Thursday, October 25, 2007



LIers will travel to NYC on PEACE TRAINS on LIRR arriving around 11 a.m. We will meet down in Penn Station in front of waiting room and will proceed to the assembly area near 22nd St and Broadway (see below).

East End Train:

Amagansett 7:05 am
East Hampton 7:10 am
Bridgehampton 7:19 am
Southampton 7:29 am
Hampton Bays 7:39 am
Patchogue 8:26 am

return to east end stops
from Penn Station 9:11 PM


Speonk 7:56 am
Penn Staton 7:11pm return to Speonk,

Hampton Jitney 631-283-4600

North Fork: Ronkonkoma has hourly trains

LI Contingent Assemble: Noon– 22 nd St. (bet. Broadway&Park Ave.)

Rally: 12–1 p.m. Union Square

March: Steps off at 1 p.m. Down Broadway to Foley Square

Peace and Justice Tents at Foley Square

LONG ISLAND INFO : Long Islanders—will march together as one Island united against the war!

Look for Yellow Signs :


Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Travis M. Virgadamo
is one of the 4,275* US soldiers ( 3,829 in Iraq, 446 in Afghanistan) included in our Honor the Fallen Memorial which will be displayed on November 10-18 at the First Baptist Church in Riverhead.

Travis Virgadamo died outside Baghdad of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on August 30th, 2007. He was 19 years old. This is his story, published in his hometown newspaper, the Las Vegas Sun.
_____________________________________________________________* *as of October 15, 2007

Travis M. Virgadamo

Las Vegas Sun -- During a visit to his family in Pahrump in July, Army Pfc. Travis M. Virgadamo of Las Vegas shared his recent combat experience in Iraq.

He told of being ordered into houses without knowing what was behind strangers' doors. He talked of walking along roadsides fearing the next step could trigger lethal explosives.

Virgadamo told them he had been so frightened, he had sought and received psychiatric counseling from the military in Iraq. He received additional counseling during a trip home in late July, his family said.

On Thursday crisply dressed soldiers appeared at his family's door in Pahrump to report that the 19-year-old had died that day of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at a forward post just outside of Baghdad.

The family says he was in no emotional shape to be assigned to combat. The Army knew he was suicidal, the soldier's grandmother, Katie O'Brien, said Friday.

His aunt, Rebecca McHugh, complained: "They gave him Prozac and sent him back to Iraq."

"They (military) knew his circumstances. They gave him counseling in Iraq before he came home and they gave him counseling in Georgia before he was sent back to Iraq. Now he's dead. What good is a dead soldier to them?" McHugh said the family will call for a complete investigation.

That will happen as a matter of procedure, said Sgt. 1st Class Cameron Anderson, one of two soldiers who gave Virgadamo's mother the news on Thursday.

Virgadamo, serving in an infantry unit, drove trucks shuttling ammunition. Virgadamo's death comes on the heels of a recent Pentagon report that at least 118 U.S. military personnel in Iraq have committed suicide from April 2003 to mid-August. That does not include unconfirmed reports of those who served in the war and then killed themselves at home.

Suicides have accounted for 3 percent of the overall Iraq war death toll, according to some Pentagon estimates. In mid-2006 the Veterans Affairs Department reported more than 56,000 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars had been diagnosed with mental illnesses, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and bipolar disorder.

In 2006 the Hartford Courant reported that the military is "recycling" troops who had sought mental health care, who had been diagnosed with mental diseases or who had indicated symptoms of mental duress and illness to their peers and chain of command.

The newspaper said some military personnel, after reporting mental duress, were pulled from duty, given 72 hours of rest and recreation, supplied with antidepressant medications, such as Prozac or Zoloft, and returned to their original duty stations. The General Accounting Office reported that four out of five returning veterans who by the military's own standards are at risk for mental illnesses receive no treatment. The number of troops taking antidepressants or other psychotropic drugs is unknown. However, Army reports indicate that medical treatment in Iraq involving psychotropic drugs has increased steadily. Virgadamo is believed to be the first Nevada soldier to die in Iraq of a self-inflicted wound.

