Every time I talk about the work and mission of Quaker House, I focus on the meaning of “say yes to the troops, no to the war” in 2023. It means we have a responsibility to every person suffering because of our nation’s military-industrial complex. It means providing the support and counseling that Lenore and Steve give to callers to the GI Rights Hotline. It means Joanna’s work with people suffering from the damage of substance abuse, PTSD, sexual and domestic violence, and moral injury. It also means finding ways to address deeper issues like poisoning that takes 20 years to become manifest, increased pressures on recruiters in light of repeated shortfalls, and efforts to limit access to reproductive health care. We want to take advantage of the lessons of the pandemic to reach out and find ways to serve more people than ever before.
We value the support of every person, every meeting, every church that makes Quaker House’s work possible. I want to ask each of those supporters if they can think of an opportunity to extend our work into their community?
Do you know someone in your town, in your county, or in your state who is suffering from participation in the military? If you do, is there something that you could do for that person, or that group?
Do you know someone who has joined the military and is regretting it? Could you give them the phone number, or email address, or website for the GI Rights Hotline?
Are there people in your area who are suffering from PTSD, or substance abuse, or other issues because they were part of the endless wars? Could your community join together to find a way to provide access to a social worker who could provide some of the therapy those people need?
Do you know about unreported contaminations at the military base or port near your home? Could you share that information with Quaker House or other advocates to help us build a better picture of the widespread damage that has been done?
Do you have the time and energy to become a new counselor for the GI Rights Hotline? Are you willing to learn how to become a volunteer member of your local draft board? Could your spiritual community, whether Quaker affiliated or not, do more to teach the next generations about peace, about non-violence, about conscientious objection?
The mission of Quaker House includes advocating for “a more peaceful world.” We have over 50 years of experience of ways to do that advocacy. We want to share our knowledge and experience with people everywhere. That more peaceful world can’t only be here in North Carolina. It has to be everywhere, and we want to live in that world with you.