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Veterans For Peace Chapter 161, Iowa City

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Who are the people in VFP 161?
Veterans For Peace, Chapter 161, based in Iowa City, welcomes veterans in the surrounding area who,
because of their personal experience and travails in a military infrastructure,
now join others locally and worldwide in
advocating for dismantling the military-industrial complex as a basis for prosperity.

June, 2017 vigil


$750 Billion for US Military
Scraps Everywhere Else

In another wonderful example of bipartisan cooperation, the US Senate on June 27th passed the National Defense Authorization Act by a vote of 86-8. The headlines of all media, conservative and liberal, should be screaming. This bill authorizes a 2020 military budget of $750 billion. (Compare that to $618 billion in 2017). Military spending will be $33 Billion more that in FY 2019. If every man, woman, and child in the US were to pay for the $750 billion military expenditures, it would be $2,278 per capita. Of course, if war spending were to be financed that way, the voices of protest would be loud. But, we don't finance war that way. We simply add it to our national debt.

There are so many dimensions to this insanity that it is hard to begin. Some simple comparisons might be helpful. The 2020 budget for the Center for Disease Control is $6.6 billion. The 2020 budget for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency is $5.54 billion. The 2020 budget for the Environmental Protection Agency is $6.08 billion. The total of those three agencies' budgets is $18.22 billion. The INCREASE in the military budget is 1.8 times times those three agencies' total budgets.

A big increase in the budget for mental health may be what is most needed now.

People and Events

wood peace

Step right up — for the People.

Sunday, July 21 through Wednesday, July 24
Johnson County Fairgrounds
3109 Old Hwy 218 S, Iowa City

Volunteers are needed to staff the "People's Coalition Booth" at the Johnson County Fair. PEACE Iowa, along with 100 Grannies, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Veterans for Peace, and United Nations Association are all contributing volunteers to the booth. This is your chance to have interesting and fruitful dialogues, meet lots of people, and help them answer our "corn poll". This year's poll question is about what we feel is most important for the new upcoming president to pursue.

VFP 161 contact, John Christenson <jdchris36 @ gmail·com>

Use the following link to sign up for a shift:


  • July 26: RAGBRAI. Friday in Fairfield. Mark your calendar for our annual outing. Damn little planning needed, but even that small plan is not available at this time. Be prepared to hit the road at 5:30AM.

Veterans For Peace,
Chapter #161 Meeting

Tuesday August 13th
5:30 pm
Coralville Public Library, 1401 5th Street in Coralville

All who are working for peace are welcome.

For more information email
Ed Flaherty <flahertyem @ AOL·com>

We draw on our personal experiences and perspectives gained as veterans to raise public awareness of the true costs and consequences of war - and to seek peaceful, effective alternatives.

kites not drones


All around the world

Stand up for Peace!
Fridays, New hours: 4 to 5:30 pm
at the intersection of
Iowa Avenue and Clinton Street
on the University of Iowa Pentacrest
Iowa City

Are you ready to show up for peace? Join us for an hour, or even just a few minutes, to voice your support for peace. We citizens must stand as a reminder that the military option is an unacceptable option. Maybe if we're serious about peace with North Korea, we could start the new year by declaring an end to the Korean War. Come with your friends, your family, your neighbors, or just yourself — all are welcome.



April 4 marks 52 years since Martin Luther King delivered the most controversial speech in his career, "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence." For the 4th year in a row, Veterans For Peace #161 sponsored a community read of King's controversial and ever-relevant "Riverside" speech. April 4th also marks 51 years since King was assassinated in Memphis.

Martin Luther King's Riverside Church speech
broken into sections for a public reading

Martin Luther King's speech at the Mason Temple, Memphis, April 3, 1968
"I've Been to the Mountaintop"


Armistice Day 2018

Veterans for Peace 161 gather on Armistice Day, November 11, 2018


Veterans for Peace 161 greet RAGBRAI, July 2018


VFP161 Pride

Dave H, John C, Jim Bradley, Louie, Ron McCall, John Fyotek, and Ed Flaherty participated in the June 16, 2018 Gay Pride Parade.
Thanks to Tom Jacobs for the photo.


VFP #161 Hosts My Lai Memorial Exhibit

On June 15-17, the Coralville Public Library was the setting for the My Lai Memorial Exhibit. This awesome exhibit, a product of the creative efforts of artist Mac MacDevitt and Chicago Veterans For Peace, made its return to the Midwest after a successful tour of western U.S. cities. The interactive exhibit memorialized fifty years since the My Lai massacre, often referred to as the most shocking episode of the Vietnam War.

Mac was very engaging and helpful, and he inspired VFP #161 members who helped guide attendees through the exhibit. Every person who attended was touched. Many conversations, tears, and stunned silence. Everyone wished it had been an historical event that we all learned from. However, everyone who attended recognized that its lessons have largely been either forgotten or ignored in today's world.


Our thanks to Mac MacDevitt, an extraordinary peace advocate. And thank you to the Coralville Public Library for providing a wonderful venue.


Local VFP Members Speak Out Against New Obscene Military Spending
Veterans For Peace Stands with Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange
Armistice Day 2018, Time to Recommit to Peace
September 14 2018, Congress passes AUMF
March 2018, a muddle of murky anniversaries
John Ivens on US policy on Yemen
Ed Flaherty on US policy on Gaza
Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA employee, released from prison
VFP 161 leader, Jeff Strottmann passes Feb 6, 2017
Retired Air Force Major General Charles Dunlap discusses AUMF in Syria
Taking Yemen to Congress
Ed Flaherty on Yemen & US military budget
Ed Flaherty on 9-11
VFP on Memorial Day
Muhammad Ali's service
Ann Wright & Women's Boat to Gaza
View Dan Berrigan commemoration
Private Manning's service to country
David Hempel: It's time to organize


Linda Conducts

Photo by Master Sgt. Joshua Kowalsky

On Friday, March 15, 2019, VFP 161 member, Linda Fisher was handed the baton to direct the U.S. Air Force Concert Band at the Hancher to conduct Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever in a rousing finish to the nights outstanding full house performance. Chief Master Sgt Stacy Newbrough Ascione, an Iowa City native, performed a classy flute improvision.
Linda had been a former member of the Women's Air Force Band, serving with the WAF Band from 1960-1961. She even marched in the Inaugural Parade for President John F. Kennedy!

Golden Rule

In 1958, four peace lovers sailed the 30' Golden Rule from California, bound for the Marshall Islands, where another above-ground nuclear bomb test was scheduled. They got arrested in Hawaii, and the boat got sold. It was found in 2010, a wreck. Some VFP folks who knew its story restored it. Here it is, in San Diego bay last week, for the national VFP convention, in conjunction w/the 70 year commemoration of the A-Bomb devestation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Atmospheric nuclear bomb tests were banned world-wide in 1963. The Marshall Islands are suing the nuke bomb holding countries now to make them honor the intent of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to reduce and get rid of all nuclear weapons. Orion Sherwood, one of the 1958 crew, was at the VFP convention, as determined a peace-maker now as then.

For further information, call John Jadryev at 43O-2Ol9 or E-mail Ed Flaherty <flahertyem @ AOL·com>


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