Aaron Hughes is an artist, activist, organizer, teacher, and Iraq War veteran based in Chicago. He served with the Illinois Army National Guard for six years and was honorably discharged as a Sergeant (E5) in 2006. In April 2003 he deployed with the 1244th Transportation Company to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait for fifteen months. While deployed he supported combat operations by transporting supplies from camps and ports in Kuwait to camps in Iraq.
Crystal is a queer, black, female US Army veteran, and single mother of an autistic child. She served in the Army from 2004-2009 and currently lives in Colorado, where she is a community organizer, activist, and college student. She loves to sing, read, write, and watch classic movies. She has a pug and two cats that she loves dearly. Crystal wants to redirect the funds our country dumps into the military industrial complex (MIC) into education, housing, healthcare, sustainable energy, and the list goes on. The MIC directly impacts and exploits brown and black people and Crystal wants to be an active participant in shifting the narrative the government uses to push pro-war propaganda.
Eddie has been a member of About Face: Veterans Against the War and its Bay Area chapter for 11 years. He served as an aircrew member in the US Air Force from 2001-2005, was deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, and did medical evacuations in Hurricane Katrina. As a Mexican-American, he saw personally how racism in the war, within the ranks, and in the US was perpetuated by militarism during his time in the service. He vowed to be committed to resistance and activism, joining IVAW just months after he separated from the military. He has also worked in other community projects in the Bay Area such as Copwatch, an organization that documents police brutality and educates the public of their rights in the fight against the growing and oppressive police state. He has been an educator since 2012 and also speaks in high schools to students about the realities of war and the harsh truths involving military recruiting.
Gina is a retired Army musician and mother of two Afghanistan war veterans. She was also assigned to Army Recruiting Command. During her time serving as a recruiter, she became aware of the systemic ethical and leadership problems within the military. She also noticed that recruiting efforts are targeted towards communities of color and those lacking financial resources. She is working to expose the disproportionate effects of the “economic draft.” Gina experiences the effects of moral injury and assists other veterans in obtaining VA benefits as a means of therapy. She is an activist in her local community focused on issues of voting rights and the lack of political responsiveness to everday people versus corporate interests.
Jose served in the U.S. Army (active & reserve) from 1992 to 2007 as a cavalry scout, combat medic, nurse, and health services instructor. He applied for conscientious objector status in January 2005, in opposition to the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and was honorably discharged in May 2007. Jose is a founding member of the NYC Chapter, former executive director, and currently serves on the board of directors of About Face: Veterans Against the War. He works as the Training Director for the Veterans Organizing Institute which trains progressive veterans in effective grassroots campaigning and narrative strategy. Jose lives in New York City and has been featured on Democracy Now!, MSNBC, Fox News, The Nation and various other media outlets.
Lisa Ling served 21 years in both the Army and Air Force, active and National Guard, her last assignment was working on drone surveillance systems before leaving in 2012. It was there that she learned she had participated in a war of terror, not a war on terror.
Rev. Shawna Foster served as a Nuclear, Biological Chemical Specialist with the Army National Guard. She was never deployed, however, as there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. This compelled her to join an organization of veterans dedicated to ending the societal problems that create endless war profiteering. She is now a Unitarian Universalist minister, and has spoken against war to the United Nations, for the Poor People’s Campaign, and on Democracy Now! As a leader on the board and the point person for the strategic planning process, she represents About Face: Veterans Against the War in our shared work with the Poor People’s Campaign.
Siri holds the civilian ally seat on the Board. She has worked extensively with About Face: Veterans Against the War since the beginning. She is the coordinator of the Bay Area GI Rights Network and organizes the Full Picture Coalition to bring veterans and youth into Bay Area schools to talk on issues of militarization and the MIC. She is a mother, animal lover and an artist.
Thuy graduated a year early from high school to enlist into the Army after the events of 9/11. She served from July 2003 to August 2008 as a Chemical Operations Specialist. Thuy deployed to Iraq in 2004 as the NBC NCO for 62nd QM CO, and returned to Iraq in 2007 with 181 CML CO 4th PLT and was tasked out to do various guard duties and Hazmat missions. She was discharged in 2008 after being stop-lossed for a year.