Military Stuff

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Ed Zwick Wannabe
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Joined: Jul 6th 2002, 4:47 pm
Location: Santa Cruz, CA

Military Stuff

Post by lance » Apr 18th 2003, 9:32 am

Hey all,

Not sufficent impressed with the vigorous (but respectful) debate held on other subjects:



I decided to start a meandering thread on all things military. Seemed an appropriate time given recent military action.

I thought I would start off with a family anecdote that involves ROTC, gay rights, respect toward military students, university politics and much more.

My brother Paul got a three year army scholarship to go to Yale. He attended Yale from '93-'97. Now just in case you didn't know Yale is were ROTC started. If you get a chance to go there, and I do recommend the trip, you will see all of these monuments dedicated to Yale graduates who fought in died in America's conflicts up to the Korean War.

Definately heart breaking stuff reading the list of names inscribed in stone of those who lost their lives fighting in uniform. Now as far as anyone knows Yale does not have ROTC. ROTC left in the sixties after anti-war protests got ugly and the Naval ROTC building got burned. Since that time Yale ROTC students have had to drive an hour and half (each way) to the University of Conneticut for classes. Freshman and Sophmore years no huge deal, Paul and his classmates only had to travel to UC once a week and the university provided cars for them to use.

By the junior and senior years they had to travel three or four times a week. The guys were tired, very tired. Paul in fact feel asleep on his way to UC and went off the road. I asked him if his driving companion was any help. He said, "Oh yeah, he said, 'Rock! Tree! Tree! Big Rock!."
Both came through unscathed, the car was totaled though. Not by the crash onto the large rock where the car stopped, but by the tow truck that pulled the car back over the rock gutting it completely.

Paul and his classmates would walk on campus and in New Haven in uniform. The got a lot of surreal reactions. They got saluted by older men sitting along store fronts and on a rare occasion or two spit on by some students.


Apparently for some Vietnam never ended. Anyway the reason that the University gave for not allowing ROTC back on campus was obsenstible because the Armed Forces not allow "open" gay and lesbians to serve. There was of course more to it than that. Apparently the University did not want to give up the Real Estate for the ROTC folks to use.

Meadering here a bit, Paul did not endear himself with University officals when he and a buddy got local congressmen to pass a law which states if you take federal dollars you have to let ROTC on campus. At the time of its passage, '96 I think, the Army decided not to enforce this with regard to Yale.

At one point their was huge meeting of the student council and the local gay and lesbian support group. They had decided to debate the whole issue of gays and lesbians in the military and the University's stand on this issue.

As some here might have predicted there was the extremely tired left wing, zero sum argument that this policy is bad, therefore the entire Army is bad, therefore the ROTC studnets are bad because by their presence they are complicant in endorsing the military's policies.

Fortunately, one lesbian student stood and said, "Hey! We shouldn't be attacking the ROTC students. They don't set policy. They are trying to get an education just like everybody else."

Paul was grateful for that student speaking out. By extenstion I am grateful for someone who was able to see the humanity in another person and not to connect policy with individuals who may or may not endorse it.

Some stuff to chew on.



P.S. In the So Called Life section I will be starting a thread called "Who served?"

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