Stay Informed

Veterans raise awareness to access treatment for soldiers by Stephanie Jacksis. (KXXV News Channel 25, 11/11/11) “Veterans marched in Killeen’s parade on Friday to raise awareness about Operation Recovery. It’s a campaign aimed to help soldiers access treatment for psychological issues.” Watch video

Operation Recovery and Hoodstock III by Alice Embree. (The Rag Blog, 9/28/11) “For more than a decade, two declared wars have raged in Iraq and Afghanistan. War has traumatized civilian populations there and sent thousands of service members home suffering from trauma. With no end in sight to the wars, these servicemen and women face redeployment despite diagnoses of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and Military Sexual Trauma (MST).” Read more

Ex-soldier shares his steps to gain CO status by Amanda Kim Stairrett. (Killeen Daily Herald, 7/30/11) “Spc. Kyle Wesolowski was in Iraq with the 1st Cavalry Division’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team when he began to develop beliefs he harbored since high school.” View more

Detection of Blast-Related Traumatic Brain Injury in U.S. Military Personnel. (New England Journal of Medicine, 6/2/11) “ Blast-related traumatic brain injuries have been common in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, but fundamental questions about the nature of these injuries remain unanswered.” Read more

Activists build watchtower By Anthony Scott. (Fort Hood Herald, 5/31/11) “ Six veterans with Iraq Veterans Against the War and Under the Hood Soldier Outreach Center and Café marched up to reception desk of III Corps headquarters.” Read more

Children of deployed service members have increased rates of psychiatric hospitalization by Shari Roan, (Los Angeles Times, 5/17/11) “…little formal research has been directed at how children of deployed service members fare.” View more

More Than Half of Recent War Vets Treated by VA Are Struggling With Mental Health Problems by Joaquin Sapien. (ProPublica, 5/11/11) “Nearly 18,000 new patients were treated for mental health issues at VA facilities in the last three months of last year.” View more

New Survey: Few Troops Exposed to Bomb Blasts Are Screened For Concussion by T. Christian Miller, ProPublica, and Daniel Zwerdling, NPR. (5/10/11) “Medical officials failed to screen about 80 percent of soldiers and Marines who reported being within 50 meters of a roadside blast during their tour of duty.” View more

Standing Down by Dan Solomon. (The Texas Observer, 2/24/11) “A soldier can follow his conscience and refuse to fight, but his real struggle is just beginning.” View more

After Months of Waiting, Fort Hood Soldier Is Finally Acknowledged As a Conscientious Objector. (News release, 2/18/11) “Several months after returning from a combat tour in Iraq, Fort Hood soldier SPC Kyle Wesolowski submitted an application for a conscientious objector discharge based on his Buddhist faith.” View more

Army efforts don’t stem Fort Hood suicides by Gregg Zoroya. (USA Today, 1/6/11) “The Army’s largest post saw a record-high number of soldiers kill themselves in 2010 despite a mental health effort aimed at reversing the trend.” View more

Silent protest by Andy Ross. (Killeen Daily Herald, 12/18/10) “Holding banners and signs promoting peace, a group of faith-based, anti-war protesters demonstrated outside Fort Hood Saturday morning.” View more

Rally for Peace by Amanda Kim Stairrett. (Killeen Daily Herald, 10/31/2010) “Peace activists gathered in Killeen Monday morning to speak out against U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The event, which was hosted at Killeen’s Under the Hood Café, focused on Iraq and the president’s recent announcement that U.S. combat operations ended there today.” Read more

Military Suicides, PTSD at All-Time High by Jim Turpin. (The Rag Blog, 10/27/10) “With the population at Fort Hood ranging from 46,000 to 50,000 soldiers at any given time, the rate of suicide is four times the national average, based on Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates of 11.5 suicides per 100,000 people.” View more

Fort Hood soldiers say they are not getting the help they need. (KWTX.com, 10/25/10) View more

Buddhist Conscientious Objector Faces Persecution at Fort Hood. (News Release, 9/21/10) “Several months after returning from a combat tour in Iraq, Fort Hood soldier SPC Kyle Wesolowski submitted an application for a conscientious objector discharge based on his Buddhist faith.” View more

Fort Hood soldier suicides at record level. (mysanantonio.com, 9/20/10) “The end of Spc. Armando G. Aguilar’s life was ironic, and tragic, after a year of searching for hidden bombs in Iraq with Fort Hood’s 87th Sapper Company.” View more

Redeployment to Iraq Continues, but Not Without a Fight. (truthout, 9/8/10) “Despite the president’s pledge to end the war in Iraq within the month, one regiment awaits its redeployment and inspires a call to action.” View more

August 30, 2010, Under the Hood, Killeen, Texas. A press conference highlighted the Iraq debacle – its impact on US. soldiers, Iraqis, and funding to meet domestic needs. Dahlia Wasfi, Iraqi-American doctor and Rep. Lon Burnam from Fort Worth, Texas joined representatives from many groups including Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace, CodePink and Texas Labor Against the War.

August 29, 2010, Texas State Employees Union Hall. Austin, Texas. Iraqi-American doctor, Dahlia Wasfi spoke about the U.S. Policy in Iraq: A Humanitarian Catastrophe. This event was co-sponsored by Texas Labor Against the War and CodePink Austin.

