Advice for those considering joining the military

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This Memorial Day, gather with Veterans For Peace

vfp flag against blue sky with drone

VFP flag waves against a backdrop of desert mountains and a far-off drone in blue sky. Taken at a March 2015 protest at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada. Photo by Mike Hastie.

Veterans For Peace Chapter 72 invites you to join us on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25, 2015 for a memorable gathering.

WE ASSEMBLE at 10:30 a.m. at the WWII Memorial Wall at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 300 N Winning Way in Portland, for a brief program.

Featured Speaker: Will Pool, World War II veteran
Music: Marianne Flemming, Soldier Songs and Voices

Participants will share remembrances of those who have died and read letters addressed to the The Wall (Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in D.C.)

Following the ceremony at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, WE WALK to the Peace Memorial Park for a concluding program.

Featured Speaker: Angie Hines, post 9-11 veteran
Music: Marianne Flemming, Soldier Songs and Voices

For additional information, contact Marion Ward at 503-224-0097.

PLEASE NOTE: The WWII Memorial Wall is downstairs on the lower level of the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. ADA access is available through main doors on main level. From there, take elevator to lower level. There is complimentary parking off of Interstate Avenue with ramp leading to main level.


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HeroRats Save Lives

This April 18, 2015 New York Times op-ed by Nicholas Kristof tells the story of Apopo’s HeroRat program. By sniffing out landmines and other unexploded ordnance in former war zones, clearance of these areas can be done more swiftly, and more safely. HeroRats save lives. VFP Chapter 72 has been the proud sponsor of a HeroRat for several years now, to the tune of $10 a month (or less). Currently we support a rat known as “Blossom.”


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Veteran Artists featured at OCAC event


Veteran artists Drew Cameron, Jesse Albrecht, and Aaron Hughes are featured in an Artist Talk at the Oregon College of Art and Craft on Tuesday April 7th. The event takes place from 6:00 to 7:30pm in the Centrum at OCAC, which is located at 8245 SW Barnes Road, Portland, OR 97225.

A related special event: Saturday, April 11 from 7-10pm is the opening of Deconstructing the Divide: Conversations through Collaboration, a pop-up art show at Ash Street Projects, 524 SE Ash Street in Portland. This show features works from “This Just In…Endless War,” a residency and Justseeds/Combat Paper workshop at Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) and the Celebrate People’s History: Iraq Veterans Against the War portfolio. Look forward to a short talk from the artists, local veteran artists and activists, IVAW members, and poetry from Warrior Writers.

The Facebook invite is

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Peace Park Garden Looking Great, Thanks to Many Hands

Sunday’s Peace Park gardening (March 15th) was enjoyable and productive! We had only one brief episode of rain at the start of our work; followed by a great day for gardening despite predictions of heavy rain. A hard working crew made short work of our 4 yards of bark. Many thanks to Chuck, Jamie, Claire, Heidi, Scott, Tedine, Barry, Malcolm, Chris and Harvey for their efforts. Also two people passing by stopped and helped out for about an hour. All the paths are barked and the peace sign shows up really well. We used the extra bark to mulch the planted area. Moving bark takes a lot of enegy and everyone’s effort was greatly appreciated! Since the weather held, we had the opportunity and enough time to dig out the dandelions and other weeds that were crowding our plantings. Plants are filling in really well. Can’t wait to see the garden when the flowers are blooming–which should be in a couple of weeks. Voodoo donuts and Peets donated generously. Extra coffee and donuts went to the SHARE House in Vancouver.

A great big THANK YOU TO MALCOLM who has volunteered to coordinate future Peace Park activities and gardening events.  Gardening is monthly every 2nd and 4th Saturday  Next gardening day is Sat, March 28.

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Annual Peace Memorial Park Spring Gardening Event

Sunday, March 15th, 9-2 pm. Help Wanted: Vets for Peace, Annual PEACE MEMORIAL PARK Spring Gardening Event

Please join friends and fellow activists at Portland,  This is one of 2 major gardening events. at the Peace Park. Plan to enjoy a day outdoors and feel good about making this spot look great… There’ll be bark to spread along the pathways, mulching, weeding and seeds to plant for new growth.

Naturally, there’ll be refreshments. As in the past, Voodoo donuts will donate their delicious fare, Peets coffee will be available and other items. Right now the garden looks pretty good and our view of Portland city-scape and the river are fantastic.  If we get this done, especially the mulching, weeding and other work will be minimal this summer.

So Do come, Sunday, March 15th, 9-2 pm.  Help out for all or just an hour or two—every bit helps.

GETTING TO THE PARK: The Peace Memorial Park is just NW of Convention Center, at the corner of NE Oregon St and NE Lloyd Blvd. It is easily accessible by foot or bike from the Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade. MAX Blue, Red, Yellow, and Green lines stop at the Rose Quarter, about a block away.

MORE INFO: 206-484-3385

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Spend Valentines Day morning with Chris Appy

Brunch & Book Talk with American Reckoning Author
February 14, 2015 • 11am – 1pm
Architectural Heritage Center, 701 SE Grand Ave., Portland

author photoCelebrate acclaimed historian and award-winning author Christian Appy, professor of history at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, upon the release of his new book, American Reckoning: The Vietnam War and Our National Identity.

