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Storytelling event takes place at Hallwalls in Buffalo, NY on Jan. 8 from 3-5 PM.

VeteransRespond, a new national service organization formed by veterans who participated in the massive deployment at Standing Rock, North Dakota in early December—is excited to announce their special presentation, Warrior’s Call: The Fight to Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline, a one-day-only storytelling event featuring United States military veterans who stood at Standing Rock, joined by special guest Lakota Akicita warrior and leader, Michael Mato Tanka. Come experience the story of these veterans’ personal journeys to direct action in support of the Oceti Sakowin natives’ stand against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) in Standing Rock just a little over one month ago.

Warrior’s Call: The Fight to Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline is the story of that journey. With unflinching candor and inspiring insight, Matthew Crane (US Navy), Joseph George (US Air Force), Brandee Paisano (US Navy and Pueblo-Laguna native), Mark Sanderson (US Army and Purple Heart recipient), and Neil Conway (US Navy) refract the eternal narrative of the returning warrior who battles to reconcile their actions and their hearts, driven by a deep desire to stand on the right side of history.

With a special appearance by Michael Mato Tanka (Oglala Lakota, descendant of Chief Red Cloud, Akicita Warrior, and US Marine), Warrior’s Call reveals what brought the veterans to Standing Rock, what they brought away from Standing Rock, and what we can all bring to the fight for our rights and our future. Moderated by actor/producer Trazz Johnson, this special event is a chance to hear firsthand what our new domestic battlefields look like, and how we can all heed the warrior’s call to action.

VeteransRespond is a new service organization founded in December 2016 by disabled veterans who were part of the advanced team at Standing Rock. They work to organize and coordinate highly trained veteran volunteers to provide relief and service work in environmental and man-made disaster sites all across the United States.

VeteransRespond was born out of the Standing Rock movement, which saw more than 4,000 veterans mobilize to Camp Oceti Sakowin and vicinity in defense of the Water Protectors and their allies standing against the DAPL. The overwhelming numbers and presence of these veterans—500 had originally been expected—helped to pressure the federal government into responding and finally denying the easement needed to drill under Lake Oahe. DAPL, a 1,172-mile pipeline to transport crude oil across the Midwest, jeopardizes the drinking water of millions of Americans, while simultaneously desecrating the sacred ground of the Lakota/Sioux nation. As sworn defenders of our country, these veterans felt called to use their training and skills to protect civilians against the domestic violence they witnessed, as manifested in the brutal tactics being deployed against them by state and local police authorities and oil company security. For some, that call to action became a journey to healing and community activism.

Right now, highly trained VeteransRespond volunteers are on the ground at work with the Lakota Tribes in Standing Rock, ND and the Carrizo/Comecrudo Tribes at Camp Toyahvale, Texas. Our team of veterans are providing specialized skills ranging from camp security; EMS and mass casualty trained medical volunteers; communications specialists; IT support and data analysts; and search and rescue patrols. In an organizational structure that veterans are familiar with from their military training and service, we provide skilled volunteers to areas in need where the Veterans can best assist the mission.

In Standing Rock, “They established a command team and an operational TOC [Tactical Operations Center], and are assisting with safety and security operations in the camp. I’m honored to have met these incredible veterans, who inspire as they continue their mission of service” (Tulsi Gabbard, Congresswoman, Hawaii 2nd District, and Iraqi War veteran).

Warrior’s Call: The Fight to Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline is free and open to the public. (Donations in support of the ongoing work of VeteransRespond will be gratefully accepted.) General Admission seating; doors open at 3:00pm, with the Call starting at 3:30pm.

Special thanks to Righteous Babe Records and Babeville Buffalo for the use of Asbury Hall for this event.

Visit the Facebook event page for the showing of Warrior’s Call  in Buffalo here. 

For more information visit Veteransrespond.org and follow VeteransRespond on Facebook.