We go where angels and marines fear to tread.
Two things need most by communities effected by natural disasters and the first and second responding organizations are Power and Communications.
Access to and the cost of fuel during and after natural disasters effects the communities ability to recover and organizations ability to respond. The effects are compounded in highly populated areas with fuel rationing after a natural disaster.
To recruit appropriate volunteers, tools and material donations it is essential to an effective response. Fast and accurate communications from eyes on the ground showing where and how donations are used is key to sustaining any relief effort no mater the size.
During large scale natural disasters traditional forms of communications, power and fuel sources are often inaccessible for weeks and is some cases rationed for months.
Our mission is build the Veterans Green Bus to demonstrate sustainable energy solutions to power forward operating bases during natural disasters. .Our membership in Team Rubicon allows us to share our know how.
Fuel WVO conversion (Done Jan, 2013)
Bus safety check service maintenance
Bus Interior Conversion
Operational Readiness Plans:
Safety Maintenance Service
Tires, breaks, suspension, lights
Annual service and maintenance budget $3,000
Fuel: Bio Diesel and WVO (waste vegetable oil) conversation.
Budget: $8,000 Jan, 2013 Donated by Team Rubicon USA Thank You!
Electrical: Solar, Wind, Power Inverter/Digital Regulator / 10KW biodiesel generator
Communications Equipment: $35,000
Computers X2 mac, Video /Photo HD, Printer, Digital Projector, PA System, Satellite Internet
Bus Interior Conversion $15,000
Cabinets, counter tops, bunks, kitchen, lighting, electrical, hot water, shower
Fund raising goal + $80,000
#1. Vehicle and Passenger Safety
#2. Vehicle Reliability
#3. Program Sustainability
#4. Reduced Fuel and Operating Costs
#5. Increased capacity distance traveled and amount of power produced
#6. Reduce environmental Impact by using green sustainable and renewable energy sources
Milestones:: Short / Medium / Longterm
Jan 2013 Mechanical Service and safety services.
Jan 2013 Fuel system conversion
March - April 2013 Communication installation
April 30 12013 deployment Texas Willie Nelsons 80th birthday.
Disaster Preparedness and Response Mission Reports
Community Event & Project Surveys / Summaries / Budgets / Financial Records/ Post Event Reports
Veteran Intake & Exit interviews
Measurements of effectiveness.
Number of veterans served / trained
Number of events attended
Number of green trainings
Number of disasters responded to
Number of projects completed
Number of miles driven
Number of hours generating power
Number of gallons of fuel saved
The Veterans Green School Bus once built will pay for itself by making and selling fuel they recycle between tours demonstrating sustainable energy solutions or responding to disasters,.
The processes of collecting, cleaning and filtering the oil and converting engines will be demonstrated by the bus crew for local schools businesses and community governments.
In the event a national disaster occurs. The Veterans Green Bus will provide power, communications, and cooking capabilities for United Relief volunteer responses. This website will also document those efforts.
The most needed services for responders and survivors after large tornadoes and hurricanes are shelter, emergency power, communications and food. The Veterans Green Bus will use it's generators running on grease to provide emergency power. Solar to power satellite internet to assist residence with contacting loved ones, reporting missing and applying for community and federal assistance.
This is a all volunteer effort. The money raised will is put directly into capacity building for veterans to demonstrate sustainable energy solutions for disaster response.
Since fuel costs are the largest expense for a bus, creating the capability to fuel the bus with recycled cooking oil will make this project sustainable from the start.
In order to keep the bus on the road it will need to do this right the first time. That is why we're recruiting industry professionals to assist the building of the bus.
To outfit the bus and have it ready to be on the road for the next million miles sustainably, we need to raise a significant initial start up budget of $80,000.
We need industry Support:
Semi Truck Manufacturing Company, Trade Union or Service Center to go over the bus to identify any need repairs and address an safety issues.
Motor home. Sailboat manufacturing restoration conversion company to assist in building interior and galley.
