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Various recent photos

 This is another picture of the Veterans for Peace booth 
at the People's Peace Festival on 9-20-15.

 This is a photo of the crowd at the
International Day of Peace event 
in front of Asheville City Hall on 9-21-15.

Ellie Halsey and Garland Walker at the Veteran's Stand Down 
at Stephens-Lee Recreation Center.

Above photos by Garland and Ellen Walker.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Peace Day Celebration in Asheville September 20, 2015

 The booth at the Peace Day Celebration - Bob Feldman, Josephine, Jim Duffy,
Cindy Heil, Lyle Petersen and Gerry Werhan.

 Lyle Petersen and Gerry Werhan

 Some photos of Ron Harayda, our former president of
Chapter 099. His memorial service was in January 2015.
We still remember him fondly.

Chris Berg

Above photos by Susan Oehler.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Peace Walkers - August 1 and 2, 2015

 Ken Jones is carrying the Vets for Peace, Chapter 099, flag.

 Clare Hanrahan and Chris Brown on the Saturday part of the walk.

 The whole group on Sunday morning.

Jim Brown, Susan Oehler and Ken Jones are member of Vets for Peace Chapter 099 
and in the front row in this photo. In the back row is Chris Berg on far left.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Veterans for Peace at Move to Amend Rally

Photos originally posted by Jim Brown. This rally was on May 24, 2015.