Randi Law, spokeswoman for the 1.6 million-member Veterans of Foreign Wars, said veterans across the country notice the protests and respect the rights of the protesters to do so.
"I think the overall consensus is it is somewhat disrespectful. Our service members didn't take it upon themselves, so to speak, to go into battle," Law said. "They answered their nation's call when they were called up."
Many of the protesters are older, veterans of the civil rights marches of the 1960s and anti-Vietnam protests, who never lost their activism.
In San Francisco, a chapter of the American Friends Service Committee started holding vigils in front of the federal building after the start of the war in Afghanistan in 2001. At first there was some hostility, said Stephen McNeil, the group's peace education director.
"Over time, especially, people in the building and the neighborhood came to sort of really like the vigil and so respected the fact that people were out there every week, rain or shine," McNeil said.
For the last eight years just outside Denver, Colorado Citizens for Peace meets every Saturday on a busy corner. Usually about a half-dozen protesters show up.
"When we're lucky enough to have more, we get far better honks, you know, people notice us more," said Kathy Tolman, 69, of Wheat Ridge, Colo. She said she has been a political activist since 1968, after the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy.
"It's so amazing to me," she said. "It doesn't take a lot of people, really, to have an impact. Twenty people can really get noticed when they're on a street corner."
While Vermont is known for its political activism, the state has also paid the price of war. On a per capita basis, Vermont ranks among the top states in the country for the number of service members killed in Iraq.
In Montpelier, the Friday protests predate the invasion of Iraq by decades. Every time there's a protest, building security officials fill out a form, noting the event. They date to at least the mid-1980s.
Last Friday, about a half-dozen people came and went.
Ann Burcroff, 80, of Montpelier, said her activism goes back decades, traced to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The protests don't draw the attention they once did, and even though they don't appear to have done much to end the wars, she feels it's worth it.
"I don't have much money," she said. "I don't have much power, but I have a voice, and this is one way of exercising an opinion, and people do stop and listen, they argue, they talk, they see us here, they think about it."