His family said the soldiers who told them of his death did not use the word "suicide," but rather said it was a "self-inflicted" gunshot wound .

When Virgadamo was on his 15-day leave in July, he told his grandmother that he had been seeing therapists in Baghdad and Kuwait. "He did not want to go back. He had had a couple of close calls," O'Brien said, including being involved in a vehicle rollover. McHugh said she heard of similar close calls from her nephew.

Virgadamo was born Aug. 17, 1988, in Victorville, Calif., and moved to Las Vegas with his family at age 5. He was home-schooled and worked as a box boy at an Albertsons in southwest Las Vegas.

His family said Virgadamo wanted to be a soldier or a police officer since age 4. As a teenager he joined the Nellis Cadet Squadron. In an Oct. 29, 2005, posting to, Virgadamo wrote with great enthusiasm of his pending enlistment: "In 16 days my paperwork gets sent in for transfer to senior membership and I become a living CAP Myth Hooah to going active Army." His family said he was very proud when he completed boot camp and thought he had a future in the military or as a forest ranger. On his recent trip home, Virgadamo smiled when he saw a prayer poster for him at the Pahrump Taco Bell.

Virgadamo's other survivors include his father, Robert Virgadamo of the Philippines; his mother , Jackie Juliano of Pahrump; and two sisters, Katie Juliano of Pahrump and Nicole Virgadamo of the Philippines. Virgadamo's father was told of his son's death by Philippine police officers. He is en route to Pahrump, his family said. Services are pending.

On his MySpace profile, Virgadamo described himself as 5 feet 9 inches tall with hazel eyes and dark brown hair. He said his "most missed memory" was "Vegas." Under "How do you want to die?" Virgadamo replied, "In battle."

Fighting back tears on the phone Friday, O'Brien said , "I just cannot believe it. "I was like his mother," O'Brien said. "I helped raise him. I just talked to him a couple of days ago. I talked to him at least twice a week. "He was so young. He didn't want to be there. He was so scared," O'Brien said. "Then they put him on Prozac."

He had lost his spirit to be in battle, she said. When Virgadamo saw O'Brien earlier this summer, he told her, "Grandma, maybe I'll just go AWOL." O'Brien urged him to pray. "He went back praying and thinking it would be OK," she said. "For sure, it needs to be known he had problems," O'Brien said. "They were going to discharge him. I really think they (military) are at fault to keep someone there. "I think he just knew he was going to die," O'Brien said.

His last screen name was "Lost Purple Heart," O'Brien said.

published in Las Vegas Sun
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Wednesday, October 10, 2007



•Saturday, October 20•
•7 pm•
•Cutchogue Presbyterian Church•
•Cutchogue, NY•

Screening of WALL (Mur), a documentary on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in which the filmmaker blurs the lines of hatred by asserting her double identity as Jew and Arab. In an original approach, the film follows the separation fence that is destroying one of the most historically significant landscapes in the world, while
imprisoning one people and enclosing the other.

For more information about the film
and, from the New York Times,

Discussion will follow the screening.

We look forward to seeing you.


•November 10-18•
•First Baptist Church•
•Northville Turnpike•
•Riverhead, NY•

This is a joint project between the First Baptist Church of Riverhead and NFPOC. We are creating a week-long event with the Honor the Fallen Memorial panels at its center. The event includes a concert on Saturday, November 10 and and a day of films on November 17. Worship services will be held on Veterans Day, Sunday, November 11 and on Sunday November 18.

We are proud and enthusiastic about this joint project and hope you will be able to join us at all--or some--of the events.

We will be announcing a more detailed schedule and program soon.

For more information, please call Reverend Coverdale at (631) 727-3446 or Ethel Sussman at (631) 722-4121


We are also asking for volunteers to help us hang the panels that make up the Honor the Fallen Memorial. If you are able to be there on Saturday, November 10 at 9 am to help us hang them, we would greatly appreciate hearing from you. Please email us at and we will get back to you--by phone or email.

Friday, October 05, 2007