TROOPS: Stand Down for Black Lives

An Open Letter from Veterans to Recently Activated National Guard Troops

UPDATE: Almost 900 Veterans have signed this letter and we’re receiving messages from dozens of troops looking to refuse orders or know their options if they get them. If you would like help spread the message, you can find printable fliers and posters, graphics and other resources here. Share on social media, distribute them or post them up where they can be seen!

Attention Members of the National Guard,

We write you as fellow veterans and service members with full knowledge of what’s at stake as many of you are being asked to mobilize against civilians in your own country. As your neighbors fill the streets demanding the justice this country promised them, your command is undoubtedly telling you that you’re being activated in service to your community. And yet, it is your community members who fill the streets, while your Commander in Chief tweets about using you to murder people over something as insignificant as property damage.

A moral choice lies before you. As veterans who have faced similar tests of conscience, only to realize too late that we chose wrong, we cannot stress enough the impact this decision will have on the rest of your life. We all took an oath to defend the country from enemies foreign and domestic. Are Black protesters the enemy of this country? Today you have to decide whether you are loyal to the values you swore to uphold or to the commanders who would order you to turn on your neighbors for demanding justice. You cannot be loyal to both.

We know that it is your intention to be of service and prevent more harm, but we urge you to remember the deadly legacy of the National Guard enacting violence against protesters- Watts in 1965, Kent State in 1970, Los Angeles in 1992, and many other examples in recent history.

The military is designed to be lethal, not to de-escalate.

We urge you to have the courage to do the right thing. Refuse activation orders.

No amount of property is worth a single human life. Are you really prepared to carry out the violence President Trump threatened against Minnesotans and others? We ask that you stand up for Black lives by standing down. We know the consequences you may face for disobeying orders. Many of us have faced them ourselves. And many of us live with the consequences of following orders we shouldn’t have, and can tell you that the cost of moral injury is far greater.

There is a long legacy of troops choosing what’s right over what’s ordered. You are not alone in your convictions. To discuss your rights and the options available to you, contact the GI Rights Hotline at 1–877–447–4487. You can also connect with veterans ready to support you as peers and stand with you in your decision by emailing

Very respectfully,

About Face: Veterans Against the War and the undersigned

Veterans click here to add your name to this letter

Veterans (895, updated 6/9)

