Members of Iraq Veterans Against the War and supporters constructed a symbolic “guard tower” outside the East Gate of Fort Hood on Thursday, May 26, 2011. During a press conference held at the foot of the tower, veterans Sergio Kochergin, left, and Aaron Hughes stood atop the tower. The group claims that Fort Hood is the center of a mental health epidemic that is sweeping the Armed Forces.
Austin American-Statesman, http://galleries.statesman.com/gallery/photos-day-may-2011/#170585; also in the print version of the Statesman May 27, 2011.
E-MAIL FROM IRAQ VETERANS AGAINST THE WAR, MAY 27, 2011:
IVAW puts Fort Hood Commander on watch
Left – Op Rec Team members at Under the Hood Outreach Center / Right – Op Rec Team at guard tower put Gen. Campbell on watch
Yesterday morning, 6 members of our Operation Recovery Team went to Fort Hood Commander, General Campbell’s office to deliver a letter requesting he meet with us about the plight of traumatized troops under his command. We were turned away, then surrounded by Fort Hood security officials who became sympathetic to our cause when we identified ourselves as veterans who are dealing with PTSD. But we were ultimately escorted off base.
In response, we held a press conference about the issue of un-treated trauma that is ravaging the Fort Hood community as well as the military at large. We then erected a guard tower across from the gates of Fort Hood as a symbolic act to let Commander Campbell know that we are keeping watch over his actions (or lack thereof) when it comes to the health and well-being of soldiers at Fort Hood. As we stood watch at the gates of Fort Hood, we handed out over 200 purple ribbons to soldiers entering the base. These ribbons symbolize our solidarity with the tens of thousands of soldiers who are suffering from un-treated trauma because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Get Involved with IVAW’s Operation Recovery Campaign
There are a number of ways you can support our efforts to stop the deployment of traumatized troops at Fort Hood:
- Join our Operation Recovery Facebook group and share with your friends.
- Sign the Operation Recovery Pledge.
- Make a donation and put “Fort Hood” in the Special Projects box.
- Go to our website to download fact sheets and other materials.
Learn more by watching this short video about IVAW’s Operation Recovery Campaign at Fort Hood and meet the veteran organizers behind this effort