Operation Recovery Right to Heal Tour: From Texas to New Mexico
More than 50 people came out to the First Unitarian church in Dallas to hear from Aaron Hughes, Sergio Kochergin, Scott Kimball and Malachi Muncy of IVAW about their experiences doing outreach at Ft Hood. These organizers had been doing daily outreach on base since Memorial Day, gathering stories and information from active duty service members about their experiences with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Military Sexual Trauma. IVAW organizers shared from their vision of outreach at Ft Hood as building power through information and community amongst service members and families, allowing active duty to demand the care and safety they needed in the organizing tradition of civil rights and poor peoples movements. Lori Hurlebaus, Nicky Baltrushes and LT Taylor also spoke about their role in the campaign as civilian allies to provide concrete examples of how civilians can be a part of this struggle. Veterans and allies shared poetry from their experiences of war and Nicky shared some of her music music and prompted some inter generational singalongs.
The generous support and organizing from Leslie Harris and others at the Dallas Peace Center brought in donations to keep our gas tanks full and got the Right to Heal Tour off to a great start. Thanks everyone and see you in tomorrow in Albuquerque at the Center for Peace and Justice.
We were welcomed into Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice by a brand new mural painted by the youth of Southwest Organizing Project depicting scenes of occupation and resistance. We gathered folks for our teach in with some of Nicky's music, check it out here. Aaron shared art from Just Seeds and we shared more of our story- covering miles to create community and heal together. Readings from Warrior Writers and the zine 'Do You Love a Veteran?' brought the voices of women, survivors of MST, wives and families into the room. Our event concluded with a potluck and stories from organizers who lived it of Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) and their role in the struggles for civil rights in Mississippi and at Wounded Knee. We are standing on their shoulders today.