Why Is the AARP Pushing War?

By Mike Ferner, Interim Director of Veterans For Peace, October 13, 2023

Letter to the AARP:

A friend forwarded to me a notice of your event planned for November 11, described in this poster.

I am shocked that AARP, which my wife and I both belong to, would sponsor an event like this!

How many AARP members who are veterans — and their families — are suffering the lifelong effects of war? How much treasure is our nation pouring into the military — money that could provide every person in this nation with good health care and an education?  What a difference that would make in the lives of everyone in the U.S.!

But instead, we will spend over one trillion dollars on death and destruction this coming year while huge needs go unmet in every sector of society.

Make no mistake, that is exactly what is behind your “Sweepstakes.” AARP is playing right into the hands of the military recruiters who operate with unlimited budgets in our schools, communities, sporting events, and media outlets.

Here is a compelling, short video documentary called “Disneyland of War” featuring a combat veteran of Iraq, Mike Hanes, at the Miramar Air Show in San Diego.  It explains in powerful words and images the results of the militarism you are promoting.

The AARP knows and can do much better.


Mike Ferner

PS: Veterans For Peace years ago decided to return to the original, correct term for the Nov. 11 holiday, Armistice Day.  Here is why.

Mike Ferner, Interim Director
Veterans For Peace

9 Responses

  1. Excellent letter! I agree 100% This makes me want to cancel all support for AARP. We need peace and peace does not come at the barrel of a gun, bullet, bomb, or any other military weapon. Cancel this atrocity on November 11th before it’s too late!!!

  2. Why are we glorifying war?? Destruction of lives, homes, countries…Killing of innocents…
    Now with the current actions in Israel and the Hamas war!! I didn’t know that being a member of ARRP that celebrates empowering yourself as you age would find supporting this war game a benefit and contradictory to your mission… very disappointing and sad.

  3. Our country is drunk on wars all absolutely unnecessary from Vietnam to Afghanistan to iraq, throw in libya, Ukraine where we purposefully ignored or undermined numerous opportunities to negotiate including absolutely ignoring General Milley’s recommendation last december to negotiate and end the slaughter, and arming Israel unbelievably as they THEY oppress VISCIOUSLY the Palestinians whose land they stole based on murders in cold blood of unarmed men. And AARP supports this. This nightmare cannot be the country my father made me know often how fortunate and blessed we are to live in who came extremely close to being killed in WW II 2. This is immoral including the blatant lies recruiters use in their impressive fatigues to get our youth them into our armed forces. We have the blood of millions of women and children on our hands since Vietnam and you are glorifying this to recruit men and women to die for the Cheney’s of our country who avoided the draft and made millions off of war profiteering. This is insane and immoral. God help us.

  4. This is insane! I’d like to know who in AARP thought of this! Making war machines “fun”!?? Maybe after the ‘joy’ ride, the kids can look at photos of the destruction they could create: mutilated bodies and destroyed towns. Oh never mind, it’s all over the news on TV. War is everywhere, aided by America’s war money machine.
    It’s sick.

  5. What a disappointment this news is! AARP has supported many good programs and initiatives but this is NOT one of them.

  6. From my 2006 article in Counterpunch.org, Military Contractor Philanthropy:
    Connections and revolving doors between contractors and citizen organization boards and top staff further cement bonds and promote a non-critical atmosphere. In 2002, Chris Hansen, former chief lobbyist for Boeing, became the top lobbyist for the AARP. John H. Biggs was a director of Boeing while he was Chairman, President and CEO of TIAA-CREF, the college teachers’ retirement fund.

    My recent book, The Trillion Dollar Silencer: Why There Is So Little Anti-War Protest in the United States, Clarity Press, 2022, has extensive information on the non-profit sector and the military industrial complex. I don’t believe there is another book with so much detail on this subject. For up to date investigation, check the board of directors of any organization–it is usually on the websites–as well as the donors listed in annual reports–also available online.
    Joan Roelofs

  7. Hamas is a terrorist group empowered by Israel’s conservative governments. Its recent attack on the citizens of Israel is strongly condemned. However, millions of innocent Palestinians, especially kids, suffer Israel’s brutal invasion and blockage.

    Shame on AARP. I feel so bad for being a member of this terrible organization. I will never, ever have any association with this organization.

    Thanks for bringing this up.

  8. Thank you everyone for responding to my photo taken at an AARP event on Long Island on October 10, 2023. Our work is not over. Can you email the Associate Director of AARP for Long Island at: bmacias@aarp.org to tell him what we really think of this action they are planning. Another email is: media@aarp.org and nyaarp@aarp.org. We need all your support.

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