Iraq Veterans Against the War invited Occupy Denver to a teach-in at the Mercury Cafe on April 11, 2012. Local chapter members Garett Reppenhagen, Kelly Doughtery, and Graham Clumpner opened with personal accounts of what led them to join IVAW and a discussion about what veterans and active duty service members are doing to resist war and militarism. We then heard from Matt Howard and Scott Olson, a vet wounded while peacefully protesting at Occupy Oakland, about a new IVAW project called Operation Recovery. Operation Recovery advocates for individuals suffering from trauma and for their right to remove themselves from the source of the trauma.
Scott Olsen served two tours in Iraq with the Marines. He was critically injured last October when the Oakland police shot him in the head with a projectile while he was peacefully protesting as part of Occupy Oakland. He is currently organizing with IVAW and Occupy in San Francisco and Oakland. Matt Howard also served in Iraq with the Marines. He is currently a resident organizer at Under the Hood Coffeehouse and GI Resource Center in Kileen, TX, the home of Ft. Hood Army base. Matt is organizing with active duty soldiers there around the Operation Recovery campaign which aims to stop the deployment of traumatized troops.
Graham Clumpner is a two-tour Afghanistan veteran and member of the Colorado IVAW chapter. Graham is an organizer with the Operation Recovery campaign and is currently organizing the Right to Heal tour which will bring soldiers and veterans to communities across the country to talk about issues of war and trauma.