Communist Party initiates veterans committee

BY:John Bachtell| January 29, 2012

CHICAGO – With the Iraq war officially over, leaving 4,500 U.S. troops and 100,000 Iraqis dead plus tens of thousands wounded, the soldiers who fought and experienced the horror are returning home. They’re stepping out of one war zone and into another.

Faced with high rates of unemployment and discrimination in hiring, many are coping with horrific injuries and post traumatic stress disorder, fueling drug and alcohol abuse, and divorce and record suicide rates.

Others will simply to be shipped out again to Afghanistan.

The experience is causing veterans to draw basic conclusions about the real nature of U.S. foreign policy and even capitalism.

Understandably there’s been an influx of veterans, including combat veterans, into the ranks of the Communist Party USA and Young Communist League. I spoke with some of these veterans, who asked me to use their first names.

Among those who joined recently, and are organizing a new CPUSA veterans committee, is Greg, who served as a military police at Bagram Air Force base in Afghanistan.

He said he still gets nightmares from what he witnessed travelling back and forth between Bagram, Kabul and Kandahar.

“A lot of veterans like myself go to war and want to do the right thing for our country,” he said.

“We come home and can’t even find jobs, not even part-time. I’ve found a lot of companies are hesitant to hire veterans, because veterans may have mental or physical issues. That shouldn’t be.”

Greg said he’s also experienced racism and ageism.

“When I got home my old company hired me back like they were supposed to. But soon after, that they laid me off which happens to a lot of veterans,” Greg said.

“That really pushed me over the edge. I had read a lot of the history of the party. The next day I got on line and joined the CPUSA,” he said.

The son of a Detroit autoworker, Greg said his family told him he did the right thing when he went home for Thanksgiving.

“You were always the rebel of the family,” he said they told him.

Greg is active in the growing movement of the unemployed in Chicago, and is concerned about what the returning troops will do for work.

Another veteran, Frank, joined the CPUSA in September. He grew up east of Los Angeles, amid the foothills of the picturesque San Gabriel Mountains. Orange and avocado groves surrounded his hometown.

By the time he graduated high school they were replaced by a growing population and industry associated with the Vietnam War buildup.

Frank was drafted and spent two years in the Army. He was trained as a tank commander and saw combat in Vietnam, serving a tour of duty.

“Little by little, I realized in Vietnam, this supposed capitalist democracy wasn’t working. This wasn’t what the Vietnamese people needed. They would be much better off with socialism,” Frank said.

“When I got back there weren’t a lot of jobs for tank commanders and I had to deal with a lot of other things, nightmares of the things I’d seen. These young men and women returning [from Iraq] are dealing with similar things,” he said.

Read the full article at peoplesworld.org


Comments (7)

David | November 11, 2012 at 4:13 PM

This is fantastic! As a veteran, I see firsthand the failure of our militarized capitalist government. Socialism is the future!

William LaSalle | November 11, 2012 at 7:26 AM

I was a Boy Scout, served in the Navy, and was a volunteer Firefighter for 13 years.

As a veteran and an American I feel that this is wrong.

The United States of America does not need to become more like the cruel dictatorships of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

The NDAA and the Patriot Act and the Cyber Security Bill should be repealed, we have plenty of laws to protect our Freedoms and Rights with out these and these laws do not protect our Freedoms or Rights, but take them away. We need our Bill of Rights back. The Bill of Rights and our Constitution is what makes us different from dictatorships. It is why people from all over the world want to come here.

The Nations of the United Nations Human Rights Council do not support Human Rights or Freedoms or they would give the people of their own countries some human rights and freedoms.

The United Nations is for gun control, it is one of the ways they control their people.

United Nations Human Rights Council lately has included nations like these: China, Nigeria, Madagascar, Algeria, Egypt, Malaysia, Libya, Kenya, Qatar, Jordan, Indonesia, Pakistan, Malaysia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Saudi Arabia, and Iran.

Countries have sought membership of the Commission not to strengthen human rights but to protect themselves against criticism or to criticize others.

Jul 6, 2012 – Syria is Running for Seat on UN Human Rights Council and May Win

Odd that the nations in the council have the worst records on human rights and very little personal freedom isn’t it ?

