Beginning on Monday November 26, we had another very full and meaningful week of We Are Not Your Soldiers visits to NYC high schools and colleges – this time with Marine veteran Lyle Rubin who had been stationed in Afghanistan. Lyle told the story of an important part of his life – how he came to enlist in the Marines, his time in boot camp and a particularly heartrending experience in Afghanistan – to over 300 students and engaged in deep discussion with them about his presentation. The talk began by asking the students to think about whether we have an “enemy” and, if so, who that is and, if not, why are we told we do – and to think about how all this relates to morality, knowing the difference between right and wrong, both as an individual and as a society.
We went to one private college class where a joint presentation was made by Lyle and Joe Urgo, who had been in Vietnam with the Air Force and who was the first Vietnam veteran to return there as a representative of the U.S. anti-war movement. The many parallels in their stories were evident both in how they each enlisted and then had their world outlooks changed by what they witnessed and how the same dreadful U.S. military practices that were used in Vietnam are still used today.
Other visits made by Lyle addressed students in a public four-year college class, three community college classes, 8 classes at two alternative high schools and a class at a very traditional high school.
Donate for stipends, travel and to reach more educators.
Please support this project by helping provide small stipends for the veterans who must take time off from work to do these visits, to travel here (only one of our current speakers lives in NYC) and to do more outreach to educators via an increased social media presence.