a guest May 1st, 2016 145 Never
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- From: Saamon Ghim Legoski <email@example.com>
- To: Destiny Lopez <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Cc: "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Chat Kimbroadway <email@example.com>, "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>, The Diaspora <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Chat Kimballodeon <email@example.com>, "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
- Subject: RESPONSE: to workshop criticizing military recruitment in low-income schools
- Hey Destiny, Nathan and Shanika,
- First off, I want to say THANK YOU for helping low-income kids. I wish that there were more people like you three, as opposed to the many who TALK the TALK but don't WALK the WALK.
- My response is to the "Military Recruitment in Low-Income Communities" event (see email chain), which seemingly advertises "better alternatives" to military service. As a veteran that has benefited greatly from military service, I wanted to share my opinions with your email audience.
- I think the question shouldn't be: "How does the military disproportionally affect low-income high school students?"
- Instead: "Why is the military one of the few paths for low-income youth to gain upward social mobility in our society?"
- Colleges didn't give two shits that I had to work in school cafeterias to eat lunch. They cared about my high school GPA, test scores, and AP classes -- all of which were abysmally low. The Army is what brought me to Stanford. And I also enjoyed the experience of being on active duty. Now, as a Platoon Sergeant with the Reserves, I push my own soldiers to achieve academic excellence. My rise from HS-failure to college success story isn't all that unique in the veteran population (my observations come from working at a nonprofit that helps veterans get into the best colleges possible).
- We have a serious equality problem in America. Women still make less than men for the same amount of work (or, conversely, men are paid too much lol). There is HUGE race disparity when it comes to treatment by police, the justice system, medicine, education, ect. And the middle class is shrinking while the rich get richer!
- But the military is still one of the few ways for individuals to climb the SES ladder. Why dissuade youth against that when it may be their best option?
- Of course, I have my own criticisms of military service... But as someone who has actually served and doesn't get their information from Hollywood movies (BAY Peace's mission states they "Confront militarism... violence..." but I actually found the military and deployment safer than my childhood neighborhoods; you can go a whole deployment without shooting a single bullet, a common occurrence).
- If we wanted the military to recruit from all SES background equally, we'd have to bring back the draft. But then again, those in the highest income brackets would still find a way to dodge the draft, like they did during Vietnam.
- The other alternative to the draft, I feel, is that we stop the military from recruiting. But then what happens to at-risk youth who would otherwise benefit (ignoring the question of national security)? Where would I have gone 7 years ago? For many, including myself, we would have been left competing with working adults for minimum wage jobs.
- There should be more options... but for a lot of us, the military was the only viable one. And I'm so proud of those experiences, and wouldn't take them back for the world.
- Saamon Legoski
- Student-Veteran at Stanford University
- On Mon, Mar 2, 2015 at 5:23 PM, Destiny Lopez <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
- Stanford First-Generation and/or Low-Income Partnership (FLIP)
- A FLI Approach to Service: A Spotlight on First-Gen and Low-Income
- (FLI) Perspectives
- -a series of conversations, workshops, and forums to bring the FLI
- perspectives into these critical conversations-
- What's the ASVAB and why did we have to take it in high school?
- Why were there more military recruiters than college recruiters at the college fair?
- How does military recruitment disproportionately affect low-income high school students?
- Find out about military recruitment in low-income schools
- in a theater-based, interactive workshop lead by Oakland youth and hosted by:
- BAY Peace - Better Alternatives for Youth
- BAY-Peace supports and empowers Bay Area youth to confront militarism and other forms of violence through youth organizing and artistic resistance.
- BAY-Peace Summer Program
- WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4
- LOCATION TBA
- Pizza will be served. RSVP below.
- Follow FLIP on Twitter! @StanfordFLIP
- "Like" us on Facebook! facebook.com/stanfordflip
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