The DSA Veterans Working Group stands in solidarity with Spenser Rapone, who took a
principled stand for justice and accountability and did not yield to the pressures of the Army,
America’s reactionary right, or centrist war hawks who decided that anti-racism, a society that
works for all, and military service did not go hand in hand. Spenser has shown himself in
countless group and personal discussions to be fully committed to anti-imperialism and to
creating a better world for oppressed people everywhere and for all people, especially in
centering the voices of marginalized populations, who understand and experience the brutality
of U.S. aggression firsthand.

It is clear that the West Point value of “Living Honorably” has nothing to do with human lives or
real honor — the kind embodied by naming and struggling against the U.S.’s violent policies —
when any moral criticisms within its ranks are suppressed. The DoD claims to advocate for
freedom and safety but in reality the military industrial complex has enriched a wealthy few at
the expense of all other Americans. The victims of our imperial wars will never know the comfort
and security of America’s wealthy masters of war. The most powerful military in history doesn’t
need defense from its dissenters and principled critics–it needs to be challenged and
questioned by all the people of the United States.

While the DSA Veterans Working Group does not recruit active duty members, we welcome
those who face retribution and retaliation for speaking out against imperialism and creeping
fascism or who wonder what other possibilities may exist in our future. We are a supportive
community of veterans, family members of veterans, and others who share the experiences or
were impacted by the service of those close to them. VWG members can lean on each other
and be resources for care, camaraderie, and development. We wish Spenser the best of luck
continuing to speak out against U.S. imperialism abroad.

We must encourage military personnel to be critical and stand up to the machine that wreaks
havoc all over the world and in our own personal lives as it leeches money away from
necessary social structures such as healthcare, housing, and food access. Survivors of U.S.
imperial wars deserve a future in which they can live and thrive without the continued threat of
force and exploitation by U.S. forces. Veterans play a critical role in holding U.S. militarism, and
ourselves, accountable.

In Solidarity,
The Democratic Socialists of America Veterans Working Group Steering Committee

Categories: VWG News