Last week, Vets for Freedom launched our "10 Weeks to Testimony" campaign and committed to leading the charge to support General Petraeus and stop anti-war radicals and politicians on Capitol Hill from undermining the mission in Iraq.
Unfortunately -- despite thousands of phone calls to Capitol Hill this week-- even more Republican senators have bowed to political pressure and declared defeat, despite progress being shown by General Petraeus's new counter-insurgency strategy.
Next week, politicians in Washington, DC, are poised to sell out America's safety because election season is near.
As veterans, we cannot allow this to happen. The information battle Vets for Freedom was planning for September is upon us in July; therefore, we must adapt, overcome, and do something immediately. Our collective voice must be heard on Capitol Hill, and it must be heard now!
This is a call to action.
We are asking every Iraq and Afghanistan veteran who believes in supporting the mission -- and defeating America's enemies -- to converge on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, July 17. It's time the fighters in this war tell their representatives--face to face-that now is no time to betray the mission.
What You Can Do This Week!
Week #2: Converge on Capitol Hill, July 17
Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have already sacrificed blood, sweat, and tears on foreign battlefields. Now America needs one more thing while you're home -- one day of your time. We are the last line of defense. We're not going to protest, wave signs, or scream slogans. We are going to make our voices heard, in a professional manner, in keeping with the finest traditions of our great country and military. I have no doubt you will want to join us.
But you say: "It's an entire Tuesday, and travel is expensive!"
We share these legitimate concerns, but answer with this fundamental question: If not you, then who? Who else will tell Congress to give General Petraeus, his strategy, and our comrades time to complete the mission? It has come to this. It must be us.
But you also say: "It's such short notice, and I have to work."
Again, legitimate concerns, but we have already received commitments from numerous veterans with full-time jobs who have said -- no matter the notice -- I'll be there. We need the same from you. Your country needs the same from you.
You might also say, "I'm Active Duty, I can't do this type of stuff."
There is a common misconception that troops serving on active duty cannot participate in events like this. This is false. As long as you are:
1) out of uniform;The same goes for National Guard and Reserve troops.
2) not speaking on behalf of "the military"; and
3) not protesting, you are absolutely allowed to be involved.
We hope to raise enough money--from the supporters of Vets for Freedom who cannot make it to Washington, DC--to ensure that everyone who makes the trip is reimbursed at some level. Every dollar donated to Vets for Freedom between now and July 17 will go directly to covering travel costs of veterans.
So, how do you get involved? Be bold. Take a stand. And join your fellow Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, and Marines on Capitol Hill.
Here's what you need to do:
Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans
If you are a veteran and are ready to take a stand and join us on Capitol Hill on July 17, please send an email to Adriel at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible. The email should contain the following 6 points of information:
1)Name and basic information (phone number, email, and zip code)When Vets for Freedom receives your email, we will email you the following information as soon as possible:
2) Military background (OIF/OEF experience, unit, current status)
3) Home state (and any other states you have lived in)
4) Your most probable means of transportation to Washington, DC
5) A very brief biography (no more than one paragraph)
6) Any questions you might have.
1) Time and place for initial link up in Washington, DC (assume between 8--9am)When you arrive in Washington, DC on Tuesday morning, you will receive an in-brief and Vets for Freedom will provide you with the following:
2) Driving directions, maps, and parking instructions
3) Basic timeline/instructions for the day (assume day will finish between 5--6pm)
4) Other preparation materials
1) Detailed itinerary (including your office visit schedule, media schedule, and event schedule to visit your member of Congress--everything will be done in groups)Supporters of Our Veterans
2) Latest Iraq news and information
3) Capitol Hill map
4) Vets for Freedom complementary polo shirt; breakfast and lunch provided.
You may not be able to make it to Washington, DC, but that doesn't mean you can't still support our mission on July 17. You can do the following three things:
1) Donate. As we've already mentioned, every dollar donated in the next 4 days will be used to reimburse the travel costs of veterans who will be paying their own way to Capitol Hill.This is our mission. This is our moment. Join Vets for Freedom on Capitol Hill and do your part to support our fellow soldiers and Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan See you on the 17th!
2) Call your Senator. The response to our Week 1 "call to action" was incredible. Thank you. Thousands of calls were made, and we need to do this again. Reinforce our veterans on Capitol Hill by calling the 2 Senators from your home state on July 17 and telling them to support the troops-and the mission!
3) Forward this Email. Send this email to everyone you know. Post it on your blog. Print it out and hand it out to friends. Get the word out, so we can get as many veterans on Capitol Hill as possible.
Iraq War Veteran 2005-2006
Executive Director, Vets for Freedom
PO Box 314
Woodstock, VA 22664