From Brian McLaren’s blog, we learn that this weekend, a group of combat vets, scholars, and clergy will testify at the “Truth Commission On Conscience in War.”
McLaren notes that but for a previous comitment, he would be there in person, but he will be following what happens, as it could truly be a historic moment.
The gathering will be at The Riverside Church, where The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his historic “Beyond Vietnam” speech. Five veterans-including two who just returned from visiting the countries where they fought, will reveal what they felt, witnessed, and came to understand about fighting in war.
They will be joined by a group of experts, including nationally recognized scholars and clergy. Testifiers include:
Tyler Boudreau, former US Marine Captain, Iraq War veteran, and author of Packing Inferno: The Unmaking of a Marine.
Joshua Casteel, former US Army Interrogator at Abu Ghraib, attended West Point, featured in the documentary, Soldiers of Conscience.
Jacob C. Diliberto, OEF and OIF US Marine veteran, Founder of “Veterans for Rethinking Afghanistan,” M.Div. Fuller Theological Seminary. Recently returned from trip to Afghanistan as a civilian.
LoganMehl-Laituri, US Army veteran with service in Iraq during OIF II, and co-founder of “Centurion’s Guild.” Recently returned from trip to Iraq as a civilian.
Camillo Mejia, US Army veteran and first service member to refuse to return to Iraq, author of Road from Ar Ramdi, featured in the documentary, Soldiers of Conscience.
Plus eight experts, including:
Dr. Jonathan Shay, VA clinical psychiatrist, national PTSD exeprt, Macarthur “Genius” winner, and author of Achilles in Vietnam and Odysseus in America.
Chris Hedges, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, former foreign correspondent for the New York Times, and author of War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning.
Chaplain Herman Keizer, Jr. Colonel US Army (retired) Vietnam veteran with 34 years of military service, and former chair of the National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces America.
This event will bring together veterans and over 80 religious, academic, and advocay leaders to honor and protect freedom of conscience in the military. It features testimony from recent veterans and national experts on moral, psychological, and legal dimensions of conscience and war.
WHEN: Sunday, March 21, 2010. 4:00-8:00 pm.
WHERE: The Riverside Church, 400 Riverside Dr. New York, NY.
The Truth Commission on Conscience in War is co-sponsored by a diverse coalition of over 50 religious, academic, advocacy and veterans groups. The March 21st public hearing will launch the Commission’s eight-month campaign to bring national attention to decisions of moral and religious conscience facing American service members, culminating with the Veterans Day release of the Commission’s Final Report.
For more details, visit www.conscienceinwar.org.
I will be posting follow-ups on this important topic.