Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan
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Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan featured testimony from U.S. veterans who served in those occupations, giving an accurate account of what is really happening day in and day out, on the ground.

This four-day event brought together veterans from across the country to testify about their experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan - and present video and photographic evidence. In addition, panels of scholars, veterans, journalists, and other specialists gave context to the testimony. These panels covered everything from the history of the GI resistance movement to the fight for veterans' health benefits and support.

Upcoming Winter Soldier Events

Winter Soldier Updates

  • Winter Soldier continues around the US

    IVAW members are organizing regional Winter Soldier events around the US in the coming months.

    More details and a complete list of events are available on the Winter Soldier page.

  • Winter Soldier comes to Madison

    Ben Thompson made a promise that he would talk about what he saw in Abu Ghraib. On Saturday, September 27th, he kept that promise, testifying at the local Winter Soldier event in Madison Wisconsin. Members from around the midwest joined Thompson to talk about their experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to continue the work IVAW started last March at Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan outside Washington DC.

    Nearly a dozen IVAW members testified at the University of Wisconsin before leading a march with supporters.

    Madison Winter Soldier Coverage:
    'Please listen,' say veterans of Iraq war The Capital Times
    Soldiers Protest Iraq War The Daily Cardinal
    Photo by: Becky Hansen

  • Northwest Winter Soldier

    On May 31, 2008, eighteen IVAW members came together at the Seattle Town Hall along with 800 supporters for Northwest Winter Soldier. Three panels were held during the event: Veterans, Solidarity, and GI Resistance. Members from as far as Eugene, OR, Walla Walla WA, and Idaho travelled to Seattle for the event, which was followed by an energetic march with IVAW members leading supporters into the streets to demand an end to the occupations. Read more for video and coverage of Northwest Winter Soldier.

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  • Winter Soldiers go to Capitol Hill

    On Thursday, May 15th, for the first time since the Iraq war began, boots-on-the-ground veterans will testify, under oath, before Congress about the effects of the occupation. Members of Iraq Veterans Against the War will present their testimony to the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

    Why May 15th matters: House and Senate voting on war funding

    This testimony comes at a critical time – on the same day as IVAW members will be describing the true costs of the war, Congress is likely to vote on the next appropriations bill to extend funding for the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan into 2009.

    What you can do: connect the dots

    Congress has heard from the Generals, and they've heard from the politicians, but before they vote to continue the occupation of Iraq, tell them that they need to hear from the eyewitnesses who have seen the results first hand.

    Call your congressional representatives right now and tell them to listen to Thursday's testimony before they vote. More information is available on the Winter Soldier on the Hill page.

    House contact information and Senate contact information.

  • Winter Soldiers in the Christian Science Monitor

    The Christian Science Monitor's interviewed IVAW members at Winter Soldier for an audio slideshow. Vincent Emanuele, a former Marine who served in Iraq from 2004 to 2005, commented on why he testified:

    "This is not about being unpatriotic. I think this is about being as patriotic as you can possibly be. Being honest and saying, 'Hey, listen, our government has been doing some bad things in a Middle Eastern country,' and that's ok to admit that. Because if we don't admit that, and don't learn from that, we're going to continue down this very same path."

    View the full slideshow

  • Gainesville, Florida Winter Soldier

    On April 8, 2008, IVAW's first regional Winter Soldier event was held at the University of Florida, Gainesville. Six testifiers spoke before an audience of over 200, and two new members joined IVAW at the event. Read more for video and coverage of the Gainesville, Florida Winter Soldier.

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  • Winter Soldiers march to Valley Forge

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    Dozens of members of IVAW participated in a 25-mile march in Philadelphia from March 1-2, starting at the Constitution Center and ending at Valley Forge. In spirit, Valley Forge is the first Winter Soldier event. "230 years ago, a group of soldiers gathered at Valley Forge to stand up against oppression on behalf of their people. And we aim to do the same here today," said Steve Mortillo, president of the Philadelphia chapter of IVAW and former Calvary Scout in Iraq.

    Read the Philadelphia Daily News' coverage of the Valley Forge March

  • Patriot Missiles: London Times Magazine Cover Story on Winter Soldier

    London Times Magazine Cover

    The Sunday Times Magazine, March 1, 2008 The veterans are not against the military and seek not to indict it – instead they seek to shine a light on the bigger picture: that the Abu Ghraib prison regime and the Haditha massacre of innocent Iraqis are not isolated incidents perpetrated by “bad seeds” as the military suggests, but evidence of an endemic problem. They will say they were tasked to do terrible things and point the finger up the chain of command, which ignores, diminishes or covers up routine abuse and atrocities.

    Some see it as their responsibility to speak out – like Jason Washburn, a US marine who did three tours in Iraq; Logan Laituri, a US Army forward observer in Iraq; and Perry O’Brien, an army medic deployed to Afghanistan in 2003. They believe that, as veterans, they are the most credible sources of information. They say they were put in immoral and often illegal positions. They will speak about what they saw, and what they were asked to do.

    Read the article from the London Sunday Times