Solar, Wind, Bio Diesel, WVO, Seed Press, Industry to outfit the bus with the equipment to run on fuels we can recycle while on the road.
Satellite Internet and computer companies to outfit the bus with the ability to communicate from anywhere on the road or during a regional disaster.
Environmental Movement for events to demonstrate these technologies to the general public and recruit veterans to duplicate the effort in their communities.
This project is the brain child of Gordon Soderberg. A veteran of the US Navy who did is first two years as a seaman on the USS SAMPLE FF 1048 a fast frigate stationed out of Pearl Harbor and the last four as a corpsman and surgical tech at Balboa and Oak Knoll Naval training hospitals. With specialized training with Rapidly Deploy-able Medical Teams on the USS Mercy and with the US Marines at 29 Palms Cal. 1982 - 1988
Gordon left the Navy to work with his brother Andrew Soderberg who was the Quicktime evangelist at Apple Computer. Together, they built a company that created the first presentations and interactive interfaces using full screen video on the apple computer and the first user friendly interface designs for the physically disabled for Apple's booth at Epcot Center. After several projects for Apple and other major software companies. Gordon moved back to his home town Northern California to teach digital video, computer graphics and multimedia design. 1988 -1998
He received a contract from the National Endowment For the Arts to participate in the Benton Foundation's Open Studios Arts Online Program. The first community internet access site he built was at The Ink People Center For The Arts in Eureka, CA. Gordon was teaching digital video, how to build website galleries for rural artists, online social networks for non profits, rural cultural organizations and consulting with the indigenous peoples of Northern California on using the techniques he developed.
At the same time he was learning from these artists how to build community and cultural significants into the tools he was creating for them. They also taught him how to build human powered vehicles capable of traversing water and the toughest terrains, he learned small bio diesel plant construction and operations from Barefoot recycling and helped o rebuild a Victorian home and a Restaurant 1998
With the help of a Korean war veteran and fighter pilot they started a all volunteer historic restoration management and operation of the 1939 Art Deco Style Eureka Theater. With his digital arts students, volunteers, community organizations and business partners they preserved the historic public venue for the production of community cultural events and shared these events live on the internet.
In a letter of support for the National Endowment for the Arts in early 2001, Gordon was quoted to say, "If you don't have the access to today's digital tools of communication or the connection to the resources those tools provide, what good will it do to have the right of free speech, if you can no longer be communicate?" Free speech and access to the Internet are the tools to a secure and preserved democracy today.
On Sep,11, 2001 everything changed for Gordon..
With a world wide war starting on terror and the internal conflicts of environmental and economic politics waging in rural and urban communities Gordon felt compelled to do something and began documenting the stories of veterans and their families.
Most of the stories he heard were how at first they were for the war then began to feel very differently. They questioned their government's reasoning for sending them to fight it in the first place and secondly their justifications for staying.
Gordon began to travel the country on a bio diesel powered bus visiting 100s of veterans and attending several conferences on the subjects of the Afghanistan then Iraq wars and peace activism. Gordon built a bus with local Vietnam veteran. They put a Internet satellite dish on it, created a website using social networking tools that would allow for their message to be shared quickly. Then painted the bus Red White and Blue like a upside down flag. 2001 - 2004
The Veterans For Peace Impeachment Tour Bus would first travel to Dallas, TX in July of 2005. While at the Veterans For Peace convention they met Cindy Sheehan. She asked for a ride to President Bush's Ranch the next day. There she would stay for the next 26 days. The video Gordon shot of the VFP Bus a crew taking Cindy to Crawford was edited and posted it to the internet from the bus's satellite system the same day..
Gordon would spend the next several weeks talking to other veterans and family members who came from around the country to a ditch in the middle of Texas and late August. Sharing these stories on the bus website.was very therapeutic for the people he interviewed and for himself.
The winds of change began to blow.
On August, 25, of 2005, Hurricane Katrina changed course and headed directly for New Orleans. Having been in several Hurricanes while in the Navy Gordon knew the damage this would cause. He also knew many of the people who would be hardest hit. Many of the people he knew from new orleans were now sitting next to him using thie satellite system to book the last flights into New Orleans. Knowing the bus, satellite internet system and his and other veteran's medical experiences would be needed, the Bus crew stared to plan how they would help.
