Statement on the Unauthorized “VFP for Ukraine Working Group” Adopted Unanimously by the VFP Board May 20, 2023

June 12, 2023

As Veterans For Peace, we raise our collective voice to build a culture for peace. As the fighting and dying in Ukraine continues, we call for an end to this evil and terrible war against humanity and all living things. We call for an end to the suffering of the Ukrainian people under siege and the refugees who flee for their lives. VFP has consistently expressed our opposition to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as we are also opposed to sending more and lethal weaponry to Ukraine.

As soldiers who participated in U.S. wars abroad, we support war resisters who refuse to participate in killing other human beings. We support victims of war and those who provide relief and humanitarian aid to them. It is time to drop the weapons, embrace diplomacy and peace. For the people of Ukraine and Russia; the people of Europe and the United States; for the children, civilians, and soldiers; for all living things, we demand diplomacy, not war. We demand Peace in Ukraine.

The VFP National Board of Directors has denied the creation of a “VFP Ukraine Working Group” and/or caucus at multiple National Board meetings, as well as any further use of or references to the “Veterans For Peace For Ukraine” or variations thereof; they are not authorized to use the “Veterans For Peace” or “VFP” name or logo, and there is no such officially authorized entity as the “Veterans for Peace For Ukraine Working Group” or variations thereof.

Postings by “Veterans For Peace For Ukraine” and comments by the group’s leader Jeff Paterson and others claim that VFP National has treated them unfairly and discriminated against them. This is factually untrue.

Some relevant points:
Jeff Paterson’s current formation, he says, is based on "promises" made by Board members in Board meetings. But in fact, these were suggestions by individual board members as possible avenues to discuss ways to compromise, not promises made by the Board. The Board voted decisively against his group; it was clear that no authorization was granted his group in any form.

Those suggestions for compromise included not just changing the name and logo of Paterson's group, but also acting within the same parameters as all other working groups. Jeff has clearly not done so, and by intent, not by misunderstanding or miscommunication.

One of the key parameters for all working groups is Board approval prior to the official formation or public action of any working group. No other group took public action or publicly announced its presence prior to approval by the National Board.


Susan Schnall, President

Veterans For Peace

Category: Position Statement