Saturday, July 17, 2010

Action Alert - Veterans' Sanctuary

Ed Note:  The following e-mail was sent to me by VVAW  Contact for Ithaca New York,  Jim Murphy, along with the note; "Please post, Willie...young vets looking for help from older vets..." For those of us who can't make it down to the demonstration for our fair share of abuse, here's an opportunity to deliver some meaningful blows against the empire, and to help to provide a soft landing back here at home for our returning OIF & OEF younger brothers and sisters...WH

        Veterans' Sanctuary, Inc 

 A non-profit organization that is creating a space for returning Iraq & Afghanistan war veterans.  We look forward to providing an innovative model to address a myriad of veteran health and reintegration issues. Once we have the ideal property, veterans will have access tpo peer support networks, holistic wellness programs, & artistic tools of self-expression while gaining skills through working with health practitioners, farming experience, and community living.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I am soliciting donations and pledges for Veterans’ Sanctuary in Ithaca, NY. The vision for Veterans’ Sanctuary is that of Michael Blake, Nate Lewis and Eli Wright, all veterans of the Iraq War. The mission, taken directly from their blogspot…. ” The mission of the Veterans' Sanctuary is to create and sustain a peer-based, residential program to support Iraq and Afghanistan veterans as they transition from combat to civilian life. Our program seeks to provide the tools for transformation and a new path toward addressing veterans’ issues. The Veterans’ Sanctuary will cultivate a safe space in which participants can embrace and reject, deconstruct and then reassemble their military experiences. They will be empowered to share the burden of war with civilians and eventually the model can be replicated to serve returning veterans in other communities.”

Through the hard work of the team of young veterans, Andrea Levine (program executive director) and the many interns that she is supervising, the concept of a ‘peer-centered’ support program for those young veterans that are not being served by the traditional veterans agencies is now a reality. The negotiation for a residence in Ithaca is near completion and several of us are actively reviewing tracts of land for the rural retreat center.

So what can you do?.... I’m pledging $600 for a composting toilet and outhouse structure for the woodland retreat center. My conditions are simple… I want a nameplate by the entrance that simply states, “every day is a good day and tomorrow will be better… take care of your brothers and sisters”. It is sad to think that they will never learn how to burn their sh*t. I won $3,200 in a contest at MAC-V 19 in Quang Tri at Christmas 1967… it is a real skill.
Please donate what you can as this is a beautiful project. Combat Paper will create a paper wall tile in your honor to be placed in the entrance hall.

To make a tax deductible donation, please send checks to: Veterans' Sanctuary, Inc. 115 E. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Ithaca, NY 14850

Check out these websites: 

Sincerely yours, 
Jim Murphy                                                                                                   
1st MOB ’66, 1972nd ’67-68, VVAW, VFP, IVFOR