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The first part of this post is especially directed towards those, the greater majority of this country, who do not have any Direct Connection to the Ongoing Occupation Theaters of Iraq and Afganistan, certainly not the Connection of those Serving, Mutiple Tours, and their Families and Close Friends !

The second part will be a Shoutout, and partial repost, with updated information, to All !

I received an e-mail from a local activist, and friend, and his group, with a great idea to not only Help the Returning Veterans, Help many aren't getting from the Government, You, but to Finally do some Personal Sacrificing!

They are working with Nadia McCaffery, a 'Gold Star Mother', who's son, Patrick McCaffery, who was Killed in the Iraq Occupation, leaving behind not only his Mother and extended family but a Wife and Child.

You know that Tax Rebate Check, some or all of you filing your taxes this year, are getting back! Well instead of going 'Shopping', as the 'decider' would like you to do, Donate All Of It, or at least part, a big part, to a Worthy Cause or Charity that are going to Help Those Returning from the Failed Policies most of you Readily Supported in the beginning, but slowly, way to slowly, have come to realize the Huge Damage we have done, not only to the Countries Invaded but to this Country as well. And the legacy we Responsible Adults are leaving to our Children, some of which is already rearing it's ugly head !

The ones who need your help, Right Now, are the many who are returning and suffering from the wounds of War, physically and mentally, the deep mental scars some of the returning will live with the rest of their lives. All who serve in War Theaters are changed, mentally, from what they once were,  some experiance that change much more than the others, none escape !

The idea of the local group, but anyone anywhere can Sacrifice, is to Donate All or at least Some, of that Rebate Check to Nadia, his Wife and Child, to realize a Dream they have to Honor the Son and Husband/Father they lost and to Help his Brothers and Sisters who are returning after serving Mutiple Tours. That Dream is Veterans a place, actually a number of facilities in differant parts of the country, that returning Veterans can go to in seeking help for the Trauma of War and PTSD.

I wrote about Veterans in a number of posts before, parts of which are below:

First 'Veterans Village' Set to Open in California in November

A World War II veteran, who wants to remain anonymous, made the donation late last month after hearing McCaffrey speak in Petaluma two months ago about her vision for the Veterans' Village program
Please Read The Rest Here

About The Veterans Village

Veterans are the light at the tip of the candle, illuminating the way for the whole nation. If veterans can achieve awareness, transformation, understanding, and peace, they can share with the rest of society the realities of war. And they can teach us how to make peace with ourselves and each other, so we never have to use violence to resolve conflicts again".
Thich Nhat Hanh

Sergeant Patrick Ryan McCaffrey
Foundation for War Veterans

Please visit the Veterans for further information.
The mission of Patrick McCaffrey’s Foundation is to promote mental and holistic wellness and palliative care among veterans returning from the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, especially those suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), by providing a live-in retreat village, wherein with the help of trained professional staff and volunteers, veterans will find inner healing and an eventual re-entry into society.  The Patrick McCaffrey Foundation, named after Sergeant Patrick R. McCaffrey, the first California National Guard, since WWII, (from the 579th Engineer Battalion from Petaluma), to lose his life in Iraq on June 22, 2004, is committed to bringing healing and hospice, as well as career counseling and training, to veterans returning from the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Its founding member and President, Nadia McCaffrey, mother of Sergeant Patrick McCaffrey, wants to carry on the work her son would have pursued had his life not been curtailed so prematurely. Patrick, who did not expect to be deployed to Iraq, decided to honor the commitment he made to help people by going to Iraq as a leader and Combat Life Saver, bringing healing and love to his fellow soldiers and the Iraqi children.

Visit the Veterans Village Site for further information.

And this recent report:

GUERNEVILLE, Calif. (AP) -- Merry Lane, a cul-de-sac shaded by redwoods in Sonoma County wine country, would seem a pleasant place to recover from the psychic wounds of war. Nadia McCaffrey's dream is to set up a group home there for veterans plagued by post-traumatic stress disorder.

Group Housing for Vets Raises Concerns

I posted about Nadia McCaffrey's, her sons wife and childs, dream of a Memorial to Honor her sons Service and Sacrifice, 'Veterans Village', Here. Part of that post:

Veterans are the light at the tip of the candle, illuminating the way for the whole nation. If veterans can achieve awareness, transformation, understanding, and peace, they can share with the rest of society the realities of war. And they can teach us how to make peace with ourselves and each other, so we never have to use violence to resolve conflicts again".
Thich Nhat Hanh

Sergeant Patrick Ryan McCaffrey
Foundation for War Veterans

Visit the Veterans Village Site for further information.

Before the deployment to Iraq: Patrick McCaffrey with wife and daughter

PLEASE JOIN US IN MAKING The Patrick Ryan McCaffrey Village-Retreat for Veterans, a Reality.

A place of peace, a place to heal, a place to renew... .... a place built by gratitude.

Now the local group, and Nadia, would greatly appreciate All the help your Refund Checks would do, as would I, towards reaching their Dream. But I know many of you may know about other grassroots endeavors, started by others, to Help the returning Troops, or may have a favorite charity to donate to. On any donations check out, completely, the organization, Especially after the recent reports about Charities Dirrected towards Veterans, set up more to Enrich the Few than to Help the Veteran. Any Donations Twowards Legitimate Groups or Charities, Helping Veterans, Would Be Greatly Appreciated and Would Be A Worthy Sacrifice, that most aren't feeling nor doing.

I would also suggest a donation to any worthy organization or charity that are Helping the Citizens of the Occupied Countries, Ravaged by our Invasions and Occupations. one of my favorite organizations is Doctors Without Borders. Though many of the NGO's that were working in Iraq during the Sanctions will find it Extremely hard to return to help the Iraqi People, due to the Extreme Danger and the Hatreds now felt by many of those living the nightmare that has taken over their country since our invasion, many still have the connections with Iraqi Citizens they once worked with that can help their fellow country persons.