Anti-war groups call for full troop withdrawal in Iraq. (News8Austin, 8/30/2010) “The day before President Barack Obama is scheduled to address the nation about the changing mission in Iraq, members of several anti-war groups gathered in Killeen with their own message.” Watch video

Protesters Block Fort Hood Troop Deployment. (The Rag Blog, 8/23/10) “Under darkness at about 4 a.m. this morning, buses carrying the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment (3rd ACR) to planes were stopped by a group of five protesters that included two Iraq veterans, one Afghanistan veteran, and one military spouse whose husband had been deployed to Iraq three times.” Read more

Protesters briefly block Fort Hood convoy. (Austin American-Statesman, 8/23/10) “Peace activists briefly stopped buses carrying Fort Hood soldiers shortly before 4 a.m. Monday outside the post’s Clarke Road gate.” View more

Activists protest war outside post by Amanda Kim Stairrett. (Killeen Daily Herald, 7/8/2010) “In conjunction with the sixth annual Iraq Veterans Against the War convention in Austin, Killeen’s Under the Hood Café…”

Army wives speak out for husbands with PTSD. (Temple Daily Telegram, 6/12/10) “Three Army wives are speaking out and going public protesting their husbands’ pending deployment to Iraq later this year.” View more

Military Neglecting Fort Hood Soldiers’ Medical Needs. (Truthout, 6/9/10) “At least 50 soldiers from Fort Hood who have medical profiles that should prohibit them from military training have been sent to the National Training Center (NTC) at Fort Irwin, California, regardless of their conditions.” View more

Memorial Day 2010 was a day to remember two friends, Nick Travis III and Lisa Morris, who were mainstays of the Texas peace community. (The Rag Blog, 6/6/10). View more

Eric Jasinski : Treating PTSD With Jail Time. (The Rag Blog, 4/22/10) “Eric Jasinski is being released from the Bell County Jail in Belton, Texas, tomorrow morning, April 24. He will have served 25 days of a 30-day sentence.” View more

Soldier sentenced to jail for failing to deploy to Iraq. (Temple Daily Telegram. 4/1/10) “A Fort Hood soldier who failed to deploy with his unit to Iraq in December 2007 will spend at least 27 days in the Bell County jail.” View more

Protesters demand release of AWOL soldier. (Kileen Daily Herald. 3/31/10) “A crowd gathered outside the Fort Hood East Gate Wednesday evening calling for the release of a soldier arrested after going absent without leave and refusing orders to deploy to Iraq.” View more

Army court martial of Eric Jasinski underway. (Courage to Resist. 3/31/10) “The Summary Court Martial of Army Spc Eric Jasinski is currently underway on Ft. Hood, Texas. After months of negotiations with the command, the Army opted to put Eric on trial after all.” View more

Soldier of Conscience Granted Clemency, Released. (truthout.org. 3/25/10) “Last August, Travis Bishop refused to serve in Afghanistan. Having filed for Conscientious Objector (CO) status, Bishop, based at Fort Hood, Texas, in the US Army’s 57th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, was court-martialed and sentenced to 12 months in a military brig. He was released from the brig today.” View more

Afghanistan War Resister Travis Bishop Released From Fort Lewis Brig. (Press release, 3/25/10) “War Resister and conscientious objector Travis Bishop was released from the stockade at Fort Lewis Thursday morning.” View more

Sgt. Travis Bishop, Ft. Hood war resister to get out early. (The Rag Blog, 2/10/10) “Sgt. Travis Bishop has learned that the 12-month sentence he is serving at Fort Lewis will be reduced by three months. Sgt. Bishop was sentenced at Fort Hood near Killeen, Texas, in August 2009 for refusing orders to deploy to Afghanistan.” View more

Former Oleo Strut staffer recalls Howard Zinn visit to Killeen. (The Rag Blog, 2/1/10) “I met many memorable individuals who stopped by the Oleo Strut coffeehouse in Killeen to see for themselves what was going on with the GI antiwar movement..” View more

The War Within. (Aljazeera.net, 2/5/10) “Out of two million US soldiers who have served in Afghanistan and Iraq, psychiatrists estimate that one in three may, at some point, develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).” View more

The Tyranny of Oil bookcover

Antonia Juhasz, author of The Tyranny of Oil: the World’s Most Powerful Industry—And What We Must Do To Stop It visited and spoke @ Under the Hood, December 12.

Peaceful protest. (Killeen Daily Herald. 1/16/10) “Despite chilly wind and rain, anti-war protesters huddled outside Fort Hood’s East Gate for six hours January 16 calling for increased mental health resources for soldiers and veterans.” View more

Afghanistan War: Peace groups urge end. (KXAN.com, 11/30/09) “Protesters marched outside U.S. Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas, in protest against sending more soldiers into war-torn Afgahnistan.” View more

Military Stress. (NBC Nightly News, 11/13/09) “Some pretty frightening new numbers are out tonight on the toll that these dual wars are taking on American troops…” View more

WARRIOR WRITERS

Warrior Writers held at
Under the Hood Cafe on Veteran’s Day.

In War There Are No Unwounded Soldiers. (The New York Times. 11/12/09) “Long before Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan gunned down dozens of soldiers in Fort Hood, Tex., Cynthia Thomas had warned of the dangers of combat stress.” Read more

Small crowd has vigil for shooting victims. (Killeen Daily Herald. 11/12/09) “One by one, a veteran set a white candle in front of Fort Hood’s East Gate Wednesday night in remembrance of the 13 people killed during the mass shooting on post one week ago.” Read more

Special Delivery: Ft. Hood GI Gives Letter to Obama. (The Rag Blog. 11/11/09) “President Obama visited Fort Hood today. He dropped by Michael Kern’s barracks. Michael handed President Obama a letter, saying, ‘Sir, IVAW has some concerns we’d like for you to address.’” Read more

(Press release, 11/10/09) “In wake of disaster, Obama snubs Fort Hood soldier with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).” View more

At Army Base, Some Violence Is Too Familiar. (The New York Times. 11/9/09) “Staff Sgt. Gilberto Mota, 35, and his wife, Diana, 30, an Army specialist, had returned to Fort Hood from Iraq last year when he used his gun to kill her, and then took his own life, the authorities say.” Read more

Grief and pain in Fort Hood after bitter betrayal of mass shooting. (The Observer, UK. 11/8/09) “Private Marquest Smith thought the first sounds of gunfire sounded like popcorn being cooked. It was only when people started to scream that he realised what was going on.” Read more

