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September 19, 2007
Giant of Veterans Anti-War/Peace Movements, former president of Veterans for Peace dies at 60
By Kathlyn Stone
Cline was known as champion of veteran's rights and victims of war. He was a determined organizer who stood in solidarity with people of all struggles for justice. His death is a loss for the national and international antiwar/peace movements.
Contact: Elliott Adams (518) 441-2697; Michael T. McPhearson (314) 303-8874
David Cline, former President of Veterans For Peace from January 2002-February 2007, died in his Jersey City, New Jersey home in the early morning hours of Saturday, September 15, 2007. He was 60. Cline was known as champion of veteran's rights and victims of war. He was a determined organizer who stood in solidarity with people of all struggles for justice. His death is a loss for the national and international antiwar/peace movements.
Cline was born and raised in Buffalo, New York where he was drafted into the US Army in 1967, one week after he turned 20. He served as a rifleman (11B20) with the 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam. During his tour of duty, he was wounded three times and was awarded three Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star for bravery, the Combat Infantryman Badge and other military medals. His was determined 100% disabled from his wounds.
Shortly after his return to the US, Cline joined the GI antiwar movement while still on active duty, working with the underground paper, Fatigue Press, at Fort Hood, Texas and after his discharge, as a staff person at the Oleo Strut coffeehouse outside the base. He joined VVAW in 1970 where he became a tireless organizer.
After the Vietnam War ended Cline dedicated his life to waging peace and opposing war. Over the past 40 years he was involved in many efforts for peace, justice and healing including: the continuing campaign for Agent Orange victims in the U.S. and Vietnam, working for an end to the US Navy’s bombing of Vieques, Puerto Rico, assisting homeless veterans through Stand Down operations, promoting reconciliation and friendship with the people of Vietnam, helping people recover from war trauma (PTSD) and substance abuse, educating young people about war and military service and opposing U.S. military interventions in Central America and the Middle East.
During Cline’s tenure as President, Veterans For Peace experienced tremendous growth and emerged as a leading voice in opposition to the invasion of Iraq and the subsequent occupation. His recognition of VFP’s role as a place for veterans of all eras to work for peace and the need for a blending of anti-war veterans and military families in the national debate has led to an unprecedented number of veterans and military families working together to oppose a war in U.S. history. Today this alliance is a cornerstone of domestic opposition to the U.S. occupation of Iraq.
Cline was also a key figure in the creation and guidance of Iraq Veterans Against the War, named to honor and follow the tradition of Vietnam Veterans Against the War. IVAW
David Cline is survived by his life partner Gladys Simer and her daughter Sabrina, his daughter Ellen Gregory and her son Jacob, his son Daniel, his father and mother Donald and Ruth Cline, his brothers Steven and Bruce, and his sister Linda.
Cline will be honored in Jersey City. Viewing at 7 :30 Wednesday September 19, 2007. Memorial service 8:00 - 9:00 at the McLaughlin Funeral Home, 625 Pavonia Ave., Jersey City, NY; 201-798-8700
Visit www.veteransforpeace.org for more information on David Cline and tributes to his life.
Kathlyn Stone is a Minnesota-based writer covering science and medicine, health care and related policies.�She publishes www.fleshandstone.net, a health and science news site.