“When I found myself in Iraq I went there for the first time in 2006 and it didn’t take me long, same point, it wasn’t about the liberation of Iraqi people, it was about the liberation of Iraqi oil fields.”- Scott Olsen on his first tour in Iraq
In the midst of the National Veterans for Peace Conference here in Madison, on our Friday August 9th show, guest host Andrés Thomas Conteris sat down with two veterans, Brian Willson and Scott Olsen, to discuss their tours and war experience and why they decided to get involved with Veterans for Peace. Brian Willson is a Vietnam Veteran who was drafted while he was in graduate school. He is also known in many communities for having participated in the Nuremberg Actions in 1987. On September 1st, 1987 when Willson and some other colleagues were blocking a train, Willson had announced he would posted for 40 days, but the train ended up running over him and cutting off his legs. Scott Olsen is an Iraq War veteran. Olsen, after graduating high school, decided to serve in the military in order to liberate Iraqi citizens; however, he to discovered that instead of liberating, he became a part of an occupying force. Both Willson and Olsen have chosen to leave behind their pasts of war and become peace activists. Over the course of the show, Willson and Olsen explained their long transition into civilian life after war and how becoming peace activists has helped them to connect with other veterans. In addition, they are now able to inform others of their own personal struggles and how they are coping with them. Willson also told listeners about his desire to help end torture in Guantanamo and Pelican Bay by having a fasting and how he has started a fasting movement with other peace activists. Conteris also told listeners about his own personal hunger strike and how he will fast, on water only, until September 5, 2013. He will then go to the White House after fasting 50 pounds or so and he has agreed that he will be feed the way that the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, which is through naso-gastric tube. Lastly, Conteris, Willson, and Olsen spoke to listeners about how they are going to continue to peacefully act through organizations such as the National Veterans for Peace Conference, closeguantanamo.net, and 2.7 Million Orange Ribbons.
If you would like to go watch and listen to Andres Thomas Conteris, Brian Willson, and Scott Olsen, they will all be at the National Veterans for Peace Conference this weekend. You can visit the National Veterans for Peace Conference website to find presentation and workshop times, speakers, and much more!