Veterans from Standing Rock to facilitate and mobilize veterans in support of “granny caravans” traveling to McAllen, Texas, on August 6th for 24 hours of action
July 23rd, 2018 - Grannies Respond and Veteran Service Corps announced a partnership today to mobilize Americans to the US-Mexico border on August 6, 2018, for 24 hours of action, including rallies, vigils, and volunteering with local organizations. In support of Grannies Respond, the Veteran Service Corps will offer expertise by providing trained personnel on the ground to facilitate the arrival of the caravans in McAllen, Texas. In partnership with local organizations and activists who have been active in supporting asylum seekers and refugees for decades, VSC will ensure that the caravans will make an impact on their 24-hour stay.
On Tuesday, July 31, a group of grandmothers, grandfathers, and others, calling themselves Grannies Respond, will depart from New York City in a caravan headed to McAllen, Texas. Seeking to bring a message of love and compassion to this grim policy debate, they will stop in Reading, PA, Pittsburgh, PA, Louisville, KY, Montgomery, AL, New Orleans, LA, and Houston, TX. Each stop will include a mix of public demonstrations, vigils, and singing with local immigrant rights, interfaith, and other activist groups. Their original caravan has become a national movement. Caravans are forming in every corner of the country, from Florida to California, to meet in McAllen, Texas, on August 6th. Grannies from across the country will then engage in 24 hours of action: rallies, vigils, and volunteering with local groups coordinated by our partners at Veteran Service Corps and their advance team.
Veteran Service Corps (VSC) is comprised of veterans and allies who formed a nonprofit organization out of the Veterans Stand for Standing Rock movement in the winter of 2016, having come to the defense of US citizens whose human, civil, and constitutional rights were violated. The VSC Advance Team has recently returned from the border lands on a fact-finding and coalition-building mission to determine the best way to respond to the American refugee crisis on our southern border.
“This is bullying, plain and simple. Refugees are coming to the border, fleeing terror and violence, only to be arrested and have their children ripped from them. It is a violation of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution and a violation of their human rights. This is not what I swore an oath for, nor is it in keeping with the ideals and laws of the country that I signed up to serve. I’m proud to serve the matriarchs of this nation in their mission to show compassion to those who are in such desperate need of it.” – Brandon Boucher, US Navy Veteran, VSC Board Member.
"Veterans did not spill blood in countless battles to see our own country cage babies and children, for ANY reason. Veterans are mothers and fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends of families, still ready to defend against enemies, both foreign and domestic. A terrible wrong has been dealt in the name of America, and I am proud to join a movement of fellow veterans and grandmothers to help innocents live without fear of tyranny, the persecuted find a place of safety, and the American people regain values of compassion and empathy,” says granny Danna J. Roberts, Chief Master Sergeant, USAF (ret).
Rachna Daryanani, a granny on the ride and a volunteer at the Veterans Home at St. Albans, says, "I am really happy and excited that the Veteran Service Corps is joining us. It tells me we are going in the right direction. They fought to make the world a safer place for the defenseless, and we are trying to do exactly that. One of my oldest friends, a veteran who I consider my mentor, once said to me, 'Why shed tears in the comfort of your home? ACT!’"
About Grannies Respond/Abuelas Responden
Grannies Respond is a spontaneous action led by grandmothers, the moral compasses of our families, to end the inhumane treatment of refugees entering our country for safety. Grannies Respond began as a local group of women from Beacon, NY, who wanted to “go down to the border and just do something”. In a few short weeks, it has become a nationwide movement of hundreds - if not thousands - of grandmothers driving from every corner of the nation to the border to bring compassion, common sense, and human decency to the immigration debate.
About Veteran Service Corps
Veteran Service Corps engages veterans, out of our shared oath of service to our country, to improve our communities and protect constitutional and human rights. VSC is engaged in building towards an equitable world through maximizing the training, education, experience, and talents of the veteran community. VSC volunteers facilitate sustainable solutions that improve our communities, provide the infrastructure necessary to address complex systemic problems, and build capacity in others through camaraderie, teamwork, and service.
Read the full press release here