Peace House has had its ups and downs over the years, mostly for financial reasons, like many nonprofit organizations. But the local advocacy and community service group has hit a high note with the selection of Stacy Bannerman as its new executive director.

Peace House members and officers have a wide variety of life experiences, and come together in their shared dedication to oppose war and work for peace. Bannerman, however, has an intensely personal connection to the issue: Her husband is an Army National Guard veteran of the Iraq War.

Her experiences as a career peace activist confronted with the reality of her husband's being called up to fight and dealing with the aftermath of his deployment prompted her to write "When the War Came Home: The Inside Story of Reservists and the Families They Leave Behind," published in 2006. The book chronicled the struggles of reservists, many of whom had fulfilled their military commitment, who found themselves called up to fight, and the effects of that service on their spouses and families back home.

After moving to the Rogue Valley in 2008, Bannerman founded Sanctuary One, an animal shelter in the Applegate Valley dedicated to helping combat veterans heal after their return.

Her unique perspective should be particularly valuable to Peace House as it spreads its anti-war message. Meanwhile, there are mouths to feed. The annual Peace House-sponsored Empty Bowls fundraiser is Friday night, benefiting Uncle Foods Diner, a weekly meal for the poor and homeless and a Peace House tradition.