For almost three years Coffee Strong has been at the center of pro-soldier, anti-war activism. In the past we have campaigned to end unjust Stop-Loss policies, secure the release of war resisters and prisoners of conscience, and bring a close to the U.S. wars overseas.
Recently Coffee Strong has been involved in a growing movement to bring to light the untold stories of soldiers, veterans, and military families that we rarely hear in the mainstream media. These include the stories of those most affected by the U.S. military’s inadequate mental health care system, soldiers applying for status as conscientious objectors, and the troops in the field witnessing firsthand the injustice of the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. We have seen firsthand how exposing one story or supporting the voice of one person who refuses to be silent can lead to many more stories coming to light.
This year alone we have served over 2,000 active-duty personnel. And now we need your help. Coffee Strong is seeking to raise $20,000 in the month of September to continue the struggle to end the wars and support veterans and the military community.
Here’s a rundown of recent events and ongoing work by Coffee Strong and its parent organization G.I. Voice:
We recently held the first State of the Soldier Address, a unique opportunity for active-duty personnel, veterans, and military family members to speak about the issues that matter most to them.
We are currently campaigning in support of Ashley Joppa-Hagemann whose husband was deployed 8 times to Iraq and Afghanistan with the Army Rangers before committing suicide. We were there with Ashley as she confronted Donald Rumsfeld about the lies that led her husband and the United States of America to war.
We supported the Free PFC Ryan Reed campain, openly demanding his immediate release from Fort Hood.
We were recently featured in the award-winning documentary, Grounds for Resistance, produced by Dr. Lisa Gilman of the University of Oregon.
We continue to anonymously link veteran and soldier survivors of PTSD, military sexual trauma, and other combat/noncombat related injuries to civilian counselors, therapists, and medical professionals.
We offer information about applying for conscientious objector status as well as other options for separating from military service.
We support and provide GI Rights counseling to soldiers in cases of command abuse, rights violations, and other matters.
We provide weekly veterans’ benefits assistance, helping veterans and soldiers navigate the bureaucratic process of accessing disability benefits.
We held two soldier/veteran art showcases featuring artwork and live performances from local soldier and veteran artists.
We host monthly movie nights and discussions attended by soldiers and activists, exposing soldiers to films such as Heavy Metal Baghdad, Sir! No Sir!, Taxi to the Darkside, Manufacturing Consent, and Occupation Has No Future.
We held a concert at Coffee Strong featuring Iraqi heavy metal band Acrassicauda in an effort to bring together soldiers and Iraqis.
We offer meeting space for Iraq Vets Against the War (IVAW), and other activist groups.
We coordinate with educators to bring “Truth in Recruiting” presentations featuring combat veterans and war resisters in local high school classrooms
We currently employ two combat veterans from the Iraq war.
And as always, we continue to offer free coffee and Americanos to Enlisted personnel!
Despite headlines to the contrary, the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan show no signs of winding down. Recently Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta stated U.S. forces would stay in Iraq for at least one more year and, according to the Telegraph, the United States could remain an occupying force in Afghanistan until 2024. As the wars drag on, thousands from Joint Base Lewis-McChord are feeling the weight of repeated deployments, PTSD, military sexual trauma, and other negative effects of military service.
With election season upon us, this is the moment to build a campaign to the end the wars and Coffee Strong is one of a handful of anti-war projects laying the critical groundwork for such a movement. Moreover, Coffee Strong is working daily to support soldiers, veterans, and their families, offering vital services the military is either unwilling or unable to provide.
We want to continue fighting but we can’t do it without your help. Please partner with us by becoming a sustaining donorand support our efforts to expose military injustice, end the wars, and provide vital resources for active-duty personnel, veterans, and military families.
To make a donation click here or the “Please Donate” button on the righthand side of your screen.
Thank you for your continued support.