This was a tough group to talk to about Truth in Military Recruitment at U.S. High Schools, especially in SB North County. I thought Kate & Lisha did a great Job. The majority of the audience were either retired or current Air Force Personnel, I assume as Officer’s or non-commissioned officers. They were highly educated with adult college educated children. There was one High school age female whose testimony was that Military Recruiters where an ever present entity in her High School. I believe she was a senior at a Lompoc High school.
The audience had testimonies that the service had been good for them. However they also spoke about the racism inside and outside the military service. I spoke to them about my experience with
Veterans For Peace, Arlington West, SBCC Teen Memorial and EOPS at SBCC. I tried to relate to them the Cost of War, especially the human cost. The Teen Memorial or Teen Cemetery tried to reveal a name and face, of the 18 & 19 year olds that had perished in the Iraq & Afghanistan wars. We tried to convey to high school & college aged students the lost human potential to their families,
community, and nation. These young men & women could have been the future leaders of their communities, cities, states and nation.
I also tried to explain that the high school students of yesterday & today have the right to know that they have alternatives to military service. College is an alternative to all high school students. Not just to the “shinny Pennies”. EOPS at the California Community Colleges is an opportunity for all students. They have vocational & transfer programs to 4 year colleges. One does not have to be a stellar student to attend. The high light of the night for me was when a former SBCC EOPS student of mine approached me after our presentation. He was a professional working and living in Santa Maria and completing his Phd at UCSB. He was in EOPS and a tutor at SBCC then transferred to UCSB where he obtained his BA & MA. Over all this was a satisfying presentation!
–Gilbert Robledo, Vietnam Veteran