Troops’ mental health in spotlight. (Al Jazeera. 11/7/09) “After an army psychiatrist killed 13 people at a US military base in Texas, concerns are being raised about the mental health of the military staff.” Read more

Joint Statement from Under the Hood Café and the Fort Hood Chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War. (ivaw.org. 11/6/09) “Our community is distraught by the tragic shooting at Fort Hood yesterday. We extend our condolences to the families and friends of the victims.” Read more

Military experts discuss the attack at Fort Hood. (The Washington Post. 11/6/09) “War is violent, of course. In Iraq’s “triangle of death” in 2006, I stepped on an improvised explosive device and lost my arm and my leg.” Read more

Here’s to the Soldiers of Fort Hood. (The Rag Blog. 11/6/09) “A call from Seattle alerted me to the shootings at Fort Hood. I called friends at Under the Hood Coffeehouse in Killeen and left messages. Then I drove by Monkeywrench Books to see if Bobby (an antiwar ex-Marine) knew about our mutual friends. Bobby was keeping up through Facebook.” Read more

Ft. Hood Shootings Reflect Problems in U.S. Military. (The Rag Blog. 11/5/09) “At approximately 1:30 p.m. CST today, a soldier went on a shooting rampage at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas, killing 11 people and wounding at least 31…” Read more

Follow links to articles about Victor Agosto and Travis Bishop.

War objector gets out of jail. (Killeen Daily Herald. 8/30/09) “A Fort Hood soldier who was arrested for refusing orders to deploy to Afghanistan was released from jail Saturday.” Read more

Anti-war cafe opens in the shadow of Fort Hood. (Austin American-Statesman, 8/15/09) “Off-post, soldiers can let down their guard and open up about the war at Under the Hood cafe.” Read more

Another Soldier Refuses Afghanistan Deployment. (truthout.org. 8/12/09) “Sgt. Travis Bishop, who served 14 months in Baghdad with the 3rd Signal Brigade, faces a court-martial this Friday for refusing to deploy to Afghanistan.” Read more

Agosto pleaded guilty to charges during court-martial. (Killeen Daily Herald. 8/6/09) “A Fort Hood soldier who believes the war in Afghanistan is “immoral and unjust” was sentenced to a month in jail and stripped of his Army rank Wednesday for refusing orders to deploy to Afghanistan.” Read more

Injured Hearts, Injured Minds. (The Texas Observer. 8/7/09) “In March, Army Spc. Michael Kern, 22, returned to Fort Hood after a year and a day in Iraq. Shaken by his experience and disgusted with the war, Kern, a native of Riverside, California, tried to readjust by getting as hammered as possible.” Read more

The Summary Court Martial of SPC Victor Agosto. (The Rag Blog. 8/7/09) “In an unscripted emotional moment after the sentence was read, Victor Agosto ripped his rank off his uniform and put it in front of the Captain.” Read more

Soldier Who Didn’t Obey Is Jailed. (New York Times 8/5/09) “A soldier at Fort Hood who fought his deployment to Afghanistan and stopped obeying orders was sentenced to a month in jail and demoted to private in a military court on Wednesday morning.” Read more

Soldier of Conscience to be court-martialed, SPC Victor Agosto refuses deployment and faces incarceration from Army. (girightslawyer.com. 8/3/09) “A victim of the highly unpopular stop/loss policy, SPC Agosto, whose contract was over at the end of June, was told that his next assignment would be deployment to Afghanistan.” Read more

Cafe gives some Fort Hood soldiers the help they need. (News8Austin. 7/28/09) “Under the Hood Outreach and Cafe is a place where soldiers can speak freely about whatever they want, according to managers of the café.” Read more

Thanks to The Melancholy Ramblers who provided music for a successful benefit show for Under the Hood on Sunday, July 26 @ New World Deli, Austin, TX.

Christians for Peace hold march, prayer vigil. (Killeen Daily Herald. 7/19/09) “A group of 22 men, women and children gathered at the Under the Hood Café Saturday morning for the Christians for Peace silent march and prayer vigil to protest the war. Participants were reverent yet committed to their cause.” Read more

Fort Hood Soldier Refuses Deployment to Afghanistan. (New American Media. 7/17/09) An interview with Victor Agosto. Read more

Afghanistan War Resister to “Put the War on Trial” (Truthout.org. 7/14/09) “US Army Specialist Victor Agosto served a 13-month deployment in Iraq with the 57th Expeditionary Signal Battalion. ‘What I did there, I know I contributed to death and human suffering,’ Agosto told Truthout from Fort Hood, in Killeen, Texas.” Read more

Anti-war protesters exercise freedom to march. (Killeen Daily Herald. 5/26/09) “Get up. Get down. There’s an anti-war movement in this town.” Read more

“There’s No Way I’m Going to Deploy to Afghanistan”. (CommonDreams.org. 5/26/09) “‘It’s a matter of what I’m willing to live with,’ Specialist Victor Agosto of the U.S. Army, who is refusing orders to deploy to Afghanistan, explained to IPS. “I’m not willing to participate in this occupation, knowing it is completely wrong.”” Read more

Anti-War Memorial Day at Texas’ Fort Hood. (The Rag Blog. 5/26/09) “Killeen, Texas is nestled up to Fort Hood, the largest military base in North America, where soldiers are on a rapid deployment schedule to Afghanistan. On Memorial Day, I joined about 70 people at Under the Hood Café on College Street in Killeen for a peace march led by active duty soldiers.” Read more

Refusing to go to Afghanistan. (Socialist Worker. 5/26/09) “Although it read like the first line of a novel, everyone knew the Facebook post was nothing less than Army Spc. Victor Agosto’s declaration of independence. His friends at Under the Hood, an antiwar coffeehouse for soldiers in Killeen, Texas, knew what the sentence meant: Victor was going to refuse to deploy to Afghanistan.” Read more

