About 50 U.S. military veterans during anti-NATO rally in Chicago threw their medals for military service, which they say symbolizes their rejection of the US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Some of the veterans dressed in military uniform over T-shirts with anti-war slogans, stifled tears as they explained their actions.
"Users must provide for heroism. And I do not consider myself a hero. I do not think I deserve them, "said Zach LaPorte, who served in Iraq in 2005 and 2006.
28-year-old mechanical engineer LaPorte said that he joined the army at age 19, because the other options in the long run and it was not. At the time, he could not afford to stay in college.
"I witnessed civilian casualties and civilians arrested during, I believe, illegal occupation of a sovereign country," said LaPorte.
He said that he was glad that the United States withdrew its combat troops from Iraq, but said he did not believe that the military alliance NATO is going to leave Afghanistan.
On Sunday, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who discovered two-day summit of the 26 members of the alliance, said that a hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan will not.
Veteran from New York, who introduced only as Jerry says, "I do not want to be a part of it all. Instead of war, militarism and imperialism, I chose a human life. "
Veterans first hoped to present their medals to representatives of NATO. However, the closest place to which they were let, was a fence enclosing the convention center McCormick Place, about a block from the place where they met President Obama and other leaders. The veterans threw their medals in their direction.
Matt Howard, who served in the Marines from 2001 to 2006, said that the suicide rate among returning veterans is very high.
"These medals are not worth the steel from which they are made. They represent the failed policies, "said Howard, who is a spokesman for" Iraq Veterans Against the War. "
A former U.S. Army sergeant Alejandro Villatoro served during the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and Afghanistan in 2011.
He says he suffers from post-traumatic stress syndrome, stress and depression, brought back three medals — one "for the war on terrorism," one for participation in the war in Iraq and the NATO medal for the war in Afghanistan.
"There is no honor in these wars," said Villatoro, "a shame."