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RETIREMENT LETTER: BEN GRIFFIN

Ben Griffin is a founding member of  Veterans For Peace UK serving as our National Coordinator from 2011 to 2018. He will retire from VFP at the conclusion of our Annual Gathering in November 2019.



 

Dear Veterans for Peace

Since 2005, I have been persistently engaged in anti-war activity. I have given my all and it has taken its toll.

When I summon the energy for one more meeting, one more speech or one more action, I no longer have the capacity to absorb the negative psychological by-products.

Difficult as it is, the time has come for me to accept that everyone has a limit and I passed mine some time ago.

At the conclusion of this year’s Annual Gathering, I will retire from Veterans for Peace.

The table attached to this letter spells out in detail the tasks I presently carry out for VFP and information helpful to the process of handover. I await instruction from the Policy group.

I look forward to seeing you all at our Annual Gathering.

I remain at heart a Veteran for Peace.

The future is unwritten.

Ben Griffin

[Read a PDF version with table attached by clicking here]



  • Spike Pike 06/10/2019, 10:46

    A good call Ben. You have to look after yourself. You have helped so many deal with the after effect of the military. I thank you for the many doors VFP has opened for me. See you soon bud.

  • Moyra Jean 06/10/2019, 10:47

    Ben, you’ve been an inspiration to so many of us in the peace movement and beyond. Take good care of yourself now.

  • Ian Runciman 06/10/2019, 10:55

    Thank you Ben, your commitment is second to none and without you and VFP, I would never have realised that there were like minded veterans. Take it easy mate and I hope to see you in November x

  • Malcolm Samuel 06/10/2019, 11:08

    Hello Ben,
    I’m very sorry to hear that you’re retiring from VFP.
    It must have been a difficult decision to make, but with all that you have done for VFP, and the positive impact that you have made, there can be no retribution for your decision. I take my hat off to you for what you have achieved, but most of all for having the moral fibre to stand up and to say what’s right and what’s wrong.
    I paid quite heavily for my thoughts, which I revealed to Tony Blair in 2007. And I was blinded, severely beaten and suffered a lot of other physical damage to my body for my humanist views. (Torture, of course, by M.I.5. and the local Police, which took place in a North Wales Hospital.)

    I’m also sorry that I was unable to attend any of your rallies, but I’m in a sort of exile in Germany, as I once explained to you.
    Nevertheless, I’m available at this email address anytime you want to talk, or if you ever need assistance over here, or if things get too hot for you in ‘Blighty.
    Just drop me an email and I’ll do what I can to help.
    In the meantime, take care of yourself and don’t let ‘them’ (D.W.P.), funnel you into work that you don’t want to do, also avoid overnight stays at Hospitals.
    But most of all, “Don’t let them grind you down!”

    Sincerely and with best regards,

    Malcolm Samuel.

  • John Mcnichol 06/10/2019, 11:22

    Thanks for making us feel so welcome and all you have done for the Peace movement Ben.
    Take care and hope to see you soon.

  • Chris Paling 06/10/2019, 12:07

    You leave a great legacy, what you have achieved and accomplished is amazing. Thank you for your work and dedication. Respect ✊

  • Mill 06/10/2019, 12:20

    Its a worthy move. You have helped light a fire, time to sit back and enjoy the warmth. You have most certainly earned it

  • Robert Sheridan 06/10/2019, 12:24

    Happy retirement Ben, Thanks for leading this great group, We don’t have to be soldiers that are indoctrinated to hate and kill at a whim from some corrupt nasty politician, Sadly we will be targeted by horrible far right subservient from the army Peace to all.

  • Inoke 06/10/2019, 12:49

    Dear Ben,

    I’m sorry we had to split ways but remember,Yahuah the Creator sees what you have done.You are a Man of Principles and Moral.I pray that Yahuah gives you peace mentally.Be strong my Brother.

  • Cameron Dougherty 06/10/2019, 13:09

    Wishing you well for the future Ben. You have been monumental in the establishment and growth of VfP and I thank you for everything.

