Members of Iraq Veterans Against the War and their allies will be laying out “Eyes Wide Open,” the American Friends Service Committee’s widely acclaimed exhibit on the human costs of war, for the last time Monday, March 19, 2012 on the plaza in front of San Francisco City Hall from 9am to 5pm.
The event will be an observance of the ninth year since the US invasion of Iraq. The exhibit includes combat boots representing the 481 Californians who died in the Iraq war, along with civilian shoes to represent the thousands upon thousands of Iraqi civilians that lost their lives. The exhibit will be up for one day only and will be permanently retired Monday evening.
“It is our duty to make sure that the larger public both remembers the costs already incurred and is aware of struggles that continue,” said Dottie Guy, a member of IVAW. “Hundreds of thousands of service members and veterans will be coming home carrying deep moral, mental and physical injuries incurred in the war. How are they going to heal? Right now a service member is committing suicide every 36 hours. The war is not over for us; it is just inside us now.”
The veterans and civilian supporters of IVAW have requested that the public join them on City Hall plaza at noon on Monday where a press conference will be held. The press conference will include a reading of names of those who have lost their lives in the war and speakers to include Guy, Scott Olsen from IVAW, Ryan Holleran; an active duty soldier from Fort Hood, and Marilyn Saner from Military Families Speak Out among others.
Eyes Wide Open Livestream
Speeches and Names of the Deceased:
Silent vigil direct action:
The Human Cost of the Iraq War 2003-2012
A service member commits suicide every 36 hours.
There have been at least 2,129 military suicides since 2001.
At least 4,194 post 9/11 veterans died because of drug overdose, car crashes, and other ways tied to their service.
If we gave one second of our lives for each veteran suicide since 9/11, it equals 1 hour 45 minutes.
We have no data on how many Iraqi civilians have taken their own lives.
If we stood one second for each Iraqi civilian casualties, a low estimate would be 10 days 12 hours.
Military Deployments to War Zones
2,333,972 total service members deployed to Iraq & Afghanistan.
1,002,106 deployed twice or more to a war zone.
1,526,746 veterans are eligible for VA healthcare. Less than half are treated.
385,711 veterans have a mental health condition.
223,609 veterans are estimated to have PTSD.
1,526,746 veterans are eligible for VA benefits, but only 44% have filed claims.
Only 53% of veterans with PTSD are approved for their benefits claim.
23% of veterans are waiting VA decision on their medical claim.
Originally published at Iraq Veterans Against the War: San Francisco.