Our organization was started in 2004 as Iraq Veterans Against War by a small group of younger post-9/11 veterans who saw the need to come together to face the challenges of our present situation while building upon the work of our predecessors in Vietnam Veterans Against War and Veterans for Peace. Since then we have sought, as antiwar veterans and servicemembers, to use our position to build power to dismantle the military-industrial complex and forge relationships of solidarity with those most targeted by US militarism. Will you help us continue this vital work as we evolve to meet today’s challenges?
As About Face Veterans Against War, we see shifts happening now as well, yet much still remains the same. The US invests in war and genocide in Yemen, Ukraine, Syria, various countries in Africa and around the world, while stating that there’s no money at home to revitalize the health care system, improve housing or even provide clean drinking water. That’s why we have taken leadership roles in coalitions like Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, where our frameworks for understanding militarism have helped build connections to challenge injustices at home and abroad.
As US state-sanctioned violence continues to harm communities and environments the world over, there is still a need for anti-war veterans to dispel the myths of militarism and American exceptionalism that are being pushed upon our society.
How can we build the world we want to live in? We’re doing this every day, creating mutual aid for our members and directly to Afghans in Afghanistan and in the diaspora. About Face is working alongside our partners to push back on the forces inside the government and within the population pulling this country towards fascism. You’ll find us at the polls defending voting rights when rightwing violence threatens elections. When the National Guard is called up against our own population, we continue to support resistance from within the ranks just as we do when deployed in other peoples’ homelands. We are demilitarizing our skillsets to bolster community-led work for real safety, from supporting Black-led uprisings against police violence, to supporting Indigenous-led Land and Water Protector movements even while they face ever increasing criminalization simply for doing the right thing.
Times are tough indeed for communities around the world, and ours is no different. We are assessing what steps we can take to consolidate our resources and keep the pressure on our government to end its addiction to endless wars and war profiteering. We are committed to visibilizing the effects of US militarism on people here at home and those abroad whose homes we’ve invaded and destabilized. The upcoming anniversary of 20 years since the last US invasion of Iraq is heavy on our mind, as well as the many repercussions the Afghan people are left with, after our botched retreat from their country and repercussions from sanctions and seizure of their money.
About Face is also shifting. Since the pandemic, we’ve been navigating various issues during this time of deep fractures created by the global pandemic and governmental responses. We’ve launched our long-awaited Leadership Council, a new design for bringing more members into more engaged leadership in our organization and movement.
In 2023, we are moving forward with an amazing staff who are expanding their roles during this transition, with the support of our Board of Directors and Leadership Council. We are looking to bring in new staff and member leaders as we fortify the health of our organization. We’re excited to increase membership engagement this year. The 20th anniversary of the War in Iraq is a call to find where we can best support impacted communities’ in their efforts to move from extractive occupation to thriving sovereignty.
There’s so much work to do and we need your support!