  • Gerry Osborne 06/10/2019, 13:34

    Thank you Ben for your hard work and giving a voice for like-minded people.
    Times change and we have to adpt to the changes that come our way. I hope these changes you are tackling will bring a reward in times to come
    A HUGE THANK YOU from me.

  • Steven Gardiner 06/10/2019, 13:38

    That’s a long run, brother—and the toll is real. The mission-like life of anti-war activism can play its own kind of hell with your psyche and such. The biggest legacy you will leave is the people you’ve touched, motivated, catalyzed, and given hope. Three cheers for VFP-UK, may it continue the struggle until it’s no longer necessary. And if you are ever in my neighborhood (Kentucky) drop me a line and we’ll sip some bourbon.

  • Suzana M. 06/10/2019, 15:32

    #Ben ☆The MasterMind VFP UK
    Is a Most Iconic Nobel Movement Ever Made to a Human Kind #VFP UK & US
    ( In order to change warld for better with #Peace on Earth! )
    Only way Oway is #VFP!!
    Nathing Else Will Ever Be!!!
    ‘WAR is not the Solution
    we Face in 21st Century!!!
    Thanks for all you dan
    Nobel #Ben
    Thanks for the Truth.
    You safe bilions You safe As All with the Truth 🤩
    😇Your legasy will leve Forever.
    Let persist your legacy
    till job is Dan!. AMAN
    Lets make you proud 😇
    Sit back and Enjoy 😇
    (well deserved retirement 🤩)
    True 21 century Hero #Ben ☆☆☆

  • James 06/10/2019, 16:17

    You’re a legend & a one-off. Strummer would’ve been chuffed by that quote.
    Enjoy the well deserved peace Ben & thank you for your service!
    Speak soon mate.

  • Camilo Mejia 06/10/2019, 16:56

    Good call brother! Take care of yourself and your family! Will you still be a member at large and attend VFP annual conferences? Good for you either way! Just don’t be a stranger to your brothers and sisters!

  • Rod Tweedy 06/10/2019, 18:25

    Really sad to hear this news, though completely understand mate.
    You changed my life, and I’ll always be grateful to you and to VFP for revealing the true nature of war, showing me that we can challenge the military machine, and inspiring me to stand up and do something about it.
    Peace.

  • Steve Metcalfe 07/10/2019, 10:13

    Utmost respect Ben. Thanks to you I saw my years in the military from a new perspective. All the best for the future and it was a privilege to meet you last year.

  • Mike Hastie 07/10/2019, 10:55

    I am truly glad people see their limitations. The antiwar movement can devour anyone if they do not set boundaries. I am a Viet Nam Veteran from the States. My obsessive passion for exposing the lies of war eventually put me in two psychiatric facilities with massive burnout. I took a break for five years, and then came back. I had to make major changes in my life, which meant I had to quit drinking. For me, working in the antiwar movement and drinking do not mix, as I had to face the reality that I got addicted to alcohol. In essence, alcohol gave me wings to fly, and then it took away my sky. Recovery is absolute freedom !

  • Eddie 07/10/2019, 11:05

    Ben, I will always be grateful for all the reflections and insights you gave me by you selflessly and continuously putting yourself in the frame. It is a hard way to make people think and it does take its toll. I sincerely wish you all the best for the future. Always be kind to yourself mate, if anybody deserves a bit of personal peace you do.
    All the best,

    Eddie

  • benjamin mcintosh 07/10/2019, 11:08

    Upmost respect for all that you have done Ben…you really have put your head above the trenches….
    a true warrior may God bless you on your futite path

  • Fiona Gallagher 07/10/2019, 13:00

    Ben,
    What can i say that hasn’t already been said so eloquently and by so many?
    You really have no idea how you have helped people and what strides forward many have made because of your honest and direct actions.
    When I first became aware of you, I was just another of the many folk out there living with the consequences of the actions of the British military. Being a young girl of 7½ in 1976, living in Derry City, enduring house raids, harassment and most horrifically, the murder of my brother Jim by a British soldier. I was the one person who never imagined making any contact, nevermind a friendship with a former soldier.
    Yet here we are, 5 years after finally meeting and I would call you my friend. And I do so with pride. I’ve made many friends among the VFP and still keep contact.
    For such a young man to have faced down the military elite, the peddlers of war, the angry, vitriolic ‘patriots’, the soldiers still fighting a war within themselves that can’t stand down even though their service is done.. Ben, that takes some doing! Don’t diminish that achievement.
    I want to say thanks, for helping me see the humanity in people I never really viewed with those eyes..
    As I said at the conference in 2015, I feel I gained healing from the people I would have considered my enemy. I feel like the circle has been completed.
    Enjoy your retirement with the family. Take it easy and just float through life..
    But you still owe me a pint!!!
    Love and best wishes Ben x

