Sunday, June 1, 2008


Although I did not finish my term of duty in the Navy, I went through the training and by definition, I am a Veteran. I am thankful I did not see war first hand as many of my fellow Veterans who work to make Veterans' Voices possible. In the core group, we have a Korean War Vet, a Vietnam Vet and an Iraq Vet. Then there's me. But successful military men and women are rare in my family, although many of us tried. My father joined the national guard at the age of 16, lying to get in. I believe he was eventually found out. My uncle was in the Army and had a very successful career. My oldest brother, inspired by our uncle's service, enlisted before he was drafted in 1970. He broke his knee during boot camp and was discharged. My other brother joined or was drafted (I'll have to talk to him about it) and served for two years. The family story is that he got hooked on heroin and overdosed and had to have fluid drained off his brain. I'm not sure how much is true. He receives a disability check from Uncle Sam every month. I now have two nephews, one recently returned from Afghanistan and the other an officer in the Navy nuclear field.
I am thrilled to be a part of Veterans' Voices on WPVM. I am proud to be a part of the independent media movement. Recently, we have interviewed Ret. Col. Ann Wright and Howard Zinn. Mike Ferrell of M*A*S*H fame arrived too late into Asheville to make the interview. We will do a phone interview with him in the near future, although I am not as excited as I was before I heard him give a talk at Malaprops. Even though he has been involved with human rights issues for most of his life, he enjoys talking about M*A*S*H more. I didn't ask him a softball question. Check out what he wrote in his Huffington Post Blog:
One woman asked about my association with the Cult Awareness Network and what I thought about this terrible situation with the kids from the polygamous Mormon cult in Texas. A really tough one. I understand that there's been a ruling holding that the kids were not molested, something I personally find hard to believe. Another person mentions reading this blog, which knocks me out! The idea that someone actually reads it (besides Shelley and my daughter Erin--and now my sister Kathy--and the folks at Akashic Books) makes me laugh.

Both these women were me. I didn't like his answer to my question, but that is the mainstream view about non-mainstream religions. What if the state did not like my religion, would it be right for them to take my daughter, too?
I also got a chance to work the board for Wally Bowen's interview with Amy Goodman. Her speech was brilliant.

I am happy to be a part of independent media, to give a voice to the once voiceless. I hope I can make a difference.

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