As an American Combat Veteran of the war in Afghanistan, the most important thing I have learned from my experience is to listen to the words of the oppressed. I am a dual citizen with Canada and my mother is Canadian. My grandfather fought in World War II. I grew up with remembrance day as a powerful reminder of the sacrifices by those who came before. It wasn’t until I fought in a war that I realized there was another side to the story. For the people of the countries that we occupy there is no Remembrance day. There is no consideration of them as human beings. They are just a number next to the term “collateral damage”. This is unacceptable in a nation that claims to stand for Human Rights. Suraia Sahar and Laila Rashide stand up for the voices of those who cant speak for themselves. Those we are supposedly “saving”. What keeps us supporting these wars is the idea that they will someday lead to peace. These women are working towards peace. They are working towards a world where no Canadian soldier ever has to leave home to fight someone else’s war. That can only happen if we reconcile and learn to live with each other. As a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War I proudly stand in solidarity and support their fight to have a real discussion about the effects of our war in Afghanistan. Until we in the west do more listening instead of always dictating, we will never have peace.
U.S. Army 2004-2007
Served in Afghanistan