Topic: Soldiers Speak Out
Iraq Vet Evan Knappenberger introduces himself.
Evan Kappenberger sends a message to his friends still serving in Iraq.
Gold Star Mother, Doris Kent, of Bellingham speaks in support of Evan Knappenberger
Capt Benjamin Marx, a two tour returning Iraq veteran from Federal Way, WA speaks in support of Evan Knappenberger
More from Evan Knappenberger
To see more up to the minute videos of Evan's tower guard vigil, visit Bellingham blogger's blog = Washington Outsiders.
Iraq Veteran Begins Weeklong Tower Guard Vigil in Bellingham, Washington
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 1, 2007
CONTACT: Iraq Veteran Evan Knappenberger: (434) 249-5956 www.TowerGuard.org
Marie Marchand, Executive Director Whatcom Peace & Justice Center (360) 734-0217 (office); (360) 920-4817 (cell) www.WhatcomPJC.org; WhatcomPJC@fidalgo.net
WHERE: Federal Building 104 E. Magnolia Street, Bellingham, WA WHEN: 24-hrs. a day, June 1-7
Standing Tower Guard on a 6' scaffold at the Federal Building in downtown Bellingham, Iraq Veteran Evan Knappenberger, 1st BDE, 4th Infantry Division, started a weeklong vigil on June 1st to draw attention to the US military STOP-LOSS and INACTIVE RESERVE policies, which he submits are being used as a substitute for conscription in a political war.
I spent a year in Iraq. I pulled 97 nights on tower guard, explained Knappenberger. Many of the friends I served with have completed their contractual obligations to Active Duty. Now, they're being sent back to Iraq for their third or fourth tours. Some soldiers are getting called up after living years of civilian life. Stop-loss is an unethical policy.
The Whatcom Peace & Justice Center, a non-profit organization in Bellingham, is supporting Knappenberger's week-long action. "This is a powerful, highly-visible action," said Executive Director Marie Marchand. "It's a nonviolent, creative way of educating the public about this widespread exploitation and abuse of our soldiers.
Evan has seen this injustice perpetrated against his friends and comrades. We will do everything we can to help him get his message out." Community members have shown an outpouring of support for Knappenberger, including help with night security, media outreach, meals, and solidarity. A new website has been set up: www.TowerGuard.org.
"People come out of the woodwork to support courageous leadership like this," stated Marchand. "This is huge; and the news is spreading across the nation like wild fire." Western WA University students are also hyped-up by this action.
Student group, Western Against War, has made a statement of support for Knappenberger. "For those who take notice, this sobering demonstration will bring the hardships our solders have been forced to endure a little closer to home," stated Michael Biesheuvel, WAW president. "Western Against War wholeheartedly supports Evan." Knappenberger invites the public to talk with him while he is on Tower Guard, and to learn more about the unethical stop-loss policy.
Marie Marchand, Executive Director Whatcom Peace & Justice Center 100 E. Maple Street/PO Box 2444 Bellingham, WA 98227 (360) 734-0217 www.whatcompjc.org
(Posted by Lietta Ruger)