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U.S. anti-war veterans arrested in Veteran Day event
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08:43, November 13, 2007

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Several anti-war veterans have been arrested when they protested being excluded from a Veteran Day event in Boston, Massachusetts, according to a TV report on Monday.

About 15 members and supporters of a group called Veterans for Peace were arrested on Sunday when they refused to leave the event sponsored by the American Legion outside the Boston City Hall, the Boston-based TV WCVB said.

The American Legion also reportedly rejected the group's request to have a speaker at the event.

Boston police confirmed the arrests but did not specify on exact number. The detainees were later released on bail.

A Vietnam War veteran and group member, Winston Warfield, told the TV that they are viewed as traitors by a lot of veterans because "we're opposed to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, we're opposed to the planned invasion of Iran."

The U.S. federal, state and city offices as well as public schools are closed on Monday in observance of Veterans Day, an official national holiday in the United States, but for U.S. veterans, there are more reasons to worry rather than celebrate.

According to a WCVB report released on Monday, many U.S. soldiers who suffer from the post-traumatic stress disorder after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan were immediately redeployed to the war-torn countries, against the U.S. military policy that soldiers with serious psychiatric problems could only be sent back to the war zone if they were stable for at least three months.

Apart from being tortured by horrible war memories, many veterans were also struggling to find themselves homes.

According to a report released on Nov. 8 by the Homelessness Research Institute, more than 25 percent of the homeless population in the country are military veterans.

About 44,000 to 64,000 veterans are classified as "chronically homeless" - homeless for long periods or repeatedly, the report said.

The concerns about homeless veterans was echoed by another poll by Gallup.

Among 1,005 veteran respondents, 61 percent believe that veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts are at least as likely to become homeless as veterans of previous wars, the poll shows.

Source: Xinhua

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