The day before leaving for New Orleans Gordon helped to install three more satellite internet systems on rented motor homes that would take Cindy Sheehan and several veterans and gold star family members to Washington DC. The Veterans For Peace bus would head to New Orleans with supplies and a group of veterans and medical volunteers with experience in responding to natural or man made disasters. Making a stop in Austin Texas the vehicles were met by several thousand supporters who showered the veterans for peace bus and motor homes with donations for victims of hurricane katrina and the peace movement.
When the Veterans For Peace got to Louisiana they set up camp at a local red cross shelter and began to use the power from their generators to power emergency medical equipment. They used the satellite to help victims find family members and register for disaster relief. They also documented to the stories the victims were telling of their tragic experiences.
While the veterans were blogging about the disaster on their website, these stories were being shared on social networks, blogs and news outlets all over the world. In Just a few days the bus crew had over $500,000 ito use for disaster relief. Grassroots organizations were asking the where they send their crews and donations and the people in the shelters were finding where their family members were sent and making travel reservations to reunite.
Over the next several weeks the these veterans sent up a several volunteer camps in New Orleans and the surrounding parishes. They rented trucks, warehouses to distribute the donations, They also rented camp grounds and homes for volunteers. They funded and staffed the first free medical clinic in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and paid for the fuel and food for volunteers that came from all over the world to help them.
After several weeks the emergency response turned into a rebuilding effort. The Bus returned to California to continue the peace effort. Gordon stayed on in New Orleans to help with the volunteer camps use the internet to support their reconstruction efforts. In places like the New Orleans' Lower Ninth ward and in the rural areas of Louisiana that did not have power or phones yet. Gordon set up satellite internet systems run on batteries charged with solar power and taught the volunteers how to use it the get their needs met.
The owner of one volunteer camp properties wanted to rebuild using sustainable energy and storm proof construction methods and ask Gordon to build a bio diesel plant to power it and document the restoration of the property by veterans and hurricane survivors. They agreed to form a company that would use bio diesel and solar to not only rebuild the camp. They would also use the fuels to help clear lots and rebuild homes for people who were elderly or disadvantaged.
From 2007 -2009 Gordon and a crew of veterans and volunteers built and operated a small bio diesel plant, constructed the first net zero energy storm proof house on the location of the volunteer camp and cleared several hundred lots in the Lower Ninth Ward while documenting everything on websites devoted to the subject.
In the Summer of 2009 with the camp nearing completion and Brad Pitt building green homes on the lots Gordon cleared in the lower ninth ward. Gordon placed the bio diesel plant in New Orleans with a community youth empowerment organization and took a job as a regional director with an organization being started called Veterans Green Jobs Alliance out of Denver, CO,
After helping to write the original funding grant proposals for the non profit Gordon moved to Colorado to help build the infrastructure and manage two weatherization contracts with the Colorado governors energy office. While working in Alamosa, CO Gordon was invited to New Mexico's Carson National Forest to evaluate the potential restoration of a historic log cabin.
The construction project would be placed in his and fellow veterans hands. In the summer of 2010 he took five other veterans to the remote national forest construction site and over the next two months they built a duplicate of the original Shuree Log cabin. Having to do dangerous \work in a remote area with no means of communication to share the education experience or even call for help was very troubling to Gordon. Not having the means to preserve food for more than a few days was also impacting the fuel budget. And finally having to sleep in tents and cook out doors for two months gave Gordon the tough lesson of how important a bus with all these capabilities could be. He also concluded that a bus if properly equipped could sustain a crew for almost any mission.
With the knowledge gained from his military experience, building internet solutions, solar powered internet satellite systems for disaster relief and hurricane proof homes, bio diesel plants, log cabins as well as buses for national tours Gordon is now working on putting all of his experiences together on one bus to empower other veterans of the next generation to document what is important to them by taking images writing descriptions and shooting and editing short videos of green building techniques, sustainable energy projects and the training programs required to created them.
