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Edition 2017-07-17: Strategic Vision for a Viable American Future —
Open Letter with Free Thoughts for the New President
This is the fourth edition of The Unheard Herald, an eNewspaper in pdf format with associated webpage material. This edition is created, written and published by Root Routledge, Colorado Democratic National Delegate for Bernie Sanders, based on a pre-publication draft letter he has been writing for months (still in progress) to the new President of the United States. It is in production to be completed soon; and will be published as an open letter with this edition dated July 17, 2017.
Click on the eNewspaper pdf image to the right for the first two-pages as a "teaser". The final version will be lengthy and thorough, as it fleshes out the full details of the argument and how it relates to American families of all political persuasions, economic status and background.
The poster below lists the key elements of this strategic vision.
July 4th, 2017 Parade — Durango, Colorado
Captain Root Routledge (Vietnam War Veteran) and his friend Captain Allison Scobie, RN (Afghanistan War Veteran), walked in the July 4th parade with the La Plata County Democrats. We both carried a poster titled: "Strategic Vision for a Viable American Future" developed by Root for this edition of The Unheard Herald, with the top line reading "Progressive Veteran Warriors" (see poster and detailed description below). Don Triola (Vietnam War Veteran, U.S. Navy SP 1968-70, Da Nang and China Beach) drove his classic 1936 International Harvester truck in the parade and had a 4' x 3' version of the poster on each side.
Root was a navigator in the U.S. Air Force (1968-72, flying strategic and combat airlift in C-141s with the Military Airlift Command, McChord AFB; and EC-47 military intelligence missions with the 360th Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron, 460th Tac Recon Wing, Tan Son Nhut AB, Saigon, Vietnam). Out of a total of 2360 flying hours over 4 years, Root flew 170 combat flight missions with 630 combat flight hours.
Allison is a U.S. Army combat field surgical nurse who was based at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan. She is now in the Army Reserves, after earning a masters degree in Public Health. Allison went into Afghanistan battlefields from Bagram as part of a Forward Surgical Team (FST) on Chinook helicopters to set up and operate a Forward Surgical Unit (FSU) in order to save the lives of severely wounded soldiers near the active battle field. The team could rapidly set up an FSU, a temporary field hospital with 4 emergency rooms and one surgery room, in only 1½ hours. The deployed FSU helped save numerous lives in the field by being able to operate on wounded soldiers quickly under battlefield conditions, treating life-threatening injuries, before the wounded soldiers were medevaced via Black Hawk "Dust Off" helicopters to the Bagram Air Base hospital, then onto a hospital in Germany on C-17 medevac flights.
Watch the short (1:17) parade video, with Pete Seeger's "This Land is Your Land". Photo and video attributions for the parade are all credited to my friend Tom Morrissey of Durango. The composited video has been uploaded to my "Root For Bernie" YouTube page.
Poster: Strategic Vision for a Viable American Future
This 30"x34" poster is not for sale; better yet, the poster pdf is available for free download here. It comes with multiple top title alternatives shown below.
The above poster version is the one I've been using, including the 150% (48"x36" with 1½" white border) version printed on Coroplast® board, of which I had one on each side of the truck in the back of my Vietnam Veteran friend Don Triola's classic 1936 cherry red International Harvester truck.
I've had several questions and comments about the top line of the poster and its meaning, so let me explain that a bit. Also, I've updated the link directions on the poster to include this eNewspaper site directly, as well as my "Root For Bernie" Facebook page, which links to this site. Due to the comments about making its use available to wider groups of people, I've created several versions with different "top line identity" phrases, which I'll describe below with links to downloadable pdfs for each version. If you don't identify with the top identifying title, noted above for example, but like what the rest of the poster says, I hope you'll be able to find one below that fits for you.
Stance — "Progressive Veteran Warriors": Regarding approach, I gave a lot of thought about how to position the poster at the top, trying different wording for the top identifying title line, and there was some concern expressed about my use of the word "warrior" and if this meant a "pro-war" stance. Webster defines the term "warrior" beyond the presumed meaning of "engaged in or experienced in warfare," which most combat veterans are or were, thus earning that title. The broader meaning, however, is "a person engaged in some struggle or conflict", connoting actively "fighting" with a purpose for a cause, such as "poverty warriors," "climate warriors," and so forth. Many "Green Peace Warriors," for example, are long term veterans for their cause. Thus, both the terms "veteran" and "warriors" have non-military identity connotations as well. "Warrior" is also commonly used with honor by Native Americans to refer to those who are willing to and do stand on the frontlines for their rights and causes.
