Now Veterans Are Marching On Wall Street -- They're Mad About Scott Olsen, Benefit Cuts And 20% Unemployment



Veterans are coming together to beef up their presence and stature at Occupy Wall Street following last week’s injury of one of their own.Scott Olsen’s head wound, suffered in Oakland last week, has caused vets ranks to swell in the Occupy protests. In response, organisers have planned a march from Vietnam Veteran’s plaza to Zuccotti park in New York today. At the park, veterans will voice their concerns over declining benefits, lingering postwar trauma, and unemployment rates of over 20 per cent for 18 to 24-year-old vets.

“[Olsen’s] injury has definitely galvanised veterans,” University of Illinois senior Scott Kimball told the Military Times. Kimball, 27,served in Iraq and will be helping to coordinate today’s march.

“We’re getting calls from veterans across the country who are extremely angry and appalled that someone who served two tours in Iraq got injured as a well-behaved protester,” Kimball told MT. “It’s rallying vets across the country. We’re just seeing the beginning of it.”

Marines in particular are showing their support for one of their own. “We’re hearing from 80-year-old former Marines,” said Joe Carter, national head of Iraq Veterans Against the War. “Scott Olsen was willing to put himself on the line, so a lot more people are willing to take a more visible role.”

Today’s veteran protest in New York will coincide with Oakland’s general strike and protest that threatens to shut down the Port of Oakland, the fifth-busiest container port in the nation.

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