Memorial Day Moments at Ft. Hood. (Dallas Dreamer. 5/26/09) “A big shout out to Yvette Richardson, her daughter Alicia, and Nel LaBar of Code Pink-FW and Peaceful Vocations (an informed enlistment campaign) for taking me along for the ride down to Fort Hood. It was truly a treat!” Read more

Coffee with the troops. (Examiner.com. 5/25/09) “Today is Memorial Day and the nation is celebrating and commemorating all that our troops have done for us. President Obama is paying his tribute at Arlington National Cemetery, neighborhoods around the country are lined with patriotism via American flags on mailboxes that will stay up post-independence day, and parades for the troops are held all over– but what exactly are we celebrating? Documentarians Sarah Garrahan and Lauren Sanders of UT went to Ft. Hood in Killeen, Texas to find out.” Read more

The Pressure of an Expanding War. (Tomdispatch.com. 5/21/09) “Yes, Stanley McChrystal is the general from the dark side (and proud of it). So the recent sacking of Afghan commander General David McKiernan after less than a year in the field and McChrystal’s appointment as the man to run the Afghan War seems to signal that the Obama administration is going for broke. It’s heading straight into what, in the Vietnam era, was known as ‘the big muddy.’” Read more

How Long Does It Take?. (CounterPunch, 5/22/09) “How long does it take a mild-mannered, antiwar, black professor of constitutional law, trained as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago, to become an enthusiastic sponsor of targeted assassinations, ‘decapitation’ strategies and remote-control bombing of mud houses the far end of the globe?” Read more

Ft. Hood GI Travis Bishop : ‘Why I Won’t Go’. (The Rag Blog, 5/20/09) “Why am I doing what I’m doing? Why am I resisting? Refusing? It wasn’t so long ago that I deployed to Iraq in support of the war on terror. I didn’t refuse then. Like a good Soldier, I did what I was told, and I spent 14 months stationed in Baghdad.” Read more

GI Victor Agosto : ‘There is No Way I Will Deploy to Afghanistan’. (The Rag Blog, 5/7/09) “In a photo taken at Under the Hood Café in Killeen, Texas, Victor Agosto stands soldier tall, flanked by two older women peace activists from Fort Worth. Victor doesn’t talk a lot, but when he does he reveals a resolve and intelligence that seems far older than his 23 years.” Read more | español (Madres Contra la Guerra)

Read the OLC torture memos here. (Salon.com, 4/16/09) “On Thursday afternoon, the Department of Justice released four memos produced by its Office of Legal Counsel during the Bush administration, all of which provide justification for CIA interrogation methods, some of which — like waterboarding — constitute torture.” Read more

County cuts out of KBR deal. (Newstreamz San Marcos, 4/8/09) “Under pressure from Hays County residents for the past two weeks, county commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to reverse a decision they made in February to award KBR (Kellogg, Brown and Root) an engineering design services contract worth more than $600,000.” Read more

Entrevista a Cynthia Thomas (Univision, 3/25/09) “Esposa de soldado denuncia mayor atención para quienes regresan de la guerra.” part one | part two

Karin Fleming, Shot From the Front Lines: One soldier documents his experiences (Buzzsaw, 3/1/09) “The soldier pokes through a fire pit, pointing out the remains of the person whose body was burned there.” Read more

William Astore, Whose Military Is It Anyway? (TomDispatch.com, 2/15/09) “According to the New York Times, suicides in the U.S. Army this January alone could total as many as 24.” Read more

New café a refuge for dissent (Killeen Daily Herald, 1/6/09). “As an Army wife of 17 years, Cindy Thomas struggled through her husband’s three deployments to Iraq.” Read more

Winter Soldier Hearings in Austin, Texas. 1-5 pm, Saturday, February 28, 2009; Central Presbyterian Church, 200 East 8th St. (Brazos & 8th). Read more

Iraq vet says he won’t return (Gazette-Times, 11/11/08). “After two deployments, Marine doesn’t want to go back, could face jail.” Read more

This Veterans Day, U.S. Soldiers Say ‘Stop the War’ (AlterNet, 11/11/08). “An open letter from war resisters calls for an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.” Read more

The Dangerous Consequences of Recruiting Nazis to Serve in Iraq (Unity News, 11/1/08). “The U.S. military appears to be teaching a skinhead with genocide on his mind how to become a tactical bomb maker.” Read more

Extended war tours likely to continue (USA Today, 10/26/08). “The Army’s use of involuntary extensions of combat duty will likely continue through 2009 despite pledges earlier this year by top military officials to reduce reliance on the policy known as stop loss.” Read more

A closer look at military suicides (Tuscaloosa News, 10/30/08). “An article in today’s New York Times that was on its Web site yesterday says that the U.S. Army and the National Institute of Mental Health are collaborating in a five-year project to identify the causes and risk factors of suicide.” Read more

Army recruiters threaten high school students (Kvue, 7/28/08). “HOUSTON — With a war in Iraq and fighting on the rise in Afghanistan, the struggle to bring in new U.S. Army recruits is heating up again.” Read more

Iraq sees hope of US troop withdrawal by 2010 (AP, 7/21/08). “Iraq’s government welcomed Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on Monday with word that it apparently shares his hope that U.S. combat forces could leave by 2010.” Read more

Jail inmates hear from armed forces recruiter (Newport News Times, 7/16/08). “The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office paired with the Newport-based Army recruiter on Saturday July 12, in an effort to convey information to jail inmates about the possibility of serving in the U.S. armed forces.” Read more

Army criticizes itself in Iraq invasion report (CNN, 6/30/08). “The U.S. Army’s official history of the Iraq war shows military chiefs made mistake after mistake in the early months of the conflict.” Read more

Was Press a War ‘Enabler’? 2 Offer a Nod From Inside (NYTimes, 5/30/08). “In his new memoir, “What Happened,” Scott McClellan, the former White House press secretary, said the national news media neglected their watchdog role in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, calling reporters “complicit enablers” of the Bush administration’s push for war.” Read more

U.S. Army’s ‘stop-loss’ orders up dramatically over last year (LA Times, 5/9/08). “The number of soldiers forced to remain in the Army involuntarily under the military’s controversial “stop-loss” program has risen sharply since the Pentagon extended combat tours last year, officials said Thursday.”

