To: Joe Biden, Former Vice President

Joe Biden: Don't honor George W. Bush with award

According to news reports, you plan to participate in a ceremony to honor former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush with the National Constitution Center’s Liberty Medal for their “commitment to veterans.”

I, along with my fellow veteran members of About Face: Veterans Against the War, urge you to take the following immediate actions:

1. End your participation in the National Constitution Center’s Liberty Medal Ceremony
2. Call upon the Center to revoke its decision to award former President Bush with the Liberty Medal.
3. Refuse to rehabilitate George W. Bush’s criminal war record any further.

Why is this important?

I was deeply offended and disappointed when I read that Joe Biden plans to honor former President George W. Bush with the National Constitution Center’s Liberty Medal for his “commitment to veterans."

As a veteran of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, I’m joined by thousands of fellow post-9/11 veterans as part of About Face: Veterans Against the War who are disgusted to see Biden award this man for his newfound philanthropic interest in Veterans which is only necessary because he used us to unleash death and destruction that continues today.

How could anyone agree to honor a man who used his wealth and privilege to avoid service in Vietnam but, as president of the United States, helped send the nation to war based on misinformation that was later proven to be false? Wars that forever changed the lives of millions of Iraqi and Afghan civilians.

How could anyone honor a man who sent more than 2.7 million of my fellow service members into a war with “insufficient protection and aging equipment,” forcing many of us to resort to hiding behind rusty scrap metal that many of us called “hillbilly armor”?

How could anyone honor a man who, on his way out of office, cut funding for healthcare veterans desperately needed, leading even his ally, American Legion National Commander Paul Morin, to “blame President [George W. Bush] and Congress for insufficient funding of the VA health care system”?

George W. Bush sent many veterans like me into combat zones based on false information with poor planning, lack of preparation, and then cut his support for vital programs, effectively abandoning us when we returned home. He put us at the front line of military invasions that turned many of us into occupiers of countries we knew nothing about, and in some case torturers, and then left many of us homeless or disabled when we returned home.

His carelessness with our lives is one of the causes leading more than 20 veterans a day to commit suicide.

We know these wars continue to this very day in more than 7 countries, and Muslim communities here in the United States face harassment thanks to the policies the Bush Administration created.

While former President Bush may have made headlines recently for public comments in support of U.S. veterans, and even gone so far as to paint bizarre guilt-laden portraits of us, I instead point to the words of the late Iraq war veteran Tomas Young, who in his final letter to Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney said:

“You may evade justice but in our eyes, you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.”

Ramon Mejía
on behalf of,
About Face: Veterans Against the War
(formerly Iraq Veterans Against the War)