Matt Howard is president of the San Francisco chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), a post-9/11 veterans organization focused on ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, getting military members and veterans the care they need, and compensating the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Howard served in the Marine Corps from 2001 to 2006 as a helicopter mechanic and completed two tours in Iraq. His interaction with Iraqi civilians dramatically changed his views about the wars in the Middle East and American foreign policy.
Active in both Occupy San Francisco and Oakland actions, Howard and his fellow IVAW members have worked hard to connect the issues veterans are facing at home and abroad to the Occupy Movement's critique of economic inequality. IVAW was recently recognized by The Nation in its Progressive Honor Roll of 2011 for the "Most Valuable Rapid Response" surrounding the social media and messaging work accomplished during IVAW member Scott Olsen's injury at the hands of Oakland police.
Since his exit from active duty, Howard has worked in restaurants while completing school. He received the regents' and chancellor's scholarship at the University of California at Berkeley, where he recently finished a double major in peace and conflict studies and geography.