By sharing what Gordon has learned he want's to help the next generation of veterans and peace activists will have the tools and training to help create more sustainable communities that will secure this democracy into the future.
Building the foundation of the Veterans Green Bus Project
Information Networks Used To Build and Operate The Veterans Green Bus
Converting the bus to run on grease & bio diesel, solar panels electrical inverters, interior, install the satellite internet as well as maintaining it requires many different resources.
The Veterans Green Bus Facebook Page Come join us!
Crown Bus Junkies A Bus Owners Group Come join us!
Share personal experiences, stories, technical information and history.
Grease and Bio Diesel Technical Information and Commercial Resources
675 Watt Kyocera Full Timer Plus Solar System
WVO Conversion System Custom Tanks and Installation for large vehicles, tractors, and heavy equipment.
Parts and accessories for WVO conversion.
For cleaning oil prior to use.
Biodiesel Related Links
Nonprofit Organization United Peace Relief
Website United Peace Relief - Ukiah, California (unitedpeacerelief.org) Veterans Green Bus: (www.unitedpeacerelief.ning.com)
Address Po Box 591
Ukiah, California 95482-0591
Nonprofit Classification Charitable Organization
Organization Type Corporation
Deductibility Code Contributions are deductible.
Entity Terminated False
EIN (Tax ID) 510555852
United Peace Relief By Definition
United u·nit·ed (yū-nī'tid) adj. Combined into a single entity. Concerned with, produced by, or resulting from mutual action. Being in harmony; agreed. unitedly u·nit'ed·ly adv. unitedness u·nit'ed·ness n.
Peace is a state of harmony, the absence of hostility. This term is applied to describe a cessation of violent international conflict; in this international context, peace is the opposite of war. Peace can also describe a relationship between any parties characterized by respect, justice, and goodwill. More generally, peace can pertain to an individual relative to her or his environment, as peaceful can describe calm, serenity, and silence. This latter understanding of peace can also pertain to an individual's sense of himself or herself, as to be "at peace" with one's self would indicate the same serenity, calm, and equilibrium within oneself.
Relief re·lief (ri-lēf') n. The easing of a burden or distress, such as pain, anxiety, or oppression. Something that alleviates pain or distress. Public assistance. Aid in time of danger, especially rescue from siege. Release from a post or duty, as that of sentinel. One who releases another by taking over a post or duty.
The mission of United Peace Relief is to respond to disasters with conventional and alternative medical and humanitarian relief. Disaster relief can be hurricane, storm surge, drought, fire, pestilence, explosion, building collapse, transportation accident or any other situation that causes human suffering or creates human needs that the victims cannot alleviate without assistance.
Our goal is to provide volunteers which are able to give immediate and ongoing support to victims of disaster, to collaborate with other relief organizations, and to affect fundamental change through grassroots community development. We are united in our commitment to promote peace and nonviolence in ourselves and in the world.
At this time our primary goals for 2009 are:
1. Provide humanitarian relief and promote community development projects throughout the United States.
2. Organize, on a national level, relief volunteers to respond to disasters with immediate assistance and ongoing support.
3. Provide access to healthcare for those affected by disasters.
4. Develop a collaboration with other like-minded relief organizations.
5. Continue to assist with reconstruction and relief efforts in the Gulf Coast area affected by the hurricanes.
6. Maintain and staff mobile units for outreach, humanitarian and disaster relief.
7. Raise funds to meet goals.
The Veterans Green Bus History:
United Peace Relief is pleased to support The Veterans Green Bus project.
We have a long and successful history of working closely with veterans and Gordon Soderberg.
Following Hurricane Katrina, a group of veterans and their bus were among the first to arrive and assist the survivors. The skills veterans brought with them to the disaster area were invaluable. In addition to volunteers, the veterans brought a bus, food preparation capability, generators and satellite internet. During a time of no access to supplies, food, electricity or a connection outside the disaster zone, these were life-saving resources.