Join Veterans For Peace Chapter 72 for a Valentines Day Brunch reception in honor of Christian Appy. Professor Appy is the author of two previous books on the Vietnam War, including the oral history, Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered from All Sides, which won the 2004 Massachusetts Book Award for nonfiction.

The chapter will present a special Valentines-themed award to the author at this event, along with four other local “truth tellers.” Sliding-scale admission $14-$20 includes catered brunch, talk and discussion with Chris Appy, plus access to the current Architectural Heritage Center exhibit, “Strength, Utility, and Beauty: Architectural Metal in the Gilded Age.” (Doors open at 10 a.m.) Tickets are available in advance through and at the door on the day of the event.

Please note: Some parking is available at the gas station across the street to the north of the Architectural Heritage Center. For more information about this event, call Becky at 503-774-9197 or email For more information about Christian Appy, visit

kbooradioVFP72′s Valentines Day Brunch  is proudly sponsored by KBOO Community Radio 90.7 FM. KBOO’s winter member drive is happening Feb. 4-14. Listen in and if you’re not a member, please consider joining! Discover the power of community radio….

Advance praise for American Reckoning:

Peter Davis, director of the Oscar-winning documentary Hearts and Minds: “Brilliant, beautiful, and painful…an essential book…[It] brightly illuminates the question we all need to ask ourselves: what is America’s place in the world?”

Nick Turse, author of the New York Times bestseller Kill Anything That Moves: “A triumph of originality… American Reckoning offers a fresh lens for understanding the United States in the context of its most controversial conflict as well as its 21st century wars.”

Marilyn B. Young, author of The Vietnam Wars: “Christian Appy…argues persuasively that we must remember the war and its consequences if we are to come to a full reckoning with the past and finally dispel the myth of American exceptionalism.”

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Exposing the Hidden Side of American War Culture

Ross Caputi, a former Marine who participated in the second siege of Fallujah, offers up this insightful piece in which he explores the underlying message of the latest collaboration between Hollywood and the Department of Defense, and its meaning for America. His essay starts like this:

“Chris Kyle built his reputation as a sniper during one of the most criminal operations of the entire occupation of Iraq, the 2nd siege of Fallujah.

“What American Sniper offers us — more than a heart-wrenching tale about Chris Kyle’s struggle to be a soldier, a husband, and a father; more than an action packed story about America’s most lethal sniper — is an exposure of the often hidden side of American war culture.”

Click here to continue reading…


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Celebrate the Centenary of the Christmas Peace Truce: Take your friends and family to see Joyeux Noël at Cinema 21

jn3This month Veterans For Peace Chapter 72 teams up with Cinema 21 in Northwest Portland to celebrate the centenary of the World War I “Christmas Truce” with three screenings of the acclaimed 2005 French film Joyeux Noël, a dramatization of the December 1914 event depicted through the eyes of French, Scottish and German soldiers. On Christmas Eve of that first year of World War I soldiers came out of the muddy trenches on both sides of the Western front and declared a temporary ceasefire in order to be able to celebrate the holiday and bury their war dead without getting shot at. They ended up singing Christmas carols for and with each other and exchanging gifts across enemy lines and there were even reports of friendly soccer kick-abouts. Although the truce was a brief period during the horrific, bloody “war to end all war,” it is a testament to the human desire for peace and a demonstration of the possibility for soldiers to lay down their weapons, recognize common humanity in “the other” and say “no” to war.

Click here to go to the Facebook event page and share with your friends!

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Phase 3 of Peace Memorial Park Restoration Completed

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Nov 8,2014 Planting Event.  Kudos to all who participated in Sat, Nov 8th planting at the Peace Memorial Park. Everyone pitched in and helped make this day a big success. Enjoying a beautiful sunshiny morning of gardening, were Barry, Tedine, Malcolm, Harvey, Marion, Will and Karen from VFP-Chapter 72. Community supporters and volunteers included: Joanne(VFP member) and her son, Chris Luchini (they have been to all our planting events) and Juanes Collazo from Portland State University. We had all 40 plants in the ground by 11:00 and spent the next couple of hours weeding, leaf-blowing and mulching with the leaves that Barry removed from the grassy areas. Malcolm, being on light duty due to recent surgery, was our photographer and worked at the tabling station doing community outreach. Our work was finished by 1 pm, leaving our team of volunteers time to enjoy the rest of a beautiful afternoon      2014-11-09 13.51.53 (462x640)

2014-11-09 13.48.36 (595x640)We were fueled with coffee donated by Peet’s as well as Voodoo Donuts. Both establishments were so generous that we had leftovers. These items were donated to SHARE Shelter for the homeless in time for Sunday’s breakfast.

In addition to our work at the Peace Memorial Park, Union Pacific will begin to clear out blackberry bushes and other brush that has become over-grown and unsightly. They will begin their work on Monday, Nov 10th and expect to have the job completed in 3 days.  When this is completed, there will once more be an overlook of the Willamette and downtown Portland, that can be viewed from the Peace Memorial Park.

Update: Union Pacific began work as planned on Monday, 11/10 and expects to complete work by Thursday.

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