Iraq Veterans Group Refocuses as War Ends

Although the main goal of the anti-war group, Iraq Veterans Against the War was achieved with the December 18th withdrawal of all U.S. military personnel from Iraq, it is by no means the end of that organization. Indeed, as a recent story on NPR relates, the end of the war in Iraq has provided the organization an opportunity to reassess its impact and set new goals.

Michael Hoffman, who returned from Iraq disaffected, yet unwilling to desert his former comrades in arms, was pleased to discover Iraq Veterans Against the War, where he “found [his] first sense of pride of coming home from Iraq.”

He added, “Up ’til that point, I thought I was like the black sheep of the military – coming home and feeling against the war. And then I realized that there’s thousands upon thousands of soldiers who feel the exact same way when they come home.”

However, now that the war has ended, the group’s focus will shift away from campaigning for the full withdrawal of troops fromIraq and now center on ensuring that the legacy of the conflict is not forgotten and that its returning Veterans receive the full benefits they are due.

As Michael Hoffman, another Veteran of the war in Iraq told NPR, “Some of us are going to remain politically active. Some of us are going to move on to completely different things. But we need to be there for the next generation of veterans, to help them and teach them the lessons we learned in opposing our war, but also be there for them so they don’t fall apart.”

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