The Kansas City-area Veterans for Peace led a visit to the office of US Rep. Sharice Davids on Nov. 13. The letter the vets presented to Davids’ aide urges, “support the Ceasefire Now Resolution … the only way to prevent more bloodshed is de-escalation and an immediate ceasefire.” The letter notes, “Over 10,000 Palestinians and 1,400 Israelis have been killed, and many more are at risk every day the conflict continues,” and adds, “2.2 million people are under siege in Gaza, almost half of whom are children. Every human life is precious, and President Biden and Congress must act to save both Palestinian and Israeli lives.”
Before giving Davids’ aide their letter and other letters, three vets spoke with 14 others whose organizations co-signed the vets’ letter (see list below).
Chris Overfelt, author of the vets’ letter to Davids, thanked those attending (see https://youtube.com/shorts/XdY2iZHSIpQ). He himself should be doing his work as a mechanic, said Overfelt, but he had come to Davids’ office “at a time when Palestinian children are being massacred by the thousands with our money, and our elected officials will not even acknowledge their existence.”
In a second video (https://youtu.be/ApznUOE2V44), Overfelt continued, “The moral bankruptcy that has infected our political system has reached a new level by the funding by our elected officials of the massacre of children and babies by the Israeli people.” In a third video (https://youtu.be/Vyue7Yia_hs), Overfelt charged that politicians “continue to shovel our money hand over fist into the pockets of Raytheon, Boeing, and Lockheed-Martin.”
Theodore John, president of the local Veterans for Peace, recalled one of his war memories: “When I saw a dead Iraqi soldier that I helped kill, I thought that if things were different, we could have been friends. I would have loved to have tea with him.” Referring to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, he said, “We need to stop this madness.” He advised that, in a world filled with insanity, standing up for the right “is an act of bravery, an act of defiance.” (See https://youtu.be/UN9cUJSkQ6o.)
Bryson Ripley, saying he was and always will be a Marine, said that when he was on active duty, he was a corrections specialist, “so I know exactly what a prison looks like. You cannot move unless given permission. You cannot eat unless given permission. … Palestinians are in a prison, and the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) are the guards.” (See https://youtu.be/_YqC4UwTO7U.)
In a second video (https://youtube.com/shorts/JKd5jiau1No), Ripley presented the letter written by Overfelt for Veterans for Peace to an aide to Davids. Persons who represented various organizations in the KC area also signed that letter, Ripley explained. The groups were Common Defense (which endorsed Davids in her campaigns), Citizens for Justice in the Middle East, PeaceWorks KC, CODEPINK, United Methodists for Kairos Response, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and United for Peace and Justice.