News Release

Veterans Day

Manzel is on the board of Iraq Veterans Against the War and is executive director of GI Voice, which operates Coffee Strong near Fort Lewis in Washington State. He deployed to northern Iraq from 2004-2005 where he worked as a driver, machine gunner and vehicle commander. He was in the Army infantry from 2002-2006.

GI Voice said in a recent statement: “The Army has … repeatedly demonstrated that it is more interested in making soldiers ‘deployable’ than it is in helping them fully recover from PTSD and other mental health issues. This often leaves soldiers with few options other than to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. The Army routinely deploys soldiers who are clearly suicidal and homicidal. … It’s time to admit that the wars in southwest Asia are in no one’s best interests.” Manzel can also address racism in the military and how the military has dealt with soldiers who want to get out or are thinking of killing their commanding officers, known as “fragging.”

Reyes visited Afghanistan earlier this year. After enlisting in the Marine Corps, he served as an infantry rifleman. He was deployed in “Operation Enduring Freedom” (Afghanistan) 2001 and then “Operation Iraqi Freedom” (Iraq) 2003.

Reyes is a co-founding member of Veterans for Rethinking Afghanistan. He said today: “We’re sending our troops to a mission that’s destined to fail. No military strategy is going to do what we say we want in Afghanistan because we don’t have the support of the people — we’re supporting a failed state. Yet, in the latest supplemental, 90 percent went to military operations.” See “Afghan War Vets Patrol Halls of Congress to Stop Troop Escalation

Joyce and Kevin Lucey are the parents of Jeffrey Lucey, who committed suicide after being in Iraq for five months in 2004. Joyce Lucey said today: “Let us make sure that this Veterans Day be for all veterans — especially those who are in greatest need; those who lurk in the shadows of train and bus stations begging for money to either exist another day or to feed a habit; those who reel in so much pain for their souls have never left the field of battle and those who have surrendered to the darkness and sought out death to finally achieve peace and rest. …

“There have been months such as January, 2009 when more American soldiers committed suicide than died in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan combined — when the number of suicides have exceeded the formal count of those killed in action — and let us remember that these suicides are only those known.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167