Veterans Join With Occupy Movements - NBC Bay Area

Veterans Join With Occupy Movements

Fighting For Freedom Back At Home



    Veterans Join With Occupy Movements
    Olsen Family
    Scott Olsen after he returned from his second tour in Iraq. Friends said he became an anti-war activist.

    They fought overseas for our freedom. And now they're back -- and fighting for it here, too.

    A growing number of American military veterans are joining the nation's Occupy movements, according to the San Francisco Examiner. One, 53-year old Richard Preston, a veteran of the first Gulf War, has been at Justin Herman Plaza for Occupy San Francisco for a month, the newspaper reported.

    "I'm here because I have to be," Preston told the newspaper. "Both federal and state are messed up. They won't even help their vets out."

    More veterans are coming out to the protests since two veterans suffered injuries at Occupy Oakland at the hands of police. Scott Olsen, who served in the Marines in Iraq, suffered a skull fracture Oct. 25 when an unidentified police officer fired a tear gas canister at his head. A second, Kayvan Sabeghi, was allegedly beaten by police on Nov. 2, after violence followed the Oakland general strike.

    Dottie Guy, who served in Iraq, told the newspaper that she feels participating in the protests protects freedom more than her military service.

    "I feel like I’m defending the First Amendment of the Constitution," she told the newspaper. "I didn’t feel like it in Iraq, but here I’m defending the freedom to speak. It makes me feel alive."