MedeaIt takes guts to speak from the heart; courage to speak your truth to power. Here, I am honored to present the voice of a gutsy woman, Medea Benjamin, founder of Code Pink and Global Exchange. She has been described as “one of the high-profile leaders” of the peace movement (Los Angeles Times), and San Francisco Magazine named her on its list of the “Sixty Players Who Rule the Bay Area.” She even ran for Congress on the Green Party ticket in 2000. For her current work, she is highly involved with informing citizens of our government’s unauthorized use of drone warfare. You may be surprised to learn more about this!

When I was stationed at Walter Reed, caring for the US remains of the Vietnam War, I had an awakening. My first two years at the university were enjoyable. But then I started caring for wounded soldiers, washing stumps where legs and arms had been. With this up close exposure, I could no longer deny the realities of war. My roommate and best friend, Kerry, had quit, because she could no longer support the war machine. Though I stayed for another year, I was horribly conflicted. I went to Europe to study over the summer, and then returned to Walter Reed.

I returned to find that all of the students in the nursing class ahead of us had been sent to Vietnam. When I had enrolled, and asked about this, I was told that we wouldn’t be sent there. I realized that with my high degree of sensitivity, I was not a good candidate for war. I had lived through early years of chaos, but did not seek war.