Tag Archives: Veterans for Peace

Madison VFP Members Testify at VA Privatization Session

VFP members Larry Orr, Lincoln Grahlfs, and Will Williams listen to Suzanne Gordon present at the Madison VA.

Madison VFP Members Testify at VA Privatization Session

By Paul McMahon

Several experienced and VA-knowledgeable VFP members participated in a public information meeting on February 28, 2018 at the Madison Labor Temple about the future of VA medical care. The session focused on an issue that is critical to the future care of veterans in this country—namely the growing efforts to privatize the VA for corporate profit. There is a debate raging in Washington DC about how veterans should receive their health care. While there have always been attempts to privatize parts of veteran care, there have been renewed efforts after employees at the Phoenix VA blew the whistle on management fabricating patient wait lists and putting veterans at risk. Private industry and a Koch brothers-funded organization called the Concerned Veterans of America saw their opportunity and began an all-out assault campaign to take down the VA and farm it out to the private sector. The movement has been gaining support from both sides of the aisle in Washington under the guise of “helping our needy veterans” and “thanking them for their service.”

Perspective at the meeting was presented by Suzanne Gordon. Gordon is an American journalist and author who writes about healthcare delivery and health care systems and patient safety and nursing. She is author, co-author or editor of 18 books. She is currently working on a book about the innovations and clinical care at the Veterans Health Administration.

VFP members Lincoln Grahlfs, Larry Orr and Will Williams all spoke and testified about their excellent treatment at VA facilities. Ms. Gordon urged all present to contact Senators Baldwin, Johnson and their representative (Mark Pocan) to counter the privatization moves. Thanks to all who participated and helped us be better informed. Thank you especially to the American Federation of Government Employes for sponsoring this session and for some of this edited text.

More photos from the event can be found here.

Iconic devotion

Originally posted on isthmus.com  Go to the link to see more of David Giffey’s art.  David is a member of the Clarence Kailin Chapter of Veterans For Peace and editor of Long Shadows: Veterans’ Paths to Peace which shares the stories of 19 members of the chapter and was published in 2006.

Iconic devotion

David Giffey has spent four decades creating a sprawling Byzantine masterpiece


January 4, 2018

Armistice Day Concert at the Barrymore Theatre Sat., Nov. 11th

Saturday, November 11, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.
The Clarence Kailin Chapter 25 of Veterans For
Peace and The Progressive magazine present
in a Benefit for The Progressive
(U.S. Army Reserves 1965-1971, 317th Military History Detachment)
(Vietnam veteran 1970-1971, 212th and 595th Sentry Dog Companies, 89th Military Police Battalion)
(Vietnam veteran 1963-1970, 25th Infantry Division)
The Madison Gospelaires and Mad City Funk.
plus Emcee
(Vietnam veteran 1965-1966, combat journalist with the U.S. Army 1st Infantry Division)
Tickets: $15.00
$10.00 at the Door for Veterans and Unemployed.
Advance tickets only available on-line and by phone at (608) 241-8633, with $2.00 credit card convenience charge.


SATURDAY NOV. 11, 2017 at 7pm at the BARRYMORE THEATRE, 2090 Atwood Avenue in Madison, WI.  $15 at the door ($10 for veterans and unemployed).

“When I was a boy…all the people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month. It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another…Armistice Day has become Veterans’ Day. Armistice Day was sacred. Veterans’ Day is not.” – Kurt Vonnegut, World War II veteran and author.
“Armistice Day was a hallowed anniversary because it was supposed to protect future life from future wars. Veterans Day, instead, celebrates “heroes” and encourages others to dream of playing the hero themselves, covering themselves in valor.” – Rory Fanning, Iraq War veteran and conscientious objector.
“This year with a rise of hate and fear around the world it is as urgent as ever to ring the bells of peace. We in the U.S. must press our government to end reckless rhetoric and military interventions that endanger the entire world. Instead of celebrating militarism, we want to celebrate peace and all of humanity.” -Veterans for Peace 2017 action statement.
“This year with a rise of hate and fear around the world it is as urgent as ever to ring the bells of peace. We in the U.S. must press our government to end reckless rhetoric and military interventions that endanger the entire world. Instead of celebrating militarism, we want to celebrate peace and all of humanity.” -Veterans for Peace 2017 action statement.

