Veterans for Peace forming Charlottesville chapter

Veterans For Peace, an international organization dedicated to helping veterans heal and abolishing warfare established in 1985, is proud to announce that Central Virginia will soon be home to a new chapter, in a renewed effort by local veterans in the Charlottesville-Albemarle area to organize veterans.

According to Iraq war veteran and college-student Evan Knappenberger of Charlottesville, the timing for a new chapter of Veterans For Peace couldn’t be better.  “It’s never too early (or to late) to proclaim the good news of peace.  I am honored to participate in the historic formation of such an august group as Veterans For Peace,” he said.

Veterans For Peace has over one hundred active US. chapters, and several international chapters, including in the United Kingdom and in Hue, Vietnam.  Veterans For Peace is a non-profit organization with a long history of peace work and social justice action around the world.  Currently, there are several thousand veteran members active in the US, including more than a dozen unaffiliated veteran members in Central Virginia.  There are also several thousand associate (non-veteran ally) members in the US.  The formation of a chapter centered in Charlottesville  comes as the group becomes poised to grow in depth and in membership.  “We’re really going to try to engage every veteran in the world, to tell them that they are not alone, and that the dream of world peace is still possible,” says Knappenberger.

Local author and associate member David Swanson plans to participate as well.  “I’m really excited about this.  This is an excellent project” Swanson says.  The group says it is open to non-veterans interested in doing veterans’ advocacy and peace work, but will be directed and organized by veterans themselves.

“The philosophy of Veterans For Peace organizing in Central Virginia is twofold,” according to Knappenberger.  “Our first aim is to help veterans with physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual support.  This includes service work with disabled and homeless veterans.  Simultaneously, we will be working to spread the message of global peace.  We see that the two approaches complement each other, because they empower the veteran and give him or her  the only purpose worthy of a warrior: to overcome war and achieve peace.”

The group plans on holding a weekly breakfast meeting at the Blue Moon Diner on West Main Street, on Fridays from 8-10 am.  All veterans and non-veterans are invited.


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