Women and children in some of these countries have no rights at all. Their human rights records are horrible and continue to be horrible today.

Josef Stalin, former dictator of the USSR and murderer of 30 million people, infamously supported Gun control. Adolf Hitler supported gun control and murdered 7 million people. Chairman Mao suported gun control and was responsible for the death of 70 Million People. Guess where Kim Jong-il stood on Gun Control.

Take the arms away from your citizens and you have complete control.

If you want to be for Gun Control, you join a list of some of the most evil and murderous dictators of the world. For Socialism to take over in the United States, we will have the same thing here. Hundreds of millions dead and in Concentration Camps, the electrical power grid down, all communications down, all utilities down, transportation impossible, cities in flames, and more than likely a foreign power or NATO with troops here to help us in our hour of need.

Socialism is a very cute thing when they teach it in school, in real life through history it has been horrible and continues to be horrible today. It leads to poverty, starvation, and death. The secret police and Lawyers of the Government are rich and everyone else is poor and does not have Freedoms or Human Rights. I know that is not the way it is preached, that is the way it is in the world.

If you live in North Korea, Cuba, or China, you can not post something like this about your nice socialist government or they will come and get you and you will not be heard from again.

Brian | March 06, 2012 at 9:45 PM

As a veteran I feel confident in saying you commi fools are patently wrong about socialism. Spend a day as a subject in the socialist wonderland of N. Korea and when you come home you’ll be a conservative.

| March 03, 2012 at 10:09 AM

This is a very good thing. People with military training are good to have on the side of the workers.

Marcus | February 25, 2012 at 6:09 AM

I glad to hear this, its good news. A little good news in an ocean of Bad. I think most of these Veterans are realizing, maybe more than many of us, how horrible is the fate they have in store for us. The days of the Fordist capitalists are O-V-E-R over. Long over, but many, if not most Americans still think of our country in those terms, that if we all work hard and play by the rules the oligarchs will throw us a bone and we get to live a little piece of the “American dream”. Nope! The old bargain is off. In the NEW captialist reality, the new phase, will see us as virtual slaves in a snake pit of animal competition for limited jobs, resources, and oppurtunities, at each other throats while the earth dies of poisoning. That is how they want to see us.. They dont need us anymore to get what they want. All they want is more, and they will just take. “Austerity” is the new capitalist pig religion. Prepare to recieve the gospel – OR – we join together and fight back. The middle ground is shrinking and soon you’ll be forced off anyway.

John | February 17, 2012 at 9:28 PM

Looking good John. It looks like you’ve been drinking lots of grape juice and it turned your shirt red.

Than on the other hand you may have heard the report that women like the color red and it turns them on.

The story sucked, and I noticed that you don’t get many comments here. It may be that you all look unfriendly, and a little on the grumpy side. And you haven’t bathed in a month.

It could be that you are working for the capitalist system and the CIA, because the benifits are better.

Not going very far here John. At least in your business.

Never the less you fail post the comments. It resembles people voices being hidden. I like to hear all opinions.

Now today communism really isn’t communism it is actually capitalism being used with the communist slogan which actually is not correct because other wise you all would be vegan/vegetarian, and you would be aware that true communism is based upon low production, and low consumtion.

Which I imagine you do neither.

I don’t know you John, but I’m thinking that inside that you think that you are the greatest thing in the world, plus you look like an inverted gay, and of course after I say all this, tomarrow you are going to have to deal with it.

Controling the emotions John it is an amazing gift.

Controling the emotions. It is a gift of the creator.

Which gay interverts like yourselfs don’t know because secretly you use Marijuna. Pot smoking John makes you afraid John. It makes you more angry.

In time John communism will control the world. Just not in your time John.

This is my message from the future.

Not in your time.

Patrick | February 16, 2012 at 10:00 PM

As vet(88-95), unemployed and cynical, I now see the truth of what is happening in our country. To think that more civilians and more soldiers are doing to die in Iran after Iraq and Afghanistan compells me to support a party that will stand against it and the capitalist plutocracy that unleashes the hell of war on us again. I believe the CPUSA to be that party.

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