[A-List] Operation First Casualty has a posse... VFW backs vet in trouble over protest
the.buffalo.in.the.midst at gmail.com
Sat Jun 2 01:15:48 MDT 2007
The Potomac Patrol: "Adam Kokesh, one of the antiwar veterans who
observed the fourth ... They called it Operation First Casualty --
citing the adage that truth is the first ..."
Imagine, a nation of VFW Posts like #5888, Bill Motto, until there
were no more soldiers and no more wars:
"Santa Cruz has arguably the most activist Veteran community in the
United States. The United Veterans Council sponsors a
community-based program for Veterans dealing with re-entry into
society as an alternative to government remedies.(Live-on-site farming
as therapy with a group of local farmers // Leigh)  The Bill Motto
VFW post #5888 sponsors anti-war and peace efforts in Santa Cruz and
throughout the country. The Veterans Memorial Building is host to
punk, reggae, and hip-Hop acts from Santa Cruz and around the world.
It is also the home of the Bill Motto Post sponsored Thanksgiving and
Christmas dinners. These dinners were started by post #5888 in the
late seventies. In 2006, the Thanksgiving dinner served 1,400
VFW backs vet in trouble over protest
By SAM HANANEL, Associated Press Writer 15 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - The nation's largest combat veterans group on Friday
urged the military to "exercise a little common sense" and call off
its investigation of a group of
Iraq war veterans who wore their uniforms during anti-war protests.
"Trying to hush up and punish fellow Americans for exercising the same
democratic right we're trying to instill in Iraq is not what we're all
about," said Gary Kurpius, national commander of the 2.4
million-member Veterans of Foreign Wars.
"Someone in the Marine Corps needs to exercise a little common sense
and put an end to this matter before it turns into a circus," Kurpius
Marine Cpl. Adam Kokesh had already received an honorable discharge
from active duty before he was photographed in March wearing fatigues
— with military insignia removed — during a mock patrol with other
veterans protesting the Iraq war.
A military panel in Kansas City, Mo., will hold a hearing Monday to
decide whether he should be should be discharged from service and, if
so, with what type of discharge.
Col. Dave Lapan, a Marine Corps spokesman, said Kokesh is under
administrative review because he wore his uniform at a political
event, which is prohibited. And, Lapan said, when a senior officer
told Kokesh that he violated military regulations, Kokesh used an
obscenity and indicated he would not comply with the rules.
"It's the political activity that is prohibited, not the type of event
that it was," Lapan said. "If it had been a pro-war rally, it would
still have been a violation."
The panel could recommend an honorable discharge, a general discharge
or an other than honorable discharge. Kokesh could not be given a
dishonorable discharge, which generally results from a court-martial.
The final decision would be made by the commanding general.
A second Marine who was at the same event was also called about the
violation, but told the officer he was unaware he was breaking the
rules and said he would not do it again, Lapan said. That Marine has
not been called to an administrative hearing.
Kurpius said the possibility of receiving a less than honorable
discharge from service could threaten educational and other benefits
Kokesh is eligible to receive from the
Department of Veterans Affairs. The action might also prevent Kokesh
from future employment opportunities that require a security
clearance, Kurpius said.
"We all know that people give up some individual rights when they join
the military," Kurpius said. "But these Marines went to war, did their
duty, and were honorably discharged from the active roles. I may
disagree with their message, but I will always defend their right to
Kokesh received his honorable discharge after one combat tour in Iraq,
but he remains part of the Individual Ready Reserve, a pool of former
active duty service members in unpaid, non-drill status.
Kokesh's attorney, Michael Lebowitz, has called the investigation an
effort to stifle critics of the Bush administration's Iraq policy.
Associated Press Writer Lolita C. Baldor contributed to this report.
(This version CORRECTS
corrects in graf 4 that Kokesh was photographed in March, not April;
corrects in graf 12 that Kokesh went to Iraq once, not twice; minor
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