Killeen Poetry Slam

October 12, 2012 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Monthly on 2nd Friday – forever

Under the Hood Cafe
17 N College St
Killeen,TX 76541
USA

Killeen Poetry Slam
254-319-6594
kpslam@facebook.com

Every 2nd & 4th Friday Under the Hood is the venue for The Killeen Poetry Slam #2 ranked poetry slam team in the country!

It’s a space for poets… but if you sing, rap, mime… whatever… it’s your mic.

Announcing the Fort Hood Report

Fort Hood Report launch We at Under the Hood are thrilled to announce the publication of the Fort Hood Report, released in partnership with Iraq Veterans Against the War as part of their Operation Recovery campaign.

With 3 years of outreach at Fort Hood; more than a thousand conversations with soldiers, veterans and their families; and 31 in-depth testimonials, Operation Recovery: Fort Hood Soldiers and Veterans Testify on the Right to Heal (or ‘the Fort Hood Testimony Report’) is a hard look at what the costs of more than a decade of war have had on one of the largest military community’s in the country.

The testimonies in the report offer a rare glimpse into the impact of multiple deployments, overmedication, stigma, as well as the subsequent increase in disciplinary infractions and discharges accompanying the military’s ‘drawdown’. And those don’t even begin to complete the picture. Accompanying the testimonials is a findings section highlighting trends identified and a recommendations section aimed squarely at the military and Congress.

Coming out of Iraq Veterans Against the War and Civilian Soldier Alliance’s campaign Operation Recovery: Stop the Deployment of Traumatized Troops, this report began through the efforts of active duty soldiers based at Under the Hood interviewing their peers to help highlight common stories in order to break a sense of isolation and hopefully to spread awareness of them. With the deep commitment and tireless work from Under the Hood Cafe & Outreach Center and the support of the International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School, this report is finally a reality. Please take the time to read some of these testimonials and reflect on them.

Travis Bishop, War Resister

Travis Bishop is from Louisville, Kentucky and enlisted in the military in April of 2004. He was deployed to Korea in October 2004 for one year and was then transferred to Ft. Hood and the 3rd Signal Brigade in November 2005. Travis deployed to Camp Victory in Baghdad, Iraq from August 2006-2007. In February 2008, he was transferred to the 57th Signal Battalion. He has served 5 years active duty in the United States Army and has recently refused orders to Afghanistan based on religious reasons. He is currently stationed at Ft. Hood, TX.

Statement

“Why am I doing what I’m doing? Why am I resisting? Refusing? It wasn’t so long ago that I deployed to Iraq in support of the war on terror. I didn’t refuse then. Like a good Soldier, I did what I was told, and I spent 14 months stationed in Baghdad. It was a quiet enough deployment, I suppose. Mortars and rockets flew over the walls with unnerving frequency, but otherwise, it felt more like a move to a different duty station than a deployment to a warzone.” Read more.

Victor Agosto, War Resister

Victor Agosto is from Miami, FL and joined the military in August 2005. A member of C Company, 57th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, Victor was deployed to FOB Q’West in Iraq for 13 months. He has currently served 3 years and 10 months active duty in the United States Army. Victor has recently refused orders to Afghanistan based on moral reasons. He is stationed at Ft. Hood, TX.

Statement

“There is no way I will deploy to Afghanistan. The occupation is immoral and unjust. It does not make the American people any safer. It has the opposite effect.”

Our History

Since its founding in 2009, UTH has been actively organizing GIs in the Ft. Hood/Killeen community. Here’s a short history of how all this happens behind the scenes, and who makes it all happen.  We have so much gratitude and appreciation for the hard work over the years of UTH board members, staff, and volunteers.

The Fort Hood Support Network (FHSN) was incorporated in June 2008 with the purpose of opening Under the Hood. Cindy Thomas, Tom Cleaver, Jeff Segal, Alice Embree and Fran Clark were original board members charged with fundraising and locating space in Killeen. Cindy served as the first manager of UTH for three years after UTH opened in early 2009. Victor Agosto and Kyle Wesolowski, Fort Hood veterans, also served on the Board. Heidi Turpin joined the Board in 2012. Heidi and Alice served as the Operations Committee, taking on the day-to-day administrative tasks and work of fundraising and financial management.

In 2013, Heidi and Alice put out a call for to partner groups and allies for support and engagement in order to continue UTH operations. In response, individuals and organizations from within the US anti-war movement formed a new board and advisory committee with a commitment to work on an organizational development plan and visioning process, building on the existing strengths of UTH and providing for its long-term sustainability. For more info about those folks, see our Leadership page.

UTH has built a solid working relationship with organizations that serve servicemembers and veterans, such as Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) and the Military Law Task Force. This relationship includes programs, trainings and day to day advise and input. Today, members of those organizations serve as staff and on the FHSN advisory committee.

The face, and heart, of our work is the staff person on the ground in Killeen.

About The Tour

Coffee Strong, The Clearing Barrel, and Under the Hood Cafe and Outreach Center are GI coffeehouses located next to major military installations in Washington State, Germany and Texas.
We provide service members, veterans and their families’ safe places for healing, to exchange unfiltered information, and to speak about our concerns and experiences.

We’re joining together for The GI Coffeehouse Tour starting on February 13th in San Diego, CA and ending in Everett, WA on March 2nd.  Help us support the rights of service members, veterans and military families while challenging war and militarism by supporting the GI Coffeehouse Tour.  Join us on a tour stop in California, Oregon or Washington, make a tax-deductible donation online today, or learn more about the work of the coffeehouses including our connection to Vietnam-era GI coffeehouses.

Tour Blog

Follow the tour as it heads up the west coast!