Don't just Think about it, DO IT !! If Congress won't raise the Monies needed, and were never thought about by anyone in the Ever Increasing Beat of the War Drums leading up to the invasions, especially the Illegal Iraq Invasion, than some of that Money Is Coming To You, You who aren't Sacrificing, to go Shopping!!

The second request can be done by everyone, and it to will be a Sacrifice because I'm calling for You to do something that will directly hit your pocket book and wallets.

Recently I posted the following on some boards and sent out to individuals, "May Day! May Day! May Day!"
MAKE MAYDAY A "NO PEACE, NO WORK HOLIDAY"!, this link goes to the post on my site. The first part of that post is:

The following was written by Jack Heyman a longshoreman who works on the Oakland docks

Longshoremen to close ports on West Coast to protest war

While millions of people worldwide have marched against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and last week's New York Times/CBS News poll indicated that 81 percent believe the country is headed in the wrong direction - key concerns being the war and the economy - the war machine inexorably grinds on.

Amid this political atmosphere, dockworkers of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union have decided to stop work for eight hours in all U.S. West Coast ports on May 1, International Workers' Day, to call for an end to the war.

This decision came after an impassioned debate where the union's Vietnam veterans turned the tide of opinion in favor of the anti-war resolution. The motion called it an imperial action for oil in which the lives of working-class youth and Iraqi civilians were being wasted and declared May Day a "no peace, no work" holiday. Angered after supporting Democrats who received a mandate to end the war but who now continue to fund it, longshoremen decided to exercise their political power on the docks.

Last month, in response to the union's declaration, the Pacific Maritime Association, the West Coast employer association of shipowners, stevedore companies and terminal operators, declared its opposition to the union's protest. Thus, the stage is set for a conflict in the run up to the longshore contract negotiations.

The last set of contentious negotiations (in 2002) took place during the period between the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the invasion of Iraq. Representatives of the Bush administration threatened that if there were any of the usual job actions during contract bargaining, then troops would occupy the docks because such actions would jeopardize "national security." Yet, when the PMA employers locked out the longshoremen and shut down West Coast ports for 11 days, the "security" issue vanished. President Bush then invoked the Taft-Hartley Act, forcing longshoremen back to work under conditions favorable to the employers.

The San Francisco longshore union has a proud history of opposition to the war in Iraq, being the first union to call for an end to the war and immediate withdrawal of troops. Representatives of the union spoke at anti-war rallies in February 2003, including one in London attended by nearly 2 million people, the largest ever held in Britain. Executive Board member Clarence Thomas went to Iraq with a delegation to observe workers' rights during the occupation.

At the start of the war in Iraq, hundreds of protesters demonstrated on the Oakland docks, and longshoremen honored their picket lines. Without warning, police in riot gear opened fire with so-called less-than-lethal weapons, shooting protesters and longshoremen alike with wooden dowels, rubber bullets, pellet bags, concussion grenades and tear gas. A U.N. Human Rights Commission investigator characterized the Oakland police attack as "the most violent" against anti-war protesters in the United States.

And finally, last year, two black longshoremen going to work in the port of Sacramento were beaten, Maced and arrested by police under the rubric of Homeland Security regulations ordained by the "war on terror."

There's precedent for this action. In the '50s, French dockworkers refused to load war materiel on ships headed for Indochina, and helped to bring that colonial war to an end. At the ILWU's convention in San Francisco in 2003, A. Q. McElrath, an octogenarian University of Hawaii regent and former ILWU organizer from the pineapple canneries, challenged the delegates to act for social justice, invoking the union's slogan, "An injury to one is an injury to all." She concluded, "The cudgel is on the ground. Will you pick it up?"

It appears that longshore workers may be doing just that on May Day and calling on immigrant workers and others to join them.

May Day protest

WHEN: 10:30 a.m., May 1, followed by a rally at noon.

WHERE: Longshore Union Hall, corner of Mason and Beach (near Fisherman's Wharf)

WHAT: March to a rally at Justin Herman Plaza along the Embarcadero.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:  May Day!**ILWU Homepage**Transport Workers Solidarity Committee  or call (415) 776-8100.


I, and others, are calling for Everyone to show Solidarity with the Longshoremen, on the West Coast by taking the Day Off, International Workers' Day, to call for an end to the war

The call isn't for people to take paid sick days or holidays, it's to take off this day, unpaid, by those who wish to show Solidarity, which would show a reduction of productivity and with no pay there would be no taxes taken for that days wages and used towards waging the war!

You don't need to organize any large rallies, though some actions with press coverage would send the message better, you don't need to do much of anything unless a need is present to do something as an individual or in groups, Just Take The Day Off In Solidarity and to End The War!!

Some updated information on 'May Day' Actions already planned:

From Dave over at AfterDowningStreet
Proposal for May First

UPDATE: There seems to be enough interest to do this. We've set up a system for you to post your plans in and find others' plans in your district. Please POST HERE.
May 1st is shaping up to be quite a day of resistance, with strikes by the ILWU, the Teamsters, Postal Workers, plus immigrant rights rallies, and peace and impeachment activities. ( More info here. ) It's Mission Accomplished Day, Downing Street Minutes Day, and May Day, the original Labor Day. If we were to send an announcement to all pro-impeachment groups' biggest lists urging everyone to visit their congress member's nearest office at high noon, local time, on May 1st, would you do it? Please post your comments below, so that we can gauge interest. Thanks.

Once Again: Don't Just Think About It; DO IT!!

Originally posted to jimstaro on Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 05:31 AM PDT.

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