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Reply #39: When I saw this line in Late Breaking I thought "oh no [View All]

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illuminaughty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-18-04 03:35 AM
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39. When I saw this line in Late Breaking I thought "oh no
another one lost". And then I saw the name. Jeffrey Lucey.
I'm not sure why this article has just been written, but I've been meaning to post a thread in General Discussion to give a heads up on a related subject.

http://www.afsc.org/eyes/default.htm

Last week in K.C. a wonderful exhibit was in town for one week called "Eyes Wide Open". Many of you I'm sure are aware of this organization that has a traveling exhibit that displays 1000 (now more than that) boots, organized by state with soldiers names attached to them. There are civilian shoes which represent the untold Iraqi civilians killed. It has displays with information about the U.S. relationship over the years with Saddam Hussein, including a 20 yr. time line. You can send video messages to the troops, to the govt. or to the Iraqi people.

I decided to volunteer to set up the exhibit. There were about seven of us and we had no clue how it was assembled and there are only 2 people traveling with the exhibit. Each venue is a different size and situation so it is always a different set up. The gentleman who is in charge handed me a storage bin and said "This is the suicide"
I was taken aback for a moment, but mind you the entire situation was surreal. I began to put together a display of pictures (old and recent), letters from Iraq, a final letter to his girlfriend, and the actual boots and uniform of Jeffrey Lucey. Above it I placed the laminated poster that said "Why suicide", which goes on to explain why this is happening so often. I didn't read Jeffrey's letters that day. We had hundreds of boots and shoes to lay out before the exhibit opened. One by one each of the volunteers would get hit with the reality behind the exhibit and begin to sob. Some would leave for awhile and return to finish the work.

I came back on the final day of the exhibit, handing out brochures and answering questions of the visitors. I met amazing people that day. One man looked like he was lost. He was about 65 and looked like he would be more at home at a Nascar race. And then he spoke.
He had traveled to Iraq with Ramsey Clark, also accompanied him to Columbia. He spouted more info about Halliburton and many groups I was unaware of and told how the kickbacks work in ways I'd never dreamed of. I met a retired woman pastor who is disgusted how the right has hijacked the Christian religion. I was amazed how informed the people were. They were furious and determined to change things. The word fascism was mentioned quite frequently. And they stood among the boots, the shoes, and the beautiful photos of the Iraqi people and cried. They were upset it was the last day because they wanted to bring friends back so they could experience it.

At 5:00 we began to disassemble the exhibit. Just before that, I began to read the letters next to Jeffrey's uniform. I wish I could find a copy of them. His letter from Iraq was brilliant, eloquent, and a sharp indictment of this administration. It was written with the style of an accomplished author. This soldier knew he had been lied to, used, and was now battling with his conscious wondering how this all happened. He understood that the Iraqis are not the enemy. They are human beings who really just want the most simple things in life.

I didn't know Jeffrey Lucey. But the grief I had while folding his uniform and putting it away made me feel as though I did. My fellow volunteer put it best when she said, "It's OK. He's going to another city and he will tell his story there".

Everyone here, please try to see this exhibit if it comes near your town. It is coming to Atlanta on Tuesday the 19th. They are trying to get CNN to do a piece on Eyes Wide Open. Will you please e-mail CNN and see if we can make this happen. Thanks.
Sorry this is so long.

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