Our tour blog chronicles the adventures of representatives from the The Clearing Barrel, Coffee Strong and Under the Hood, as they travel along the west coast sharing their story and seeking support.

Help us share the story of the GI Coffee House West Cost Tour with others! Includes highlights and photos from our stops in, San Diego, CA, Fountain View, CA and Los Angeles, CA. More to come, follow our blog.

Dates of Events

Wednesday Feb. 19: San Jose, CA

Location:
San Jose Peace and Justice Center
48 S 7th St
San Jose, CA 95112
Time: 7pm
Local Sponsors:  Veterans for Peace, Chapter 101
For more info: sanjosepeace.org, vfp101.org

Friday – Saturday Feb. 21-22: San Francisco, CA

“Grounds for Dissent”
A Pop-Up GI Coffeehouse

Location:
Veterans Community Media Center
1720 Market St.
San Francisco CA

We invite you to join us in launching “Grounds for Dissent”  a Pop-Up GI Coffeehouse. This Coffeehouse will be ours to build and enjoy for just the one weekend, but hopefully it will also be fertile grounds for us to grow deeper roots to invigorate and celebrate not just the Coffeehouse Movement but our common concerns, larger connections and commitments.

FRIDAY, FEB 21:
4pm: Street flyering
6pm: GRAND OPENING!
FOOD, Beverage, Conviviality.
War is Trauma AND Queer Anti-militarist Poster Exhibit
7pm: Meet the Coffeehouse Touring party.
8pm+ DANCE PARTY!

SATURDAY, FEB 22:
10Am CAFE opens
11am Workshop with BAY-Peace (Better Alternatives for Youth) VETERANS PLEASE ATTEND
1:30-3pm Warrior Writers Workshop: A VETERANS writing space. Facilitated by veteran, Aaron Hughes
4-5:30 Workshop led by Critical Resistance on militarized policing and community resistance.
6pm Facilitated Panel Discussion with the Coffeehouse Tour Members “Enrooting Spaces of Resistance”
7:30 pm OPEN MIC!

Support Under the Hood

The Fort Hood Support Network (FHSN) is a Texas non-profit corporation with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.

donateDonate to Under the Hood quickly and securely using Click and Pledge.

Checks may be sent to:
Fort Hood Support Network
P.O. Box 16174
Austin, TX 78761-6174

You may also use the Paypal to make donations.

Under the Hood Wishlist
We are also in need of the following in-kind donations.
Please contact us if you can provide any of these!

House Supplies:

  • Toilet paper
  • Paper towels
  • Glass Mason jars

Office Supplies:

  • Windows PC/laptop for office use
  • Desktop computers for public use
  • XP or Vista Operating System
  • Paper Shredder

Coffeehouse Supplies:

  • Gas Grill
  • Espresso Machine
  • Press pot / Coffee Carafes
  • French Presses
  • Speakers / Sound system / boom box
  • Landscaping resources – drought resistant flowers
  • Plants for inside coffeehouse
  • Cleaning supplies

Gift Cards:

  • Printing Gift Certificates / free printing – kinkos? staples? whom?
  • Home Depot gift cards
  • Food gift certificates for groceries/supplies

Services:

  • Printing

Links to articles about Victor Agosto

Goodbye to College Street

Today, the Fort Hood Support Network, which operates Under the Hood, emailed the following message to supporters:

uthfront.jpgFor six years, the Under the Hood Café and Outreach Center at 17 College in Killeen Texas has served the GI community at Ft. Hood with services, resources, classes, music, poetry, socializing and just a comfortable place for unwinding off base. We should all be proud of the work done, the lives touched and the issues addressed by Under the Hood.

But this year the Fort Hood Support Network board/advisory board has been assessing our effectiveness, abilities and funding, and we have decided to transition to new projects and modes of outreach.

Therefore … we will be leaving the 17 College Street location by the end of the year.

This building has been the launching pad of some pretty amazing work, the site of some epic debates, radical strategy-making, and totally awesome events. It has been the birthplace of many deep, deep friendships, and incredible personal and political growth. It has been a sanctuary and a refuge. Those are powerful connections to the space, but structural and management issues that have grown more and more challenging over the six years of our residence, along with a decline in attendance at events and utilization of the space, have led us to rethink our options.

We have determined that it is not in the best interests of our long-term mission to immediately relocate to another building. The landscape of the movement and the needs of service members are changing. We feel that we need to have a lighter and more flexible approach to serving the GIs at Fort Hood (and beyond). We need to explore new options.

With the agreement of our former part-time director, we have dissolved the staff position in favor of providing stipends to multiple individuals for specific projects and work until we make some long-term decisions.

We are actually quite excited about the potential that a fresh look at the needs of Fort Hood service members avails us. Some of the ideas that we are exploring include a mobile café/resource center, popup shop-style service space, expanded online resources, and a low-power FM radio station for which we have already received FCC approval (more on that soon!)

All in all, Under the Hood is still needed, and the Fort Hood Support Network still has a lot of energy and enthusiasm for the work. Our presence in Killeen is going to be different, but it is not going away.

We will always remember and celebrate the powerful work that has been done at 17 College. Closing that door for the last time won’t be easy. But we trust your commitment to Under the Hood has not diminished any more than ours has, and will join us in supporting its future as you have its past

During this coming holiday season, please remember Under the Hood in your charitable giving. Your donations will help us to keep working on and promoting the radio project, and develop new project ideas as they are ready.

Thank you for your support and presence during our awesome tenure at 17 College. Here’s to our next chapter!