For me personally, I settled on the Standing Rock Native American model with a long history of “veteran warriors” fighting for water, mother earth and life against DAPL and decades of state-sponsored assault on their rights and sacred lands. At a recent multi-tribe Hozhoni powwow ceremony to honor veterans at Fort Lewis College this spring in Durango, to which all military veterans were invited to attend to be so honored, the Indian speakers consistently referred to honoring us as “warriors” who fought for our country—it’s an honorable title we military veterans damn well earned; again inclusively, but especially Native American warriors. At Standing Rock thousands of military veterans also showed up as “veteran warriors” to protect the native “water protector warriors,” as they called themselves; including my friend Tom Morrissey's son, Luke, an Iraq War veteran and Army Seargent, who incurred a TBI from an IED in Iraq. At Standing Rock Luke took a direct hit in the chest right on his "Red Cross" medic patch from a rubber bullet projectile out of the police lines at Standing Rock. The word also implies the continued patriotism I and many feel as veterans due to the circumstances we find our country in at this point in history—defending our Constitution and America against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Thus it does not refer to hostile military conflict per se, but to those who are fighting so save our county and its future.
The content of the poster makes clear the term “warrior” in this context has nothing to do with promoting foreign “wars/bombing” etc, which I know you, me and so many others are against unless our national defense is truly at stake; but I will not cede the term "patriot" nor the flag nor the "USA" chant to others, especially right-wing Republicans who seem to think that "patriotism" and the American flag represent turf that belongs exclusively to them. "Progressive Veteran Warriors" is an intentionally assertive phrase with the connotation of fighting for what’s right and the very future of our country. Our country is in fact under attack by right-wing zealots and currently in the control of right-wing extremists; and I for one am doing my best to fight against that, which is what this edition of The Unheard Herald is about. We are indeed in a “war for the future” of our country and planet; I am one of those warriors. So, no apologies for the top line “Progressive Veteran Warriors”, but I understand others might prefer different wording more in line with their own identity, yet like what the rest of the poster says. I wanted to indicate that the right does not own these patriotic memes and that we progressive veterans are anything but passive “lefties”; we are actually fighting for what’s right.
Not just being "for" something; but making a stand on something solid: Further, the top two titles together do refer to “Veterans for a Viable Future”, but that alone is a bit too “milk-toasty” for me, because the intent of the poster is not just standing on the sidelines waving a sign about what I’m "for"—I’m actually fighting for it—meaning genuine activism. It means standing present with a strategic vision for our future.
Regardless of the version below that might better match your identity; although the poster isn't simply about being "for" something, it is entirely appropriate to use it that way. But it says more. It says, in my chosen case, "Here I stand on solid ground and fight for our future," as a Progressive Veteran Warrior, and hold the space of a "Strategic Vision for a Viable American Future". And the rest of the poster content states what that means. If you're in line with that, I encourage you to download whatever version fits for your own identity, get the poster printed and made (I did mine through Basin Printing in Durango, Colorado), and use it either walking in protests or simply standing on the side and cheering others on. I found people will take a picture of it in order to save and study the detail later, including being able to get the poster via the stated links on the poster itself.
I hope you will find below one of these top identity titles that works for you from this list of eight: Progressive Veteran Warriors; Progressive Veterans; Progressive Patriots; Progressive Americans; Progressive Democrats; Patriotic Americans; Conscious Republicans; Conservative Republicans
Progressive Veteran Warriors
Supporting Documents [to be completed]
Supporting documents, including campaign postings, videos and photo albums: more to be added in the future.
Documents referenced and linked to in this edition:
Note: These are reference documents layed out here for easy referral and access; however, they are more understandable when read in the flow of the story told with the edition links as they tie in directly with related narrative about them. This is the recommended way of engaging all these documents; then come back to these document links, if you wish, to see any particular document again.
Documents—Previous Related Essays by Root Routledge: