Vigil at Military Recruiting Center in Honor of Father’s Day

Don’t Kill Other People. Don’t Kill Yourself. Don’t Join the Military.

On June 19, 2009, a vigil in honor of Father’s Day was held in front of the Military Recruiting Center on 41st Avenue in Capitola calling for an end to war in Iraq and in Afghanistan. Demonstrators held signs and banners to “Shut Down the War Machine”, “Bring Our Fathers Home” and “Fund Peoples’ Needs! Not War & Bank Bailouts”. Neither the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines were open for business during the demonstration. Advocates for peace stuffed flowers and literature into the door jams of all four recruiting offices.

The announcement for the vigil includes the following the poem, which was stuffed into the door jams of the recruiting offices, along with flowers.

Let us come together, then, in honor of this Father’s Day 2009,
to say to our men, our boys,
that we respect and cherish their emotions, their sensitivity,
their deep commitment and caring for the well being of the children
and the grandchildren, for families and friends, and the very Earth itself,
and that we stand with them in working toward
a more Peaceful and Loving World.

One of the banners held along 41st Avenue stated, “Stop Killing Innocent People.”

In a strange twist of fate, many soldiers are now killing themselves. Sgt. Samuel Nichols, USMC, reports, “In November of 2008 Army Spc. Trevor Hogue made it back home to Granite Bay, California from the Middle East. Trevor had just come back from spending 15 months in Baghdad, and although Trevor came back from Iraq uninjured, he witnessed unthinkable horror when half of his platoon was blown up before his very eyes. On June 11th, Trevor took his own life. He was 24 years old. Because Trevor’s death occurred after his discharge, his death is not included in the statistics for those killed in the war in Iraq.

On May 22, 2009 on West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz, as reported by Jennifer Squires, “An AWOL soldier committed suicide in a car parked at an ocean overlook on Friday afternoon, three days after he was reported missing from Fort Carson in Colorado.”

DemocracyNow! reports that, “As many as 143 soldiers took their own lives last year, the highest rate of suicides among US troops ever.”

Don’t Kill Other People. Don’t Kill Yourself. Don’t Join The Military.

Crossposted at Indybay.org.

Author: Bradley Allen

Bradley Allen is a reporter and photographer in the Monterey Bay Area, and a collective member of the San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center (Indybay). Follow him on social media: @BradleySA.