If you are a veteran who longs for more peace and less war, Don Chapin and Hal Anthony want to hear from you.

If you are a veteran who longs for more peace and less war, Don Chapin and Hal Anthony want to hear from you.

Talent resident Chapin and Anthony of Hugo are organizing members of the Rogue Valley Veterans for Peace Chapter 156, which held its first meeting this month.

"We've all been in the service and most of us feel our military is being put to the wrong use," explained Chapin, 69, a retired Air Force captain, a "mustang" who rose up through the enlisted ranks to become an officer.

"The military is supposed to be the tail end of the diplomatic process," he added. "It should be the teeth behind the work that is going on. Unfortunately, it's not being done that way now."

Some 20 veterans have joined the fledgling chapter, an arm of the national Veterans For Peace group, he said. The local chapter covers both Jackson and Josephine counties.

The goals of the chapter include working toward increasing public awareness of all costs of war; retraining the U.S. government from intervening, overtly and covertly, in the internal affairs of other nations; ending the arms race; reducing and eventually eliminating nuclear weapons; seeking justice for veterans and victims of war; and abolishing war as an instrument of national policy when all other options have not been exhausted.

The chapter will work closely with Citizens for Peace and Justice of Medford and Peace House in Ashland.

The new chapter represents a growing peace movement locally, according to Chapin.

"We're from all different services — most of us have gray hair," Chapin said of members.

The point, he reiterated, is they've all reached an age where they realize wars are easy to start and hard to stop. Peaceful solutions should be exhausted before the nation flexes its military muscle, he noted.

Chapter membership is open to active military personnel as well as veterans. Non-veterans can be associate members.

The chapter's second meeting will begin at 6 p.m. Nov. 5 at 737 N.W. Finney in Grants Pass.

The group's Web site is www.rv-vfp156.org. For more information, call Anthony at 476-4156 or Chapin at 512-1108.

Reach reporter Paul Fattig at 776-4496 or e-mail him at pfattig@mailtribune.com.