“We Are Not Your Soldiers”
A presentation that will challenge our first-year students to think critically about military service and the collateral price.
About the Speaker
“I do the school visits because I feel it’s important for students and young adults to have information to make well-informed decisions. The fact that these kids are usually exposed to only one side of the story with countless movies and media glorifying war in general is an extreme disservice to the people of the United States. Given that I use these speaking tours as my own therapy should say a lot about how much the military affects you. I want to say on record that I do not hate our military. I hate what our military is being used for. I love my country and that’s coming from a Haudenosaunee Native American whose own ancestors were slaughtered by the very institution I enlisted in.
I got out of the Army (active duty) in 2009 after serving for roughly two years, first as Explosive Ordnance Disposal and then Military Intelligence. Basic training was the first but certainly not the last grim reminder that what I knew and believed from movies, games or news wasn’t the reality we are all collectively forced to digest on the daily. These speaking tours serve not only as a form of therapy for myself but as a way to give students a chance to ask questions and become more critical thinkers. With all that’s happening in the world right now, this sort of thinking is needed more than anything. Unlike the military, I will never tell someone what to believe. I’ll bring you facts and evidence, maybe my opinion, and you can make up your own mind. My only goal with this program is to educate.”
- Read excerpts from student papers following John’s visit to their class
- Read some letters to John after he visited a class
- Watch excerpts from a visit by John to a high school class
Our room can fit 24 more students (one section of First-Year Seminar); or any individuals who come forward and claim their spot. To express your interest, kindly reach out to Dr. Luda Bryzzheva at firstname.lastname@example.org by the end of day on October 16.