The mission of The Veterans Green Bus to help communities prepare for and recover from natural disaster with veteran labor, sustainable energy and communications vital to the recovery process. Goals are to train veterans in disaster relief using the media, sustainable energy and the knowledge necessary to rebuild green.
The resources needed to launch a project of this nature will be significant and we are asking individuals, organizations and industry to help fund this important and life-saving endeavor.
The Veterans Green Bus.
Veterans helping the country and themselves create sustainable communities and career paths.
The Veterans Green Bus will provide power, communications, and cooking capabilities for first responders In the event a national disaster occurs.
# 1: Train veterans in operating the bus, maintaining its alternative power and communications systems and cooking facilities.
# 2: Train veterans to document the project using the latest digital media technologies
# 3 Serve the community at large by providing emergency aid while demonstrating sustainable energy solutions.
Veterans provide life saving relief.
Veterans Green Bus is an effort to bring assistance to those most effected while demonstrating how green energy solutions can and should be used both during recovery efforts as well as a long term solution to our nations energy needs.
Solar energy, grease, bio diesel, wind for disaster relief is the fastest and cost effective way to get power and communications into a community in need.
Please support veterans bringing green disaster relief to communities in need. With your financial support to supply the bus with the necessary equipment and tools required to provide a sustainable solution to natural and man made disasters.
Specifically, we need to convert The Veterans Green Bus to run on grease as well as biodiesel, solar panels, batteries, inverters, wind turbine and commercial kitchen equipment.
If you have the means, please donate. If you know of a green interest group, organization or a company that would be interested in helping us please share this information with them.
Veterans Green Bus Project
A project of United Peace Relief
"How I became a green veteran"
By Gordon Soderberg
I'm a green veteran. Like President Jimmy Carter, when I got out of the military I still wanted to continue to serve my country by volunteering for disasters and teaching emergency response and rebuilding techniques in learned in the service.
When I got out I also learned how to make biodiesel for fueling recovery efforts and to set up solar powered satellite communications for our base camps. We demonstrated our ability to build net zero energy and hurricane proof home designs. We documented our efforts here: www.bioliberty.ning.com and we created our own website to support duplicating our training models.Here:www.unitedpeacerelief.ning.com.
In 2008 our training and community service work was used to start Veterans Green Jobs www.veteransgreenjobs.org it has grown into an nationally recognized leader in training veterans in sustainable careers that secure their communities natural environment for future generations. Veterans Green Jobs and other veterans organizations have been reaching out to our governemt to make significant investments in the models we have already created. The Veterans Jobs Corps Bill is regrettably a pawn in a play of politics rather than a focus of our countries commitment to it's veterans.
Veterans Green Bus Project
Mobile demonstration of sustainable energy solutions for disaster relief and rebuilding
Operation Green Zone Detroit
Garage for the Bus
Biodiesel plant equipment yard
Community service projects:
Park clean up maintenance
Recycling building materials
"Operation Green Zone"
Demonstrating sustainable energy solutions for the common good using a veteran work force.
Building sustainable communities with green homes, small business and urban farms
Veterans Green Bus Project
A non profit charitable organization dedicated to demonstrating sustainable energy solutions for green housing urban farming and business solutions for veterans and the communities they serve..
Our short term goals are to build our Veterans Green Bus with WVO and Bio Diesel, Solar, and Wind technologies and tour the country demonstrating green disaster relief techniques to encourage local CERT (Civilian Emergency Response Teams) to adopt green energy solutions in their disaster relief plans and general use.
Veterans Green Bus Project Budget Mile Stones:
$20K : Convert the bus to run on wvo, install 6KW biodiesel generator, waist water system maintenance service and safety inspection registration insurance.
Nov - Dec 2012
$80K: Fully equip the bus with office satellite internet, bunks, kitchen mechanical overhaul
Jan - March 2013
150k one year operating budget to train a pay a crew of 5 veterans and tour the country demonstrating sustainable energy solutions and volunteering in support of disaster relief efforts with Team Rubicon USA, and Red Cross, FEMA, local CERT and VERT Teams.
