Welcome to the Evolving Man Project’s “Evolved Man of the Week” profile. Each week we will highlight an individual that embodies what it means to be an evolved person, famous and non-famous individual alike. The world needs to know their stories and deeds. This week’s honor goes to the former Army soldier and peace activist Victor Agosto.
Agosto was born in Miami, Florida, to a Honduran mother and a Puerto Rican father. He graduated from the School for Advanced Studies in 2003. Agosto then attended Miami-Dade College for two years before enlisting in the Army. He entered military service in August 2005. Agosto deployed to Iraq from September 2006 to October 2007, working as a communications specialist.
During this deployment, through a process of “self-education,” Agosto came to oppose the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Agosto says he “never felt any danger” during his deployment and “never left the Foward Operating Base.” In the last months of the deployment, Agosto began to have strong feelings of guilt over his involvement in an “imperialist occupation.” Agosto realized that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan served only U.S. imperialism and that the immense human suffering caused by these misadventures couldn’t be justified. In May 2008, he stayed within the Fort Hood barracks and refused to go with his unit to Afghanistan.
In April 2008, months after returning from Iraq, Agosto became an Iraq Veterans Against the War member. In May 2008, activists, military and ex-military members, and their families from around the state gathered at The Hood, where Agosto had announced his decision not to deploy again.
Agosto got support from an anti-war activist campaign from the beginning. The resulting publicity surrounding his intent to “put the war on trial” got him out with a reasonable sentence–a 30-day jail sentence, reduction of pay, and less than honorable discharge.
He served a term on the board of directors of Iraq Veterans Against the War. He has also served on the board of directors of Fort Hood Support Network, the governing body for Under the Hood Café in Killeen, Texas. He was a Sociology/Anthropology major at Florida International University. He then served a one-year term as a Co-Chairperson of the Green Party of Broward County. Here is Victor Agosto in his own words about choosing peace over war:
“There is no way I will deploy to Afghanistan. The occupation is immoral and unjust. It does not make the American people any safer. It has the opposite effect.”
Every November 11th in the United States, our nation celebrates “Veterans Day“; its roots lie in Armistice Day. A day of remembrance and an end of the war. I’ve spoken frankly about my opposition to war and the waste of human life and resources that come from waging war. I salute Victor Agosto for having the courage to stand up to the might of the U.S. Military Industrial Complex and War Machine.
The world would be a better place if more Armed Forces members refused to bear arms for wars and conflicts that make the rich richer and the poor poorer. Today we honor Victor Agosto as our Evolved Man of the Week.