Tuesday, May 5, 2009

May 2, 2009 - Coffee Strong

Coffee Strong is a GI supported coffee shop at the gates of US Army Base Ft. Lewis - one of the many small businesses lining the street that caters to military personnel. Surplus stores abound along this street along with banks offering loans to GIs. It was raining when we arrived ("we" being Karen Jones of CRP and Martina, a friend). Inside, several young men slept on a sofa or in arms chairs: they'd been hard at work during the night blockading a convoy of Strykers bound for Iraq. They managed to delay the convoy several hours. Nevertheless, right now, those Strykers are bound for that country where there is, in the lingo We The People are learning to adopt, "an uptick in violence." Those pesky Iraqis - don't they know that "we're pulling the troops out"?. I imagine the Iraqis saying, "those pesky Americans...don't they know that we're not falling for that propaganda?"

Go to Raising Sand Radio to listen to an audio segment from the presentations at Coffee Strong and Portland.

A word about Coffee Strong: this business is an example of the sorts of creative endeavors that troops are generating to support themselves and their fellow as they adjust to the reality of life after or on leave from combat and what it means to be a veteran. In some cases, customers are active duty personnel (a valid ID gets you a free cup of Americano!) others are resisters, IRR (Individual Ready Reserve) or discharged troops. Support the troops by supporting the ways they are creating alternatives to "business as usual"... you can stipend Coffee Strong with a small, regular donation each month and help them stay in business as they get on their collective feet. (See pix at the blog photo gallery.)

No comments: