IVAW members have been trying to get John McCain's attention all week. On Monday, a formation of 60 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans marched in uniform to the Xcel center to deliver a briefing on veterans issues, but McCain's staff refused even to accept the report.
Last night, IVAW finally got McCain's attention when Adam Kokesh, IVAW board member, interrupted his speech with a sign reading "McCain Votes Against Vets."
McCain's record on veterans' issues is extremely poor. He received a "D" rating from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and the Disabled American Veterans reports that he voted for legislation benefiting veterans only 20% of the time.
IVAW Turned Back from Delivering Briefing to McCain
A formation of 60 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans marched in uniform to Xcel Energy Center on Monday to deliver a briefing on veterans’ issues to Senator McCain on the opening day of the Republican National Convention.
IVAW member Wes Davey led the march and attempted to deliver the briefing to Senator McCain’s staff. Despite numerous mailed, faxed, and in-person invitations to meet, McCain’s office refused to send anyone to receive the briefing. When Davey, a retired Army First Sergeant and former St. Paul police officer, attempted to deliver the briefing, he was escorted off the premises.
Davey is a father of five and grandfather of seven. He served 28 years in the Army, including a tour in Iraq in 2003. His oldest child has served two tours in Iraq. "After being an NCO for all those years, I care deeply about all those still serving in Iraq," said Davey about his reasons for organizing this march.
Members of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) marched to the Pepsi Center in Denver on Wednesday, August 27 where they were met by Phil Carter, Senator Obama’s Senior Veterans’ Liaison. Carter is negotiating the terms of a meeting with IVAW representatives. IVAW has requested a meeting with Senator Obama himself and his Senior Foreign Policy Advisor.
Senator McCain has consistently voted against veterans interests. In a recent report, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America gave Senator McCain a “D” rating to Senator Obama’s “B+.” Disabled American Veterans reports that Senator McCain only voted for legislation that benefited veterans 20% of the time while Senator Obama supported veterans’ needs 80% of the time.
IVAW will continue to press both political parties for its three points of unity: an immediate end to the occupation of Iraq, reparations for the Iraqi people, and full benefits for returning veterans.