1000 Dead; Resource Guide for Returning Veterans

1000 U.S. Service-members dead in Iraq War

The number of U.S. service members dead in the Iraq War passed 1,000 for the first time, in a week marked by a bloody car-bombing which killed 7 Marines.  Many thousands more have been injured, with over 33,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans seeking health care from the VA to date.

Inevitably, the casualty toll will continue to rise, not only with deaths and injuries, but also from the psychological damage caused by war.  Many of these veterans will come back to find problems at home as well: reservists unable to return to jobs, suffering severe financial hardship, bankruptcy, and worse.

In an effort to do what we can to assist those returning veterans, Veterans for Common Sense will be producing a Resource Guide for Returning Veterans of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.  This is a very ambitious project.  Our plan is to produce the guide, make it available on the Internet, and print as many as 250,000 copies to distribute for free to military bases, National Guard armories, Vet Centers, and directly to units in the field. The total anticipated project cost (including printing and shipping) will be $100,000.

The Guide will include resources for returning veterans, including information on:

  • Where and how to get help if there are job or financial problems related to deployment
  • Resources for medical care
  • Resources for Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Bonuses (if any) offered by different states
  • Organizations providing assistance to active duty troops and veterans
  • Resources on how to file claims with the VA
  • Unions, community organizations and other institutions assisting redeploying veterans

We would like to enlist your help in producing this guide.  Please consider assisting in one of the following ways:

  • Volunteer:  We are seeking a group of volunteers to help us track down the resources useful for returning veterans and to help write portions of the document.  We will also be looking for assistance in copyediting, and a volunteer graphic designer to polish the final document and prepare it for the printer.  Volunteers in any of these areas will help us reduce the overall cost of the project.
  • Help us raise funds for the project:  Consider holding a house party in your area to raise funds for the project.  We’ll provide you with a house party kit to help you get started. In order to raise the hundred-thousand dollars necessary to complete this project, we’ll need all the help we can get.
  • Enlist local businesses:  We hope to enlist small and large businesses to help fund the project and provide discounted or free printing.  Do you own a small business or have a friend or acquaintance who does?  Ask them to consider sponsoring the Guide.  We’ll shortly be producing an overview of the Guide that you can take to local businesses to help them make a decision.
  • Enlist your church or community group:  Ask your church or community group to consider sponsoring the guide, or to take a collection to help raise the funds.
  • Help Us Identify Distribution points:  Call your local National Guard armories, public libraries, Vet Centers, labor unions, and other places in your community that could help us distribute the guide; find out how many they need, then send us the information.
  • Give directly.  Consider making a gift today to help support this project.  You can mark your gift to be restricted for the Guide only, or for general support for VCS. To make your gift today, visit https://secure.groundspring.org/dn/index.php?aid=3422

If you would like to help in any of these areas, please let us know right away by emailing contact@veteransforcommonsense.org

Upcoming Events

September 15, 2004: Meria Heller Radio Show
VCS Executive Director Charles Sheehan-Miles will be discussing the Honor the Legacy campaign, prospects for resolution in the Iraq war, and the increasing profile of veterans and military families in the upcoming election.
10 AM Pacific/1 PM Eastern.  Check http://www.meria.net for local station information.

September 17, 2004: Lakeland, Florida

VCS Executive Director Charles Sheehan-Miles will be speaking at the Lakeland Yacht Club in Lakeland, Florida at 7 PM, Friday, September 17.  929 Lake Hollingsworth Drive, Lakeland, Florida.

September 18, 2004: Tampa, Florida

VCS will hold a meet-up and discussion with Charles Sheehan-Miles at 7 PM, September 18, 2004 in Tampa, Florida.  Location TBA (if you live in Tampa, please get in touch with Charles to help determine the location.  Call 202-543-6176 or email charles@veteransforcommonsense.org)

September 26, 2004: VCS at Washington DC’s Mimi’s American Bistro

Join the VCS staff and board of directors at Washington DC’s Mimi’s American Bistro from 3:00 to 5:30 pm, September 26, 2004 to learn more about our work and how you can help.  If you live in the DC metro area, you should receive your invitation in the next two weeks.  If you don’t, but will be in the area, let us know!  Speakers will include Colonel Ann Wright, a veteran and 18-year diplomat who resigned from the State Department over the invasion of Iraq; and Charles Sheehan-Miles, VCS executive director.  If you can attend, please email contact@veteransforcommonsense.org or call 202-543-6176 (ask for Erin or Charles).

November 11, 2004:

The Portland, Maine Veterans for Peace Chapter is seeking individuals from VCS to March with them in the annual Veterans Day parade.  Interested in participating?  Contact Jack Russell at jafabussell@gwi.net or 207-772-1442.

Help VCS Grow

Do you know other veterans unsettled by the hard right-turn our national security policy has taken?  Veterans concerned about the lack of honesty and government accountability in Washington?

Do you have family, friends and colleagues who want to support veterans fighting for a more perfect union, for a stronger democracy, and for a wiser national security policy?

Or do you just know someone who thinks that Washington could stand to hear a little more common sense from veterans who have been there?

Invite them to join the ranks of Veterans for Common Sense.  We’re growing and making a difference, but we need your help to sustain and strengthen our efforts.  To send an invitation to your veteran friends, colleagues and family, simply visit:


Volunteers Needed

VCS is seeking a volunteer with a background in nonprofit law to consult with us on an occasional basis on legal issues.  Interested in helping?  Contact Charles Sheehan-Miles at charles@veteransforcommonsense.org

2004 Fundraising Drive

In order to continue our operation for the remainder of 2004, Veterans for Common Sense must raise $70,000 of which, thus far, we have raised $7100.  If you haven’t made a contribution, please consider doing so today by visiting our donation website at:

or you can send a check to:

Veterans for Common Sense
1101 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20003


Please visit Veterans for Common Sense at www.veteransforcommonsense.org

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