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Why I Answered the Call for Veterans to Go to Standing Rock


Why I Answered the Call for Veterans to Go to Standing Rock

Kevin Basl

I lay among friends, huddled and cold in our sleeping bags. We listened to the lashing wind and the drums and prayer chants coming from the sacred fire, and we reflected on why we, four Iraq War veterans, were here.

Police floodlights shone from the drill site of the Dakota Access Pipeline, scheduled to cross under the Missouri River, the water source for millions of people.


Kevin, my heartfelt thanks for sharing some of your life with us.


Hey Kevin -

Good on ya !! 
I'd also like to do a "forgiveness ceremony" in Vietnam, though what

we did was pretty unforgivable.

     PAX, from your comrades in Vets For Peace


Two ways Vietnam veterans have made amends to the
people of Vietnam:


Friends of Vinh Son Orphanage,
P.O. Box 9322,
Auburn, CA 95604


Vietnam Veterans help to support approximately 830 Montagnard children in seven orphanages in the Central Highlands (Kontum & Pleiku) of Vietnam. $12 feeds, shelters, and educates one child for one month.


Vietnam Friendship Village Project
P.O. Box 599,
Arcata, CA 95518-0599


The Vietnam Friendship Village is a residential facility located in Hanoi, Vietnam that provides medical care, physical therapy, education and vocational training to Vietnamese children, young adults and veterans with a range of maladies presumed to be caused by Agent Orange.



Thank you so much for this. It is beautifully and movingly written. I camped out for four days at Sacred Stone Camp, back when it was "warm", 33 degrees and 37 degrees at night!. I felt I had to go there. I was so stirred and spiritually touched by the sunrise prayer ceremonies at Sacred Stone camp, and the way the community meetings in the morning at Oceti Sakowin camp were run.
Thank you for serving to protect the Constitution.
PS there is a group September 11th families for Peaceful Tomorrows that went to Iraq and perhaps Afghanistan, to express forgiveness and concern for peace after their family members were killed in 9/11. You might like them. Have a peaceful New Year. PS Tears ran down my face when I watched the veterans with Wesley Clark Jr, apologizing to the Lakota in North Dakota.


Thank you for going to Standing Rock, and for expressing your feelings about why you did so. I was at Standing Rock when the veterans arrived. I have been concerned at some of the negative reports about what the veterans went through because of the sheer numbers of people who were arriving (and I don't mean just the 4,000 veterans, but also thousands of regular people, like me and my granddaughter,) but also because of the extreme weather. I question the intentions of the authors of such negative reports. So, I'm very pleased to hear some positive feedback from the veterans who went to protect the Water Protectors.


Thank you for your service to humanity and decency


Yes thank you to all the Vets and please forgive yourselves you had to do what you were trained to do. I do not like this privatizing of the military one bit. Paying the contractors more than the service people is wrong in my opinion. Happy New year we will need to stick together in the next 2 years at least.