    • patti 24/10/2019, 19:26

      Dear Fiona, I read your comment re Ben Griffin’s proposed retirement. It made me feel touched that Ben has affected you [as he has done with so many others] in a way that made some of your life beliefs and demons change. Several of my good friends, one who was my partner from 90-95, come from Derry and their lives were harshly affected by the British Army’s invasion of Derry. Some of their friends died, some including my partner, were in prison and one blinded with plastic bullets. My ex partner still has difficulties thinking of British armed forces in anything other than a repugnant way. Glad that Ben had such a great affect on you and others. I havent met him but I’m sure he will stand out on this Remembrance Sunday VFP parade. Obviously a very special guy. Very best wishes
      Patti
      Patricia

      • Fiona Gallagher 11/11/2019, 02:31

        Hello Patricia,
        Ben has indeed had an impact on my life. He’s too modest to accept it, but it is most certainly true.
        The scars left after operation banner will be with me til I die. I can put it no other way. So much bitter grief and unnecessary loss.
        But my past experiences I won’t forget. But I don’t want to constantly relive them. So I decided to learn more about others affected. Even if that meant even the soldiers that terrorised me and my family and community. I had to do it. Regardless what others thoughts or perceptions were of me. That wasn’t my concern. I’d lost the fear and was doing something for me and my sanity.
        Hopefully more will follow in the footsteps of Ben and all the grand people of VFP.. may they see all wars are a business and they will never reap the rewards. They just do the bidding and not the fancy living of the spoils of war.
        Love and luck to Ben and his family.
        As we say in Derry (not london Derry 😋)
        He’s a good spud! X
        Fiona

  • Adrian Walker 07/10/2019, 13:25

    Sad news but as you say there’s a cost that has to be borne.
    As a supporter of VFP I can only thank you for your vision and effort in upholding the cause of peace. Enjoy your retirement.

  • Norman Scarth 07/10/2019, 15:02

    Very best of wishes to you Ben. It was the light you lit which made me aware of VfP, & I will be forever grateful.
    Regret my old bones are too ancient to take on any of your duties, or to do more tan offer moral support from afar, here in Ireland.

  • David Westgate 07/10/2019, 15:19

    What VfPs have had to say about you and what you have achieved is truly moving and, I know, fully deserved. You are an inspiration. Now is your time to let others shoulder all the burdens you have willingly but bravely and tiringly borne.
    Very best wishes.

  • Mohamed Elmaazi 07/10/2019, 17:01

    Dear Ben,

    Your work has been genuinely inspiring and I have regularly shared your presentation on the Making of a Modern British Soldier.

    I have found you to be an articulate and convincing anti-militarist and pro-peace advocate.

    I am sorry to hear that you feel you can’t do your work with VfP anymore but I am glad that upon realising that you have had the self-awarness and ability to choose to stop and tend to your own needs.

    I wish you the best in your future endeavours.

    In solidarity and in peace,

    Mohamed

  • Allen Jasson 07/10/2019, 18:27

    Yes Ben, you’ve done an excellent job. What more can I say.
    Just Thanks.
    Regards,
    Allen

  • Davi Marchesi 07/10/2019, 20:16

    you have fought the good fight, and will, I’m sure, continue to do so- as I once quoted from the Frenchman, Jean Jaures, who was murdered in July 1914 : real courage is in everyday work. Perhaps especially when one has a family.