Oleo Strut History

Under The Hood is being launched in the spirit of its predecessor coffeehouse, The Oleo Strut. Below is a vivid history of The Oleo Strut, written by someone who was there. The Oleo Strut Coffeehouse And The G.I. Antiwar Movement By: Thomas McKelvey Cleaver Oleo Strut PremarchWriting in the June, 1971, Armed Forces Journal, Colonel Robert D. Heinl, Jr. stated: “By every conceivable indicator, our army that now remains in Vietnam is in a state of approaching collapse, with individual units avoiding or having refused combat, murdering their officers and noncommissioned officers, drug-ridden and dispirited where not near-mutinous… Word of the death of officers will bring cheers at troop movies or in bivouacs of certain units. In one such division, the morale-plagued Americal, fraggings during 1971 have been running about one a week…. As early as mid-1969 an entire company of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade publicly sat down on the battlefield. Later that year, another rifle company, from the famed 1st Air Cavalry Division, flatly refused — on CBS TV — to advance down a dangerous trail… Combat refusal has been precipitated again on the frontier of Laos by Troop B, 1st Cavalry’s mass refusal to recapture their captain’s command vehicle containing communication gear, codes and other secret operation orders… ” Shortly after this article appeared, President Nixon announced the new policy of “Vietnamization” and direct American combat operations came to an end within a year. In 1971, desertion rates were soaring, re-enlistment rates plummeting, and the United States Army was not considered reliable enough to enter major combat. Today, the G.I. Antiwar movement that accomplished this is little-known, but it was the threat of soldiers not being willing to fight and die that stopped that war. Soldiers refusing to fight is the most upsetting image to all of those who claim to rule, since the monopoly of armed force is their ultimate weapon to retain their power. Much of what they have promoted in the 37 years since Heinl wrote that article — the all-volunteer Army, the Rambo version of Vietnam, the resurgence of patriotism that crested with the invasion of Iraq in 2003 –has been in direct response to the specter of GIs deciding a war wasn’t worth it. The war against the war within the American military began almost as soon as America became directly involved in Vietnam, which can be dated to the so-called “Tonkin Gulf Incident,” the excuse for direct American combat. Oleo StrutBy 1966, veterans like my old friend, former Army intelligence specialist the late Jeff Sharlet – who would later found “Vietnam GI,” the major GI antiwar newspaper – had returned from their tour of duty and were trying to tell those back in America who they met at college what the real truth was about the war they had served in. Many in the campus antiwar movement did not respond to we veterans, with some purists telling us we were part of the crime for our participation. Somehow we were neither fish nor fowl to many. The result was that veterans began searching each other out. Eventually, in early 1967, Vietnam Veterans Against the War was founded in New York City and took part as an organization in the spring mobilization against the war. No one was more surprised than the veterans at the positive response they got from bystanders as they marched together as opponents of the war they had fought. By 1967, Fred Gardner, a former editor of the harvard Crimson who had served as an officer in Southeast Asia, had returned to civilian life.By September, Fred had raised enough money to start the organization he had been thinking about for two years: an group that would bring the antiwar movement to the GIs still in the Army who opposed the war. In September 1967, Gardner and a group of friends arrived in Columbia, South Carolina, home of Fort Jackson. Jokingly known as the “UFO,” a play on the military support organization USO, the coffeehouse quickly became the only integrated place in the city (this was the old South of the 1960s). The regulars soon consisted not just of black and white GIs, but also students from the local university. A few months later, Gardner returned to San Francisco where he established Summer Of Support (later called “Support Our Soldiers”) which was to coordinate the spread of similar coffeehouses to other Army bases. The first two were to be outside Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, and outside Fort Polk in Louisiana. The Missouri coffeehouse managed to open, while the organizers sent to Louisiana were run out of town before they could even obtain a site for a coffeehouse. Fort Hood was chosen to replace the Fort Polk operation. At the time, no one knew what a momentous decision this would be. Oleo StrutIn August, 1967, riots broke out in Detroit, and the 101st Airborne Division was sent to stop it. This was the first time active Army troops had been used to quell a civil disturbance in the United States since the Civil War. In April 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated, and riots spread across the country. In response, the Army was called on to establish an organization for suppression of riots that were feared that summer as the time got closer and closer to the Democratic National Convention, to be held in Chicago that August. Fort Hood in 1968 was the main base where Vietnam veterans who had six months or less left on their enlistments were sent upon completion of their tour of duty in the war. Somehow, the Army thought that these combat veterans would be perfect for use in suppressing the war at home. The Army brass weren’t the only ones who didn’t know the mood of the troops. Neither did we. These were men who had experienced the Tet Offensive, men who had known the truth before Tet – that America was not winning the Vietnam War. They were turned off from their experience and unwilling to participate in a new war, a war against their fellow citizens. Killeen at the time was a typical “old South” garrison town. The town lived off the soldiers, but hated them at the same time. Soldiers at Fort Hood were seen by the businessmen in town as being there strictly for the picking. Avenue D was a collection of loan sharks (borrow $30 and pay back $42 – the payday loan industry’s been around a long time), pin ball palaces, sharp clothing stores – one had $100 alligator shoes, a brilliant green Nehru jacket in the window with 12 feet of racks stacked with cossack shirts in satin colors – insurance brokers, and overpriced jewelry stores. If a soldier walked into one of these establishments and didn’t pull out his billfold within ten minutes, he’d be asked to leave. Local toughs – known by the derogatory Texan term “goat ropers” – carried on their own war against the GIs, who they would try and catch alone at night and with assault and robbery on their minds. The local police generally sided with the “good old boys” against the “outsider” GIs. Oleo StrutThe town was as segregated as any in the South; there was an active Klavern of the KKK to enforce segregation. Killeen had grown from a population of 500 in 1940 (when Fort Hood was established to train Patton’s coming armored corps) to around 35,000 by 1968. It was not a place that was going to welcome “outside agitators” from California and Massachusetts, as we were. I remember an organizer for the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee who visited that September and told me he considered Killeen more dangerous than Sunflower County, Mississippi. The Oleo Strut opened on July 4, 1968, with a public picnic in the local park. GIs