Vet Lit II Reading

We’d like to invite all readers and people interested in hearing some good poems, stories and essays, to come to our reading this weekend!


Join our reading and release of VET LIT 2; So It Goes on May 28th, 2017
at the Community Building, 35 W. Main Ave., Spokane, Washington.
Doors open at 1:30 with music and light refreshments. Event begins at 2:00 PM.
Featured are readings by authors from the book, Vet Lit II.
Books will be available for purchase at the event.



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Fairchild Leaking Toxic Chemicals into Airway Heights Drinking Water

Airway Heights residents lined up by the hundreds Tuesday night to receive bottled water after city officials advised residents not to drink or cook with water from city pipes, as it is likely contaminated with chemical runoff from Fairchild Air Force Base.

But the tap water “is safe for activities where water will not be ingested, such as bathing, doing laundry and washing dishes,” the city and the Air Force said in a joint statement Tuesday evening. They said the warning was issued “out of an abundance of caution.”

Crowds began arriving near the Yokes grocery store in Airway Heights Tuesday night as word spread about the water advisory. Nate Whannell, deputy fire chief for Airway Heights, said firefighters handed out more than 300 packs of water by about 9:15 p.m. Each pack had 35 bottles. Crowds were orderly and police were on hand to direct traffic.

The crews will bring more water to the site to give away to residents starting at 7 a.m., Whannell said.

The perfluorinated chemicals, known by the acronyms PFOS and PFOA, previously were found in a number of private residential wells east of Fairchild. The chemicals are believed to have come from a fire-extinguishing foam the Air Force used from 1970 until last year on a fire-training site as well as two locations where aircraft have crashed.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency identified the chemicals as a health risk last year, and the Pentagon launched a nationwide effort to find and mitigate contamination.

Fairchild officials said last week they had expanded their search farther east and south of the base; the chemicals had been detected at concerning levels in at least 17 wells. Officials began testing groundwater on the base in February, and off the base in early April.

In the statement, Air Force Col. Ryan Samuelson said that “we cannot know the extent to which any past base activities contributed to the PFOS/PFOA concentrations in this area.”

In a phone call, Airway Heights Mayor Kevin Ritchey said base officials tested four city wells and found contamination in three of them, all in the area of West 21st Avenue and South Lawson Street.

Ritchey said he was surprised to learn of the results Tuesday afternoon.

The city plans to stop pumping water from the affected wells and link its system with the city of Spokane’s, as it often does in the summer months to meet increased demand, Ritchey said. The city also has begun a flushing routine that should reduce chemical concentrations to safe levels within three or four days.

“The problem is the test results take about a week, so we’re talking seven to 10 days to be completely sure” the contamination is reduced, Ritchey said.

The EPA says most people have low levels of the chemicals in their bloodstreams because of exposure from consumer products. But a growing body of research suggests high concentrations are linked with health defects in lab animals, including low birth weight, high cholesterol, delayed puberty and poor responses to vaccination.

Some residents were upset and others seemed to take the water advisory in stride.

“I’m frustrated,” said Sharay Davis as she waited in line to collect water. “This shouldn’t have happened. It’s kind of ridiculous.”

Travis Baldwin said he’s lived near the base his entire life is not worried.

“I’m healthy,” he said.

The Air Force said the EPA’s recommendations are based on “cumulative lifetime exposure from water ingestion, not from skin contact or breathing water vapor.”

Officials are looking for alternative water sources and may install filtration systems on the affected wells.

“We care about the health and well-being of our families, neighbors and community partners, and we understand those impacted, or potentially impacted, by this emerging issue have legitimate concerns,” Samuelson said in the statement.

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Please share this with anyone you know!
Spokane VFP appreciates your help in bringing expert witnesses to testify in support of a necessity defense for the Spokane Climate Defenders, three members of our chapter and three Raging Grannies who stopped fossil fuel trains in August and September.
Tax deductible checks may be written to Spokane Veterans for Peace and mailed to:
Vets for Peace, 35 W. Main, #120 M, Spokane, WA 99201.
Online, use and find Spokane Climate Protectors. Alternatively you can use the donate button on this page (upper right hand corner).
Motions will be heard Friday, May 19, 2017. That evening, our experts will meet the public at 7:00 in the lobby of the Community Building to discuss our campaign to protect the air and water and explain their perspectives on our case.
Thanks for all you do to save our planet from war and other manmade disasters. – Spokane Veterans for Peace #035
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Our gang

VFP 35, 2015 Retreat

Our gang as we stood in 2016. We’ve grown by nearly a dozen, including three women. Now wouldn’t you like to add your mug this photo with your picture?

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Gaza Blockade

Zaytouna-Oliva Taken in International Waters: Whereabouts of Participants Unknown

Click image above to view video

This afternoon, the Women’s Boat to Gaza was making good progress to the shores and the women were emotional about meeting all the people in Gaza who were waiting for them. Some of the Palestinians had spent the night at the beach to greet them.

At 9:58 (EST) organizers lost total contact with the Zaytouna-Oliva. The US embassy confirmed that the boat was intercepted. We do not know where our friends are.

