Formed in 2008, We Are Not Your Soldiers continues to bring veterans into classrooms to share their experiences in the U.S. military while engaging in dialogue with students, exposing imperial wars to a generation – actually, a society – largely unaware of the crimes being carried out throughout the world in their names.
In 2023 our ground-breaking We Are Not Your Soldiers project has had 9 presenters: veterans of the U.S. wars on Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and of the global network of U.S. bases maintaining U.S. imperialist domination. These men and women, English and Spanish-speakers, bring their stories to students as living history lessons.
Emphasizing the importance of students doing their own research to check on accuracy of what they heard during our visit as well as in mass media and from recruiters, we always introduce morality as a core idea.
In the spring semester 2023, We Are Not Your Soldiers still made only remote visits to schools. This fall, we have been doing a mix of in-person and remote.
In 2023, we visited classes in 7 states and in France. These visits included two middle schools, 5 high schools, three community colleges, 7 colleges and two post-graduate programs. Altogether we spoke to 43 classes. Find a detailed report here.
It is only with your help that we can continue to be the only program in the United States to bring veterans into classrooms where they speak directly with students and can answer their questions. How else would young people get to hear these voices, learning what has happened to the people of countries around the world, and to the U.S. troops themselves, due to U.S. military interventions? We do this without any charge to the schools.
Each time a veteran speaks to a class, they receive a stipend to help cover childcare and/or time off work or school. We also cover travel expenses when needed. Other expenses include internet presence, communication tools, materials and some advertising. All of that comes from you. Please donate when you can. Your help is what keeps this program going.
In 2023, our work and our speakers could be found at the following public events and spaces:
• Yes! Magazine ran an April article on We Are Not Your Soldiers, interviewing Debra Sweet, Miles Megaciph, Joy Damiani and two educators
• The College Strategy Network and Brooklyn for Peace hosted a Green Card Soldier panel which included Lyle Rubin as a speaker
• Talk World Radio’s David Swanson interviewed Debra Sweet and Miles Megaciph on “How to Reduce Recruitment Even More”
• Joe Urgo spoke on guarding nuclear weapons and his subsequent visit to Hiroshima at a World Can’t Wait discussion of the film “Oppenheimer”
• Will Griffin and Joe Urgo were interviewed on the Free Thought Project podcast on “We Are Not Your Soldiers – Dismantling the Military Industrial Complex”
• Lyle Rubin was one of the veterans who spoke at a November press conference organized by Representative Cori Bush calling for a ceasefire in Gaza now
Please ensure that the work of We Are Not Your Soldiers continues in 2024 by donating now to our year-end fund appeal.