  • Angela Kenny 07/10/2019, 22:34

    Ben, you came along at the right time. You were a fantastic mouthpiece for peace and your eloquence drew me in as a VfP supporter. A wise person knows when to step up and when to step away. Be kind to yourself now and know that you made a difference and ‘let your life speak’.

  • Terry Griffin 08/10/2019, 16:17

    As Ben’s father it makes me feel so proud and humble to read the lovely comments made by so manyabout his retirement…he has made a wonderful contribution to peace…others have picked up the mantel as it has always been my hope that the big oak will have grown from the little acorn…I hope to be in London for the annual gathering meeting in November …if I am unable to be there then enjoy under the new team…TAG 🙂

    • Fiona Gallagher 09/10/2019, 01:48

      Terry, be proud. That’s one fine son ye have x

    • Garry H 11/10/2019, 15:06

      Terry:
      I`m so sorry that you are the father of someone so ugly as Ben. I have never me him myself, but I bet he scares children a lot. PS: Did he get the part of John Merrick in the local dram club that he auditioned for?

  • David Lear 08/10/2019, 16:39

    I had the very great pleasure of interviewing Ben and his colleague Darren Cullen a while back and was pleasantly surprised at his sincerity and forthrightness regarding war and those too young to be of any use other than cannon fodder, it wasn’t just enlightening to hear a veteran speak but through his wise words a real hope for the future presented itself from someone fully qualified to finally cement that positive footing for the future generations. It’s hard to imagine he is not going to be there but everyone has a right to there own space and most certainly his has been well earned, so here’s to wishing you a secure and comfortable future for you and your family and thank you so much for your excellent work and for the pleasure of meeting you and of course your colleague Darren that day at the Red Gallery in London. (ifnmedia.com)

  • Alan Mason 10/10/2019, 17:17

    Respect. You’ve done a great job Ben. Thank you.

  • Garry H 11/10/2019, 15:01

    Ben Griffin; the man with the face that only a mother could love and the intellect of an autistic single celled organism, with possible ginger tinged hair and the voice of a scared trapped boy: All the best to you, you mong`. Thanks for putting up with all my emails over the years. All the best in your pole dancing career. I wish you luck for the grueling selection process you will face for the RAF reserves should your application be accepted. Stay ugly! Garry H, South Carolina, USA. living the American Dream!

  • Garry H 11/10/2019, 15:33

    I forgot to wish you the best of luck for your upcoming screen test for `John Merrick, a life`. I know you have what it takes to easily stand head and shoulders above all other applicants for this role, a role that could only really be for you and you alone! You deserve this! I look forward to seeing you soon on the `silver screen`. At least you will not need to spend hardly any time at all in makeup or voice coaching. Go for it1 Remember, you are not an animal, you are Ben Griffin!

  • Pete Tinsley 12/10/2019, 12:13

    Good luck Ben. You’re a very strong person. Thanks for planting a seed of truth for so many people. Appreciate all your effort and the empowerment you’ve given to so many other people. You’re a good person, often in my thoughts. Wishing you and your family the peace, love and happiness you so well deserve. Thank you.

  • James Tøler 12/10/2019, 13:01

    Ben,
    Thank you for your leadership and superior guidance. You are a true activist and champion for the people.
    It has been a pleasure being a part VFP because of you, as you pass the torch I feel confident that the organisation has been set on a steady path, because of your diligent efforts.
    Thank you my friend for all you do for others.
    James Tøler

  • Florian D. Pfaff 14/10/2019, 14:15

    Dear Ben, when I read, that you did have to take that difficult decision, I again was remembered, that we all have our limits. Unfortunately, we are all just humans. But you are a strong and wonderful son of this planet! Thankful and with great respect I understand your decision. Sometimes it is wise to pull the emergency break. Please take all the time you need and enjoy your life until you have the wish and the capability to fight again, my friend.

  • Stefan Gillies 16/10/2019, 06:39

    God Bless you Ben

  • Jim Radford 28/10/2019, 14:01

    Ben

    Now back on line I have only just caught up with your news. I am truly sorry that you feel the need to step down but I can well understand why you might. You have made a major contribution to the cause of Peace and inspired many people as their comments show, I am proud to be your friend.

    Jim Radford

    You have made a major contribution.

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