It is important to know that this happened in international waters and it is not only illegal but sets a bad precedent in giving a greenlight for other nations to attack civilian ships in international waters. The Zaytouna-Oliva was carrying no material aid. This was by design because Israel, as a premise for their attacks, would claim that weapons and contraband were on board. The owner of Zaytouna-Oliva is Israeli.

Ann Wright is a decorated former US diplomat, a member of Veterans For Peace and on our Advisory Board.  On board with her were three parliamentarians, an Olympic athlete and Nobel Peace Laureate, Mairead Maguire. They were committed to nonviolence as much as they were committed to breaking the blockade.

Ann has traveled thousands of miles and made a great sacrifice for human rights.  We can help her with a few small efforts:

Contact President Barack Obama:  (202) 456-1111

Contact Secretary John Kerry’s Chief of Staff:

Unlike other nations that have women on the boat, we Americans provide military equipment to Israel that may very well have been used against Ann and our international friends.  Please ask Secretary Kerry and President Obama to demand Israel immediately release the women and that they do an investigation on the incident as there are a number of troubling circumstances that are against US and international law. And don’t forget to say that the blockade on Gaza must end.

Veterans For Peace appreciates your generous donations.

We also encourage you to join our ranks.

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VFP tries to stop Climate Change

Three people were arrested during an oil train protest along the Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail lines that run through Spokane on Sept. 29, 2016. (Nina Culver / The Spokesman-Review)
Three people were arrested during an oil train protest along the Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail lines that run through Spokane on Sept. 29, 2016. (Nina Culver / The Spokesman-Review)

THURSDAY, SEPT. 29, 2016, 7:23 P.M.

Oil and coal train protest shuts down BNSF tracks in Spokane

By Nina Culver 459-5473
Three people were arrested Thursday evening in a protest against oil and coal trains that shut down the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad tracks near Trent Avenue and Napa Street.
This protest, organized by Veterans for Peace, is the second in Spokane in the last month. The first was organized by the Raging Grannies and also saw three people arrested.
About a dozen protesters gathered on the tracks in front of a stopped train to speak against oil and coal trains as well as global warming. “I’m here to witness to my faith,” said the Rev. George Taylor, a Lutheran pastor. “Oil and coal trains are an abomination to the Lord.”
The stopped train visible on the tracks was pulling a large number of what appeared to be oil tanker cars. BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas said he would not confirm what the train was carrying. Three trains were halted by the protest, he said.
A BNSF police officer warned the crowd to disperse and most of them did. The three remaining – Taylor, activist Rusty Nelson and Maevea Aeolus – were arrested and face charges of trespassing and blocking a train.
Nancy Nelson, who was arrested and charged after the first protest last month, said her husband Rusty was arrested because things like speaking out at council meetings, signing petitions and writing letters wasn’t working.
“We have to do what we can,” she said. “In our minds they are death trains.”
Melonas said people are welcome to speak their mind about oil trains, but the company asks that people not block the train tracks.
“It’s extremely dangerous as well as disruptive,” he said.
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Help Donate to My Lai

Here is a more than worthy cause for your money or spare change:


Please Help Restore the Mural at My Lai
> During a recent trip back to Vietnam with Brian Willson, Becky Luening and Sandy Kelson ( March 28-April 22, 2016 ), I spent two days at the My Lai Massacre site in Quang Ngai. The very large mosaic-tile mural in the photo ( with Sandy and Brian ), depicts some of the 504 Vietnamese civilians murdered by American soldiers on March 16, 1968, in the last moments of their lives.
> While examining the mural up close, we noticed the artwork had badly deteriorated from years of severe hot and wet weather that causes such damage. I had a private conversation with the co-director of the museum. She had worked at the memorial site for 16 years. I told her I was a Vietnam veteran, and a member of Veterans For Peace, and that millions of Americans who were adamantly against the war, consider the My Lai Massacre site extremely important. I said to her that as far as I was concerned, the My Lai Massacre site is sacred ground, and one of the most important memorials in the world. After I said this, she broke down and cried. It was a very powerful moment for both of us. I felt a deep emotional connection to her, and a loving empathy that was so important in healing my soul.
> When I got back to my home in Portland, Oregon, I corresponded with her via email, and offered to raise the funds needed to restore the mural. She eventually replied that it would cost $4,200 to complete the restoration. Our goal is to raise this money soon so that the mural may be completely repaired by the 50th anniversary of the massacre on March 16, 2018. Some of us plan on returning to Vietnam for this important event. To contribute to this project, please make checks out to VFP Chapter 72, and mail to:
> VFP Chapter 72
> c/o Bob Projansky
> 3036 SE Taylor St.
> Portland, OR. 97214
> Please feel free to forward this information. With sincere appreciation for keeping a profound historical memory alive.
> Mike Hastie
> Army Medic Vietnam
> 509-869-7787

Visit the Vietnam Full Disclosure website at

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VFP Convention

A handful of us are just back from an informative VFP convention in Berkeley. A magnificent time with much learned. We’ll be adding everything that we did learn shortly

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VFP Awarded 2016 Peace Prize!

Veterans For Peace Awarded 2016 Peace Prize


The Board of Directors of the US Peace Memorial Foundation voted unanimously to award its 2016 Peace Prize to Veterans For Peace “In recognition of heroic efforts to expose the causes and costs of war and to prevent and end armed conflict.

Continue reading

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