FT. SHAFTER (KHNL) - Monday marked the 4th year anniversary of the war iniraq. Today, we speak to a group called Veterans For Peace. They are both women and men who all served in times of war, come from different backgrounds but-- share a strong united belief. We go live
Mary Simms: We are speaking with Charlie Luce, he's a member of an organization called Veterans for Peace. Charlie, what is your group's mission?
Charles Luce: Right now the big push is to end this war in Iraq and get the troops home.
MS: And what is your background? You're a veteran, I know.
CL: Yes, I was in the Air Force back in the fifties, a long time ago. I was a control tower operator, and I've been out since 1959.
MS: Tell me about some of the things your group does.
CL: We're active worldwide. Prior to this recent Iraq invasion, Veterans For Peace was assisting in the reconstruction of some water purification plants in Iraq that were bombed from the first Gulf War. As a result, polluted water was killing especially kids, some 500,000 Iraqi kids under five had died because there was no clean water to drink. Some of our members were over there doing that. they have been poll watching at elections in Central and South America. Clinics and schools in Vietnam. So it's worldwide, not just domestic.
MS: Your oranization is opposed to the war in Iraq, but not opposed to the troops. Tell me a little bit about that.
CL: Basically, what we say is 'support the warrior, not the war'. We support the troops and want two things. One is to bring them home now, and two, to take care of them properly after they get here. Number one isn't happening at all, and with this recent request for even more, of course it's going backwards. The care they are getting leaves a lot to be desired, I'm sure everybody knows by now from the papers.
MS: And why is your organization opposed to the war in Iraq?
CL: Well, we had among other things a violation of our own standards and stated laws with regard to the sanctity of sovereign countries. We invaded a sovereign country. The United Nations doesn't support it.
MS: So what type of people belong to your organization, Veterans For Peace?
CL: It's vets from World War Two right on up to present. In fact, there are even some active duty members. And we have associate members who are non-vets, who can join, and there are quite a few of those as well. I'm not sure at the moment how many chapters there are. It's upwards of 130 nationwide, upwards of 6,000 members. I don't know, it keeps changing.