Legendary folk musician and community organizer Si Kahn is returning to Madison this November for a special benefit concert on Armistice Day. Kahn will perform at the Barrymore Theatre on Saturday November 11th at 7pm along with Vietnam veteran musicians Jim Walktendonk and Will Williams, together with the Madison Gospelaires and Mad City Funk band. The show, co-sponsored by the Clarence Kailin Chapter 25 of Veterans For Peace and The Progressive magazine will be a benefit for The Progressive celebrating 108 years of publishing in Madison. David Giffey, artist and former combat journalist will emcee the show.

Si Kahn has been a musician and organizer for over 50 years, beginning as a volunteer with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in Arkansas during the Civil Rights movement. He has continued to live and work in the South, assisting in union struggles, working against the privatization of prisons, and most recently with “Musicians United,” a group working to protect the environment in Bristol Bay, Alaska. He has also written numerous theater works including “Joe Hill’s Last Will,” which was performed in Madison by John McCutcheon in 2015.

Jim Walktendonk has lived and performed in the Madison area for decades. His songs, many influenced by his time in Vietnam and his exposure to Agent Orange defoliant, are personal and powerful. He was featured in the 1987 HBO special “Welcome Home Concert.”

Will Williams and his wife Dot bring beautiful gospel harmonies to the stage. Will is a regular participant in peace and justice events in Madison, and was profiled in the 2009 documentary film “The Good Soldier.”

The Clarence Kailin Chapter 25 of Veterans For Peace is named for the late Spanish Civil War vet whose life was a model for a generation of activists in a variety of movements for peace, justice, and equality. Members will be on hand to share information about their current projects. The Progressive magazine was founded by “Fighting Bob” La Follette in January 1909. It has continued since that day as a voice for peace, social justice, and the common good. The print edition of the magazine is published bi-monthly, with daily content appearing on the web at www.progressive.org.

This years benefit concert is built around the theme, voiced by Veterans for Peace nationally, that November 11th should return to its roots as a day for peace – calling for an end to all wars as it did 99 years ago.

Advance tickets only available on-line at www.barrymorelive.com and by phone at (608) 241-8633, with $2.00 credit card convenience charge.

For more information, contact the Barrymore at 608-241-8864 or The Progressive at 608-257-4626.

Chapter 25 Member’s Art on Display at The Highground Thru August

June—Aug. 2017— Long Shadow: Memories of Vietnam The series consists of six mural-sized acrylic paintings on canvas based on memories and photos David Giffey took as a combat journalist with the Army 1st Infantry Division during the war in Vietnam. Other photographs and captions accompany the exhibit.

The Long Shadow series of paintings and photos by David Giffey, member of Chapter 25 Veterans for Peace, will be exhibited through August 30, 2017, at The Highground veterans’ memorial park, Neillsville, Wisconsin. Giffey also designed the dove mound earth sculpture built at The Highground in 1989.

The first of six mural-sized paintings in the Long Shadow exhibit is shown in the Learning Center building at The Highground. The six paintings are 8 feet x 6 feet,
and are accompanied by photos taken by David Giffey as a U.S. Army combat journalist with the 1st Infantry Division in Vietnam in 1965-66. The paintings were
completed between 1991 to 2013.

The Highground is placed in the center of the State of Wisconsin so that the location is a days trip away from any location in the state.  Please view the directions for the best way to get to us.  Please note that if you were using a GPS we strongly encourage you to follow our route as the GPS unit will want to take you down a different path. See this page on their website for directions.