Veterans And Grandmothers Team To Provide Humanitarian Support At US-Mexico Border
Earlier today Citizen’s Truth received exclusive confirmation regarding upcoming humanitarian action at the United States and Mexico border. Grannies Respond formed after news of families being separated at the border became a national story, per their website:
Grannies Respond started off as a small group of people in Beacon, NY, who wanted to “go down to the border and just do something” after all the terrible news of children being torn from their families and thrown in cages.
A lot has changed since then… and a lot hasn’t.
While the flurry of policy changes and court rulings can make your head spin, one thing hasn’t changed: refugees entering the United States for protection are being treated inhumanely.
The Trump administrations ‘zero tolerance‘ policy has drawn critique from the United Nations and human rights organizations. Continued separation of families has led to a Grannies Respond partnership with the Veterans Service Corps:
Veteran Service Corps (VSC) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, born out of the Veterans Stand for Standing Rock movement that assembled on the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota in December 2016. At that time, it had been 90 years since the veteran community from across the country had been mobilized to protect the constitutional and human rights of a group of American citizens.
“Veterans have been asking for a new action, here it is,” Brandon Boucher, US Navy Veteran, and VSC Board Member said to Citizen’s Truth. “The Grannies of this country [United States] are asking for the support of our veterans, we now have the opportunity to do that. They have also requested veterans join them on the trip, so we have offered to help vet and coordinate those who wish to join,” he continued.
The trip referenced is in response to the ‘Granny Caravans’ which will travel to McAllen, Texas, on August 6th for 24 hours of action. McAllen is home of the largest federal processing center taking in immigrant children. The 68,000 square foot facility is located near the United States border with Mexico. “The Grannies respond moment is very similar to what we did at Standing Rock, so we’re excited to put those lessons we learned to use, [in order to] help them avoid the pains we had,” Boucher added.
The press release can be seen below:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
GRANDMOTHERS AND VETERANS TO JOIN FORCES AT US-MEXICO BORDER
TO END INHUMANE TREATMENT OF REFUGEES
Veterans from Standing Rock to facilitate and mobilize veterans in support of
“granny caravans” traveling to McAllen, Texas, on August 6th for 24 hours of action
July 23rd, 2018 – Grannies Respond and Veteran Service Corps announced a
partnership today to mobilize Americans to the US-Mexico border on August 6th,
2018, for 24 hours of action, including rallies, vigils, and volunteering with local
organizations. In support of Grannies Respond, the Veteran Service Corps will offer
expertise by providing trained personnel on the ground to facilitate the arrival of
the caravans in McAllen, Texas. In partnership with local organizations and activists
who have been active in supporting asylum seekers and refugees for decades, VSC
will ensure that the caravans will make an impact on their 24-hour stay.
On Tuesday, July 31, a group of grandmothers, grandfathers, and others, calling
themselves Grannies Respond, will depart from New York City in a caravan headed
to McAllen, Texas. Seeking to bring a message of love and compassion to this grim
policy debate, they will stop in Reading, PA, Pittsburgh, PA, Louisville, KY,
Montgomery, AL, New Orleans, LA, and Houston, TX. Each stop will include a mix of
public demonstrations, vigils, and singing with local immigrant rights, interfaith,
and other activist groups. Their original caravan has become a national movement.
Caravans are forming in every corner of the country, from Florida to California, to
meet in McAllen, Texas, on August 6th. Grannies from across the country will then
engage in 24 hours of action: rallies, vigils, and volunteering with local groups
coordinated by our partners at Veteran Service Corps and their advance team.
Veteran Service Corps (VSC) is comprised of veterans and allies who formed a
nonprofit organization out of the Veterans Stand for Standing Rock movement in
the winter of 2016, having come to the defense of US citizens whose human, civil,
and constitutional rights were violated. The VSC Advance Team has recently
returned from the border lands on a fact-finding and coalition-building mission to
determine the best way to respond to the American refugee crisis on our southern
“This is bullying, plain and simple. Refugees are coming to the border, fleeing terror
and violence, only to be arrested and have their children ripped from them. It is a
violation of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution and a violation of their human
rights. This is not what I swore an oath for, nor is it in keeping with the ideals and
laws of the country that I signed up to serve. I’m proud to serve the matriarchs of this nation in their mission to show compassion to those who are in such desperate need of it.” – Brandon Boucher, US Navy Veteran, VSC Board Member.
“Veterans did not spill blood in countless battles to see our own country cage babies
and children, for ANY reason. Veterans are mothers and fathers, grandparents,
aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends of families, still ready to defend against
enemies, both foreign and domestic. A terrible wrong has been dealt in the name
of America, and I am proud to join a movement of fellow veterans and
grandmothers to help innocents live without fear of tyranny, the persecuted find a
place of safety, and the American people regain values of compassion and
empathy,” says granny Danna J. Roberts, Chief Master Sergeant, USAF (ret).
Rachna Daryanani, a granny on the ride and a volunteer at the Veterans Home at
St. Albans, says, “I am really happy and excited that the Veteran Service Corps is
joining us. It tells me we are going in the right direction. They fought to make the
world a safer place for the defenseless, and we are trying to do exactly that. One of
my oldest friends, a veteran who I consider my mentor, once said to me, ‘Why shed
tears in the comfort of your home? ACT!’”
About Grannies Respond/Abuelas Responden
Grannies Respond is a spontaneous action led by grandmothers, the moral
compasses of our families, to end the inhumane treatment of refugees entering our
country for safety. Grannies Respond began as a local group of women from
Beacon, NY, who wanted to “go down to the border and just do something”. In a
few short weeks, it has become a nationwide movement of hundreds – if not
thousands – of grandmothers driving from every corner of the nation to the border
to bring compassion, common sense, and human decency to the immigration
About Veteran Service Corps
Veteran Service Corps engages veterans, out of our shared oath of service to our
country, to improve our communities and protect constitutional and human
rights. VSC is engaged in building towards an equitable world through maximizing
the training, education, experience, and talents of the veteran community. VSC
volunteers facilitate sustainable solutions that improve our communities, provide
the infrastructure necessary to address complex systemic problems, and build
capacity in others through camaraderie, teamwork, and service.