This is the website for the local chapter of Veterans For Peace in Western North Carolina, based in Asheville.
For the most complete and current content about our activities and issues, please visit us on Facebook: Veterans For Peace Chapter 099

You don't have to be a veteran to belong, just a person who wants peace and is committed to taking action to achieve it.

Joan Baez is quoted as saying, "Action is the antidote to despair."

If you feel despair at the many costs and endlessness of our wars please consider joining us in taking action.

Peace and Justice Reading List
Begin with this short book written by the highly decorated Marine General Smedley Butler: "War is a Racket" Click the link to read the book in its entirety on line or download/print it.
Then go on to learn more with this list:

To Become Radicalized in the Cause of Peace, please click here:

Statement of Purpose

We, as military veterans, do hereby affirm our greater responsibility to serve the cause of world peace. To this end we will work, with others both nationally and internationally

To increase public awareness of the causes and costs of war 

To restrain our governments from intervening, overtly and covertly, in the internal affairs of other nations 

To end the arms race and to reduce and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons 

To seek justice for veterans and victims of war 

To abolish war as an instrument of national policy. 

To achieve these goals, members of Veterans For Peace pledge to use non-violent means and to maintain an organization that is both democratic and open with the understanding that all members are trusted to act in the best interests of the group for the larger purpose of world peace.

For More Information (Including how to become a member):

Join us for the weekly vigil at Pack Square Vance Monument, Tuesdays from 4:30pm to 5:30pm.
MONTHLY MEETING TIME: The Third Tuesday of each month from 6:00PM to no later than 7:30PM. Held at Asheville Friends Meeting, 227 Edgewood Road, Asheville 28804
All are welcome; please join us!

Our phone # is:

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

From VFP member Ed Sacco



On May 27, we celebrate Memorial Day, originally “Decoration Day”, created after the Civil War to honor the memory of Union soldiers. It later broadened to include a Reconciliation theme, honoring Confederate soldiers. This became a federal holiday in 1971 which has turned into a Memorial Day weekend kicking off the summer with nationalistic displays of flag-waving, marching bands, and political speeches.

In our memories of the dead, let us not forget the consequences of war: the brutal devastation, death, and diminishment of the human spirit — people die, children’s future destroyed. By glorifying our military power and not the suffering war causes, we endanger the next generation. We can also take time to mourn the loss of foreign casualties; the young, the old, and especially the children whose only misstep is to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

President Eisenhower warned in his 1953 farewell speech that every gun made, warship launched, and every rocket fired is a theft from those who hunger.  The world in arms he said, “is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists….” 

On May 27 at Pack Square 11AM, the local Veterans for Peace are conducting a ceremony dedicated to promoting peace, bringing about an end to all wars. We have the most powerful military force in all history, and yet we are troubled, insecure, and divided. Let us all pray and dedicate ourselves to peace in our time.

ed sacco

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Christmas parade in Asheville

This parade was on November 17, 2018. It was a lot of fun marching in this parade 
because it was clear the people of Asheville love us. 
Photo by Garland Walker.

 Photo by Garland Walker.

Photo by Garland Walker. 

Photo by St. George Episcopal Church of Asheville, posted on Facebook.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Reclaiming Armistice Day 2018 - 100 Years After the '...War to End All Wars.'

Many don’t realize that what is now Veteran’s Day, the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, was originally Armistice Day, marking this year the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One. That war that was THE WAR THAT WAS TO END ALL WARS.
How has that worked out? FACTUAL NEWS FOLLOWS...
(White House acknowledges the U.S. is at war in seven countries - Vice News, March 15, 2018
...See More
Veterans For Peace has been celebrating Armistice Day almost since the organization's inception, with a few chapters doing yearly events. However, in 2008 the effort became a national effort with the passage of an official Veterans For Peace resolution. Since then, chapters across the country have b...

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Labor Day, 2018

Veterans for Peace, Chapter 099, marched in the Labor Day Parade in Canton, NC. Photo taken by Garland Walker.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Please NOTE New Monthly Business Meeting Place and Time!

At our last monthly business meeting we finalized our decision to change the location and time of future business meetings.

Beginning on Tuesday, August 21 (continuing the 3rd Tuesday of every month) we will meet at 6:00PM (recall that the weekly peace vigil takes place EVERY Tuesday from 4:30-5:30PM at the Vance Monument/North Pack Square).

We will meet at the Asheville Friends Meeting located at 227 Edgewood Rd, Asheville, NC 28804

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Educating Our Children For Peace

VETERANS FOR PEACE: Educating Our Children for Peace – Our Legacy to Our Children