Kick Off Event
Willie Nelson's 80th Birthday April 30, 2013
Team Rubicon USA
CERT / VERT TEAMS
Operation Green Zone Detroit Budget Milestones:
Our medium term goals are secure housing and shop space for our bus and 1st team of green veterans.
We are currently looking at City and County public auctions.
The mission to establish our first FOB (Forward Operating Base) in Detroit and begin "Operation Green Zone".
Short Term Objectives;
Establishing building material recycling center and cooperative bio diesel plant and sustainable reconstruction training center.
Bio Diesel Demonstration Plant
Fuel Operation Green Zone transportation, equipment, electrical and heating needs.
200 - 400 gallons per day capacity
Operation Green Zone Recycling Center and Tool Box
Construction and demolition training, tools, equipment and recycled materials
Our long term objectives:
Train veterans to duplicate our training and support services in other communities.
Other United Peace Relief programs that will directly benefit from supporting the Veterans Green Bus Project and Operations Green Zone.
Spirit of Hope Urban Farm
Greening Detroit: Spirit of Hope Urban Farm Brings Bounty to the Motor City
By Kelli B. Kavanaugh
The Spirit of Hope gardeners built raised beds out of used tires—one of many low-tech ways the group salvages waste and saves money.
Photo By Cybelle Codish
to plant roots.
From Blight to Bounty
Spirit of Hope isn’t alone in reclaiming vacant land, a resource Detroit is rich with. Current estimates suggest that a full third of the city’s sprawling 140 square miles is empty. The Detroit Garden Resource Program—a partnership between the nonprofit The Greening of Detroit, Michigan State University, Detroit Agriculture Network and Earthworks Urban Farm, one of the city’s most prolific and established community gardens—provides services to more than 1,000 community gardens, ranging from a typical household plot to schoolyard corners to multiple vacant lots.
Spirit of Hope fills what used to be four residential parcels, and it’s nowhere near the largest in the city. Brennan says that the urban gardening community is tight-knit, and organizers and volunteers feed off one another’s energy and dedication. “It’s technically illegal, so it’s good to hang out with other people doing illegal stuff,” she laughs. On a more serious note, she continues, “For the city as a whole, the whole gardening movement is good. It gets people active, healthier.”
Lest she come off as some kind of Pollyanna, Brennan admits gardening is hard work. “There have been days when I wanted to walk away. But there’s nothing better than, in late summer, to come into the garden and find a place to sit. Being surrounded by so much beauty rejuvenates the soul and inspires the spirit.”
Detroiter Kelli B. Kavanaugh has been writing, mostly about her city, since the mid-’90s. Her work has appeared in numerous local publications and a couple of national ones, including Metropolis and Women’s Adventure. She co-owns Wheelhouse Detroit, a bike shop located on the Detroit River.
Book To Kids
Since the fall of 2006, Books to Kids has provided quality children’s picture books and chapter books for young readers to children and families affected by Hurricane Katrina. We have distributed more than 100,000 books to school libraries, community centers and individual homes. Our objective is to get books into the homes of children whose books were either lost due to flooding and destruction, or who may not have had books before Hurricane Katrina.
We collect books from thrift stores, yard sales, and library book sales. We have received donations from many sources including Scholastic Publishing and Emergency Communities Relief Center in New Orleans. A major donor has been Harrison County Public Library in Mississippi. The books are carefully selected and sorted for quality with some cleaned or repaired. This work is done by Katrina relief volunteers, and supported financially by Plenty International, United Peace Relief and the volunteers themselves.
Literacy is the underlying goal of Books to Kids. Knowledge is power, and reading is the gateway to academic success and a better understanding of our world. Quality picture and chapter books open youngsters minds to a wide world of wonders and interests, helping them deal with and move beyond the trauma and pain of the disaster we named Katrina.
Books to kids has expanded beyond the Katrina relief effort to include Kids in multiple states that lack access to age appropriate reading materials.
The Veterans Green Bus Bus Project: