In a rundown suburb of Washington DC, a group of anti-Iraq war protesters has set up home. But they are no ordinary activists - they are all veterans of the conflict. Daniel Nasaw talks to them
Adam Kokesh, on left, and Geoff Millard outside Capitol Hill in Washington after taking part in a demonstration calling for the end of the war in Iraq. Photograph: Jim Young/Reuters
The mock soldier's grave in the front yard, along with the bottles of urine in the refrigerator and the anti-war posters festooning the first floor, tell visitors this is not just another group house for politically minded Washington DC twentysomethings.
The bottles, says Adam Kokesh, a tattooed, muscular former US marine sergeant and prominent member of a community of virulently anti-war Iraq veterans based in the house, are to be tested for depleted uranium, a munitions component thought to be harmful to soldiers exposed to it.
The house, in a rundown neighbourhood of the US capital, is headquarters for Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), a group with more than 1,200 members across the country and on military duty in Iraq. It is also a flophouse for visiting and needy veterans, a "frat-house on steroids" in the words of one resident, and a friendly space where veterans can commune with like-minded comrades.