had been checking the place out over the previous month as the staff worked to set it up, and there was a large enough crowd that a reporter from the New York Times thought the event important enough to write a story about, that received national play. The coffeehouse was given the name “The Oleo Strut.” An oleo strut is a shock absorber, and we saw this as a metaphor for what we hoped the place would be for the soldiers we hoped to work with. We had no idea what a shock we were about to absorb. Within a week of opening, soldiers were coming in at night to tell us of riot control training they were taking part in during the day. They’d been told they were going to Chicago to “fight the hippies and the commies” who were going to show up for the Democratic Convention the next month. They were terribly upset at the thought of having to possibly open fire on Americans who they agreed with about the war and the need for change here in America. Soldiers were talking about deserting, about running away to Mexico, about “doing something.” Our response was a little yellow sticker, two inches by two inches. On it was a white hand flashing the “peace sign,” backed by a black fist. We printed up 1,000 of them and passed them out. GIs said they would put these on their helmets if they were called into the streets, to identify themselves to the protestors. At this point, the Army got very upset with us. Oleo StrutThe Monday of the convention, 5,000 troops were ordered to board the transports. They were headed for the Great Lakes Naval Training Center in Chicago, as backup for the Chicago Police Department. As the soldiers were preparing to board the airplanes, the bravest act of antiwar protest I ever knew of happened. 43 Black soldiers, all combat veterans, refused to board the airplanes. Due to the self-separation of the races on the base, we had no idea this was going to happen. The Black troops had organized themselves. They knew what they were going to get for this. The minimum qualification to be one of those who would refuse was the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart, so the Army wouldn’t be able to call them cowards. As this was happening on the base, we were on the way from our house to the Oleo Strut, when we were stopped by the Killeen Police. A search of the car found drugs – we knew immediately we were set up, since we were completely drug-free. We also knew immediately what a terrible threat this was, since at that time the possession of a joint could get one a sentence of 20 years in Huntsville Prison, as had recently happened to an SNCC organizer in Houston who’d had marijuana planted on him by an undercover officer. We were scared. In the end, only Josh Gould was held, since he had been identified as our “leader.” He would stay in the Bell County Jail for six weeks until the Bell County Grand Jury would vote a “no bill” on the indictment, thanks to the tireless efforts of local attorney Davis Bragg. The world knows what happened in Chicago. A government cannot put soldiers on the street without the prior knowledge that if they are ordered to crack heads, they all will. No one knew how many of the GIs would carry out their threat of resistance if put in the streets, so all were held back. Deprived of their military backup, the Chicago Police Department staged their historic “police riot.” The GI antiwar movement had inflicted its first major blow against the government. In the months following, the antiwar movement took hold at the Oleo Strut. Soldiers started publication of “The Fatigue Press,” an underground newspaper we ran off down in Austin on a mimeograph the local SDS chapter found for us on the UT campus. In November, 1968, GIs from Fort Hood staged an antiwar teach-in at UT, despite the best efforts of the Army to close the base and prevent their participation. We also endured the daily reports of the court-martials of the 43 Black GIs, each of whom received several years in Leavenworth and a Dishonorable Discharge for their courageous act. Perhaps most importantly, a GI named Dave Cline walked through the front door that September. Wounded in action with the 25th Infantry Division the year before, Dave was only now out of an extended tour of Army hospitals to deal with his wounds. He was completely dedicated to the cause of opposition to the war, and became the center of the GIs who were involved in anti-war activities on-base. He became the editor of Fatigue Press. In later years, the rest of the country and the world would come to know Dave Cline, who spent all his life until his death on September 15, 2006, from the wounds he received in Vietnam, fighting for peace and justice as the President of Veterans for Peace. He fought the Veterans Administration for proper care and benefits for all Vietnam vets, fought for both American and Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange; he fought against America’s intervention against the Central American revolutions in the 80s; he stood up against the attack on Panama, the Gulf War, and intervention in Somalia in the early 90s; he opposed the bombing of Serbia and Kosovo in 1999 and traveled to Vieques to show solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico in their fight to stop the U.S. military using it as a practice range; he organized against the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and as his last act organized a Veterans for Peace caravan to bring relief to New Orleans after it was devastated by Hurricane Katrina and neglect by every level of government. A GI Dave knew in the 25th Infantry Division was so impressed by him that in 1986, that GI – Oliver Stone – memorialized him as the main character of “Platoon.” Things weren’t all heavy politicking. Then as now, Austin had an active music scene and I was able to find bands willing to make the trek up I-35 to entertain the GIs. The most popular of these bands that fall of 1968 was a new blues band fronted by a great young singer who was only 16. Given they couldn’t play in the Austin bars due to his age, they were happy to come up and play for the peanuts I could offer. The place would be packed whenever they appeared. 18 years later, in 1986, when I was at the United States Film Festival in Dallas, Stevie Ray Vaughn recognized me and thanked me for being the first guy to ever give him a break. Over the years between 1968 and 1972, when the Oleo Strut finally closed, many name musicians came and entertained the troops. Among them were Pete Seeger, who played to a packed house in 1971, s followed by Country Joe McDonald and Phil Ochs. By 1970, there were some 20 coffeehouses – not all part of Support Our Soldiers – to be found in the vicinity of Army, Air Force, Marine and Navy bases across the country. Their most important role was giving soldiers who had come to understand how wrong the Vietnam war was the knowledge they were not alone. Eventually, this dissent within the military spread to the front lines in Vietnam, as reported by Colonel Heinl. Of the three original SOS coffee houses, the UFO was closed in 1970 by a court order declaring it a “public nuisance.” The coffeehouse outside Fort Leonard Wood succumbed to harassment and threats in 1969. The Oleo Strut stayed open till the war ended in 1972. Today, the site of the coffeehouse on the corner of 4th and Avenue D (101 Avenue D) is an office complex. One can still, however, find the red paint in the cracks of the sidewalk that was thrown on the door and windows weekly, back 40 years ago. Above photographs are soldiers hanging out at the Oleo Strut, from 1968 – 1972. Used with permission from Sir! No Sir! photo galleries.