Veterans Opposing War Not Bound By Partisan Politics
For some time, there's been an idea that only certain portions of certain parties could oppose war. It was only the Democrats, or only a specific wing of the Democrats. That there were no real options for those people, veterans in particular, who opposed war, other than that-and that there was no sense going to talk to anyone of any other political stripe about anti-war opinions. And people who /were/ from other political ideologies just kind of kept their mouths shut about it, and didn't talk too loudly.
But the recent Presidents Day Veterans for Ron Paul march on Washington really helped flip that perception on both sides. As one of the New York City IVAW chapter members who went down there, I expected that some in the crowd would be supportive of our anti-war, pro-veteran positions. What I did not expect was the overwhelming support for them. The crowd marching did call "President Paul!" But they also called, "End This War!" and "No more war!" Hundreds strong, everyone was really excited to be marching together. At the end, they held a salute- one second for each servicemember and veteran suicide since Obama took office.
This acknowledgement of the fact that our military is overstrained and overburdened by unnecessary wars was amazing. I would have been choked up-if I weren't calling cadence so loudly throughout the formation at times.
But it also made me think.
"There is no one who hates war so much as a veteran. They know what war is."
We need to remember that-and not be bound by our partisan ideologies of what it's okay to believe. Not to believe that being a Republican means you have to love war. Or that being a Democrat means you only have to love war when there's a Democrat in office. We need to remember that we can define the circumference of our beliefs, and stand together to build the world we want to see.