Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Voices of Camp Casey - Wednesday Morning

Mary Elllen Goodwin, an english teacher here at De Anza gave an introduction to the college Predsident, whospoke about having an "institutional commitment to social justice" and thanked the faculty member who put in the effort to organize the events this week (how about the students?).

A woman from Gold Star families gave a brief introduction to a short movie about Camp Casey.

After the film, Sean O'Neil, a veteran who has been through two tours of duty in Iraq. He spoke about being blind and shut off to the world around you, and how that puts you in a position to be caught unaware and manipulated. Ignorance is dangerous to each of us personally. He also touched on the cyclical effect of fighting an insugency, which neccesarily creates martyrs, which then creates the next generation of insurgents.

Some quotes from Sean (paraphased slightly):

"All that soldiers/marines ask is that that their sacrifice is for a just cause, and that the end result of their sacrifice is peace."

"When we act with integrity, the world will recognize it."

The next speaker is another verteran of the Iraq War (and Camp Casey) named Dennis Kyne -

Dennis is a South Bay native, who graduated from San Jose State. In the army, he was a combat medic and a drill sergeant, among other jobs. After being silent for 15 years, trying to make it to retirement, Dennis felt compelled to speak out against the war and the Bush Administration.

Some statistics Dennis gave to illustrate the trauma of combat:
- 18000 combat veterans imprisoned for violent crimes including rape.
- Over half a million combat veterans homeless in the U.S. today.

As the next slideshow/film is prepped, the news crews seem to be following Cindy Sheehan around.

No slide show yet, another mother from Gold Star Familes is speaking, whose son is currently deployed in Iraq. Michael (the soldier) questioned the motives of the war, but felt a responsibility to his unit. He told his mother stories of limited water supplies, which led them to drink the polluted water of the Euphrates. Many soldiers suffered from dysentary, and who knows what other long term effects.

That's the end of part one... more later.