By Ed Sacco, Veterans forPeace, Asheville Chapter 099  

July 4, 2018

 Have we have become a fearful country “measured” by our relationship to weapons and guns? There is a connection between our reliance on wars abroad and guns at home. This is reflected in our active or passive support of the militarization of our youth and violence at home. The war mentality has not and will not secure our happiness. It blinds us to the common good of humanity. Is this our legacy for children?
Militarization brings fear and distress that diminishes our collective capacity for the true and the beautiful. Our military responses result in permanent “undeclared” wars and a global military presence in over one hundred countries as well the militarization of our police and our youth in Junior Reserve Training Corp (JROTC) programs in high schools.
I say “NO” to the militarization of our youth in our public schools.  We can do better than that with the ideals that reflect peace.  Alternatives to JROTC can be found throughout the country  that build self-esteem and aid positive educational

goals better than the JROTC program; perhaps not as as exciting to young students, but powerful in the effort to bring a better understanding of good citizenship, reconciliation, creativity, respect, empathy and compassion. In short, this would invest in our highest ideals.
The United States always has all the money it needs for wars and weapons, but never enough for public schools, low cost housing, universal health care; values that can make “America Great Again!”  We can choose to become a beacon of hope to the world, welcoming refugees and a demonstration of democratic values serving the common good.
Educational funding need be increased for the needs of our children, not for a political ideology. The military does not encourage freedom of thought, love of others, equality, and the common good of humanity. This is a huge topic as it reflects our way of life for future generations. Should the army subsidize high school soldiering? Or, would it be better to subsidize teachers’ ongoing education and badly needed innovations in schools to inspire positive values for more people including teachers, parents, and the general public?
The militarization of our youth reflects a lack of faith in the goodness of humanity mirrored by those who suggest school teachers be armed and concealed weapons be allowed in public places including churches.
Let’s support the activists who demonstrate for peace and justice, the whistle blowers who shine a light on the truth, the conscientious objectors who refuse to participate in war, and religious groups who continue to shine a light in a prophetic manner and call us not to destroy, but to bring out what is best in our society and the world — to honor the sacredness of creation reflected in mature spiritual religions.
We the people can speak out and vote for a future in which our country will match our desire for guns with our moral restraint; our wealth with our wisdom; and our military power with empathy, truth, goodness, and beauty. One place to start is to support genuine conservative values by educating our children, supporting families, and respecting all who are in need.
May we live each day, gentle in words, compassionate of heart, and generous in love.

This was first published on the Sheville website.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Veterans for Peace member speaks at Poor People's Campaign

A Truthdig photographer - Michael Nigro - took this shot of Ken Jones speaking at the Poor People's Rally in Raleigh on May 29, 2018.

This is the speech given by Ken Jones at the Poor People's Campaign in Raleigh:

My name is Ken Jones. I’m a retired teacher educator and associate member of Veterans for Peace from Asheville. I am here to call for the de-militarization of our schools, the de-militarization of our society and culture, the de-militarization of our minds and spirits.

We all know about the presence of military recruiters and JROTC in our schools. What we should also realize is that the very curricula of schools are geared towards understanding warmaking and imperialism as a natural thing. That the norms and routines of schools all too often over-emphasize regimentation and obedience, preparing students to be compliant workers in a war economy, or to be good soldiers following orders, or – in many cases – to be prisoners. We should realize that the standardized tests that straightjacket teachers and students have a direct lineage from the eugenics movement and from the use by the military to separate and stratify its ranks.

We all also know about the glorification of war and soldiers in our movies, mainstream news, and sports events. Air shows and fireworks are designed to thrill us while acclimating us to war imagery. Video games for kids are developed in collaboration with the military. Holidays and parades are festooned with flags evoking a kind of patriotic idolatry. And now we will have Trump’s military parade in Washington DC, on what used to be called Armistice Day, now called Veterans Day. Veterans for Peace will be there to resist and to raise the banner of peace.

We should also realize how our minds and spirits have been conditioned by government propaganda and the corporate media to accept the inevitability of war and militarism. In the 1960s and 70s, there was a vibrant anti-war movement in this country. Now it is very difficult to get people mobilized to stop a nuclear confrontation in Korea, or to end our endless warmaking in Muslim majority countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen, or to prevent the oncoming horrendous war in Iran. It is hard to get more than a small number of people organized against the brutal repression we sponsor around the world in the interest of capitalism and colonialism – in Honduras, Ukraine, Venezuela, and Palestine. Even when militarism runs amok in our own country – with our militarized police forces killing Black men and women every day, with ICE kidnapping and deporting our Latinx friends and neighbors, with the militarized attack on the indigenous resistance at Standing Rock, with the systematic dehumanization and torture in our prison industrial complex – so many of us have trouble becoming part of an active resistance.

But many of us ARE resisting, saying No More. Today, let us hold up seven Catholic Workers for their inspirational active resistance to the war machine. These are the Plowshares activists who illegally entered the King’s Bay naval submarine base station in Georgia on April 4, the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Dr. Martin Luther King. They carried hammers and baby bottles of their own blood to symbolically “beat swords into plowshares” and to call our attention to the horror and existential threat of nuclear weapons. One of them is from right here in Raleigh – Patrick O’Neal. Not all of us can sacrifice our freedom like they have. But we can all do something to bear public witness against the madness of war and the militarism that is spreading around the world like a cancer.

Let us be clear. We live in a society that spends 53 cents of every federal discretionary dollar on the military and only 15 cents on anti-poverty programs. An average of 22 veterans are committing suicide each day. We must turn this around.

We who believe in freedom and peace cannot – and shall not - rest, until it comes. We will show up, we will disobey, we will march on. FORWARD TOGETHER…