US VETERANS TO GO TO IRAQ TO REBUILD
United States military Veterans will go to Iraq to help rebuild water
treatment facilities that were either destroyed by U.S. and British bombers,
or rendered inoperable by the allies-led economic sanctions.
Veterans for Peace, Inc., a non-profit educational and humanitarian
organization with a long record of accomplishments since its creation in
1985, is proud to launch The Iraq Water Project. Veterans for Peace, Inc. is
an organization based in Washington, DC that holds 81 chapters nationwide as
well as several international affiliations. It is an accredited NGO
(Non-Governmental Organization) with the United Nations through their
Department of Public Information.
Waterborne diseases account for most of the child fatalities caused by
sanctions (at least 4,000 per month under the age of 5 years old). Under The
Iraq Water Project, Veterans for Peace (VFP) will restore water-cleansing
capabilities and provide 10 years of maintenance to four water-treatment
facilities located in a suburb of Basrah (a major city in the southeast)
called Abul Khaseeb. This area has been ravaged by 2 wars, sanctions, and
ongoing bombings. Furthermore, it has been virtually poisoned by the
aftereffects of depleted uranium weapons and ammunition use. The population
in the region that will be serviced by The Iraq Water Project totals
65,000-70,000 people. Funds to be raised for repair are between
In an unprecedented effort to further expose the devastating effects of
US-led sanctions on Iraq, two teams of former US service people-Viet Nam,
Korean War, and WW II veterans, as well as many Gulf War veterans-will enter
Iraq. They then will physically help rebuild these four water facilities. It
is the intent of The Iraq Water Project for the public to see US service
veterans working alongside Iraqi engineers. The first team of veterans is
scheduled to depart the US on October 2.
The Iraq Water Project is a partnership with Life for Relief and
another non-profit organization. Life is the only relief organization to
dual permission from both the Iraqi government and the US Treasury
Department, to do relief work in Iraq. It is they who will work out the
logistics inside Iraq.
The project is led by Co-Chairperson Fredy Champagne; VFP Board of Directors
member and Viet Nam veteran. In 1988, Mr. Champagne created a similar but
larger program in 1988 called the Veterans -
Viet Nam Restoration Project (VVRP). The VVRP provided American veterans and
others with opportunities to return to Viet Nam for humanitarian service.
VVRP operate(d) under the premise that returning to Viet Nam, working
directly on community projects and returning to former war zones where they
served, helps veterans heal the legacy of war.
The other Co-Chairperson is Edilith Eckart, longtime noted peace activist
recent winner of Physicians for Social Responsibility's "Broad Street
award. Ms. Eckart has been a long-standing member of VFP's Board of
Directors. She now devotes most of her energies to The Iraq Water Project.
The Project Coordinator for The Iraq Water Project is accomplished New York
City Playwright Michael John Carley. Mr. Carley is also VFP's United Nations
NGO Representative, for whom he has worked in Bosnia and Iraq, among others,
since 1991. Michael John Carley email@example.com
Fredy Champagne, Co-Chair, Iraq Water Project, P O Box 532,
Bayside, CA. 95524 Ph/Fax 707.943.1874
Member, Veterans for Peace, Inc. Board of Directors
Founder, Veterans - Viet Nam Restoration Project