Devin Griffin, Air Force

Koni Delgado , Air Force

Michael Turek, Air Force

David Yhann, Air Force

Ksenia Voropaeva, Air Force

Christina Burgtorf, Air Force

Jack Koning, Air Force

Evan Anderson, Air Force

Tashi-Kali Macket, Air force

Madison Coveno, Air Force

Steve Griffin, Air Force

Stephen Dutschke, Air Force

Kyle Harlow, Air Force

Christine Meisenheimer , Air Force

Corbett Brattin, Air Force

Percy Hilo, Air Force

Sandra Barrett-Hoomani, Air Force

John Spitzberg, Air Force

Tim Pluta, Air Force

Phillip Pflager, Air Force

Wilford Vogt, Air Force

Fred Norman, Air Force

Nancy Cook, Air Force

Lori Quintana , Air Force

Ronda Shelton, Air Force

Kevin Parent, Air Force

Bill Wilson, Air Force

Dave Paolo, Air Force

Joris Hines, Air Force

Andrew Kincare, Air Force

Toni Brooks, Air Force

Jim Rutherford , Air Force

Courtney Ferebee , Air Force

Brian Brown, Air Force

Jeff Camp, Air Force

Chris Wencker, Air Force

Francis Moulton, Air Force

Shana Press, Air Force

Greg Bowman, Air Force

Ashley Kerwin, Air Force

Caroline Mejia, Air Force

George Lin, Air Force

Alexis Weber, Air Force

Karen Polson, Air Force

Thomas Bauch, Air Force

Dana Briggs, Air Force

Dawn Werner, Air Force

David Nunez, Air Force

Brett Heitshusen, Air Force

David Bledsoe, Air Force

Nathan Gholston, Air Force

Wesley Will, Air Force

Michael Springfield, Air Force

Essence Rudolph, Air Force

Logan Curtis, Air Force

Su Castillo, Air Force

Heather S, Air Force

Mitchell Hursh, Air Force

Carol Frail, Air Force

Lucas Hanenkratt, Air Force

Rich Turner, Air Force

Timothy Pitz, Air Force

Elizabeth Mckinney, Air Force

Eddie Falcon, Air Force

Christina Puntasecca, Air Force

Michael Case, Air Force

Charles Burkard, Air Force

Tegan Rowley, Air Force

Alexander Dutton, Air Force

Christian List, Air Force

Amyn Gilani, Air Force

Kate Hamilton, Air Force

Joe Beltrante, Air Force

Jason Henre, Air Force

Mark Babbitt, Air Force

Lindsay Palson, Air Force

Ken Melvoin-Berg, Air Force

Patrick Hamilton, Air Force

Daniel King, Air Force

Megan Bagby , Air Force

Josh Chapman, Air Force

Jarrod Grammel, Air Force

Jeff Maxwell, Air Force

Joshua Nguyen , Air Force

Justin Hall, Air Force

Janice Thornton, Air Force

Barry Bernsten, Air Force

Danny Quigg, Air Force

Ben Chambers-Maher, Air Force

terrence knight, Air Force

Russell Webster, Air Force

Leslie Wheaton, Air Force

Alexander Garrow, Air Force

Elizabeth Kilner, Air Force

Amanda Merritt, Air Force

Adrian Carroll, Air Force

John Gaughan, Air Force

emmett unbehagen, Air Force

Greg Arrington, Air Force

Deeanna Burleson LtCol(ret), Air Force

Biff Thiele, Air Force

Aaron Yuhas, Air Force

Michael Sauber, Air Force

Jennifer Brown, Air Force

Jasper Leal, Air Force

David Marshall, Air Force

Mario Rivera, Air Force

Stephen Cosgrove, Air Force

Breanne Biggie, Air Force

Stephen Peters, Air Force

William Young, Air Force

Rev Dr Rick Schlosser , Air Force

Terry Sheltra, Air Force

MJ Merriner, Air Force

Rhonda Strick, Air Force

Leann Stephens, Air Force

Ronald L. Cain, Air Force

Thomas Henry, Air Force

Neil M. Barker, Air Force

Eric Garcia, Air Force

Landon Hughes, Air Force

Ted Stolze, Air Force

Linda Schwartz, Air Force

Scott Baseler, Air Force

Michael Montalvo Martinez, Air Force

Hannah Mattson, Air Force

Christian Sorensen, Air Force

Greg Brown, Air Force

Cian Westmoreland, Air Force

Natalie DeLoach, Air Force

Jade Annasta, Air Force

Kingston Prescott, Air Force

Paul Johnson, Air Force

Sarah Sommer, Air Force

Ruth Kelso, Air Force

Andrea Lucy, Air Force

Brenda Johnson, Air Force

Alex Freeman-Smith, Air Force

Quintin Gorman , Air Force

Jonathan Babcock, Air Force

Dustin Kearns, Air Force

Michael Dowdy-Benivamonde, Air Force

Julie Pitt, Air Force

William Laidley, Air Force

Donald Larson, Air Force

Jessica Coulter , Air Force

Jordan Ewings, Air Force Reserve

Jennifer Lum, Air Force Reserve

Garni Thomas, Air Force Reserve

Emily Vasquez, Air Force Reserve

Thomas Brackin, Air Force Reserve

Erin Pineda, Air Force Reserve

Lisa Ling, Air National Guard

Adrienne Harding, Air National Guard

Bonitto Daley, Jr., Air National Guard

Trish Brownlee, Air National Guard

Jackie Hanzok, Air National Guard

Wesley Walker, Air National Guard

Gary McGrath, Army

Ryan Bishop, Army

Joseph Scott, Army

Jovanni Reyes , Army

Mike Conyers, Army

Jorge Rodriguez , Army

David Larsen, Army

Andrew Nixon, Army

Robert Dredden, Army

AJ Goodman, Army

Robyn Fishburne, Army

Daniel Rogers, Army

Matthew McManus, Army

Spenser Rapone, Army

Amanda Madison, Army

Joseph Farkas, Army

Ava Salas, Army

Maggie Martin, Army

Brian Trautman, Army

Wesley Ware, Army

Jacqueline Singh, Army

Geoff Hogate, Army

Stan McCoy, Army

Jenn Webster, Army

Wendy Barranco, Army

Amy Divin, Army

Naomi Rodela, Army

Tim Hardin, Army

Mikaila Thomas, Army

Andrew Yip, Army

Zachary Yeary, Army

Nathan Hughes, Army

Arya LaVallee, Army

Arny Stieber, Army

John Gieler , Army

Adam Dowd, Army

Joel Isaacson, Army

Marybeth Knowles, Army

Marvin Sawyer, Army

Doug Rawlings, Army

William potvin, Army

David Giffey, Army

Amanda Vidri, Army

Rand Dawson, Army

Ed Murphy, Army

Steve Bean, Army

Steve Claassen, Army

Ellen Chung, Army

Bill Butler, Army

James Brown, Army

John Barron-Wike, Army

Stephen Davie, Army

Robert Prokop, Army

Andy Berman, Army

Dan Ryan, Army

Steven Linden, Army

Garett Reppenhagen, Army

Douglas Stuart, Army

Pamela Hagans, Army

Ray Cage, Army

Hollis Higgins, Army

Jeff Scroggin, Army

George Marzocchi, Army

Dan Morgan, Army

Steve Morse, Army

Kenneth Pelo, Army

Larry Brink, Army

Xeena Spellman, Army

Cara Bissell, Army

Ned Long, Army

Clesson Oakes, Army

Richard Sinnott, Army

John Hutchcroft , Army

Lorraine Dumas, Army

Casey Lovell, Army

Christopher Countey, Army

David Brown, Army

Reese Forbes, Army

Marc Cryer, Army

Jaclyn Polhamus, Army

Bryan Urquhart, Army

Jim Casteris, Army

Donald Reith, Army

Danny Beever, Army

Allen Hallmark, Army

Art Sanchez, Army

Christina Sitton, Army

Ellen E Barfield, Army

Thomas Riddering, Army

Terry Hansen, Army

James J DiPisa, Army

Ilmarinen Gouge, Army

Thiéyacine Fall, Army

Richard Hyland, Army

Russell Chisholm, Army

Hank Ickes, Army

Jason Mott, Army

Daniel T, Army

Gerry Condon, Army

Civilian Allies (47, Updated 6/7)

Meagan Rossin; Rodgers Frantz; Amy Henry; Marilyn Brock; Patsy Martinson; Aisha Anjum; Carol Trabing; Jason Brinkman; Myra Mendible; John Alder; Gaia Quay; Maureen Biscardi; Adrienne Weller; Dave Ransom; Michele Ortiz; Gerald Nadreau; Liz Millman; Darren Mitton; Edith Castorena; Rebecca Pera Cole; Siri Margerin; Eva Hutt; Michael Timms; Rachael Baskind; Elyzamarie Damaso; Dee Knight; Ryan Keane; Carl Smith; Kevin Bailey; Marian Cruz; Hank Lin

Veterans click here to add your name to this letter

Media inquiries please email



About Face: Veterans Against the War

About Face: Veterans Against the War’s mission is to mobilize the military community to organize against militarism at home & abroad.