Not Your Soldiers Tour in Brooklyn

World Can’t Wait received this report from a teacher at a Brooklyn high school:

At the time the “We Are Not Your Soldiers” tour visited Paul Robeson high school, my students were preparing to take the New York State Regents exam. Many of my students have failed the exam at least two times. As their last shot before making the decision to drop out or get a GED, I was concerned that failing the regents exam would encourage some of my students to join the military instead.

Matthis Chiroux, of Iraq Veterans Against the War, and Elaine Brower, of World Can’t Wait, hosts of the “We Are Not Your Soldiers” tour, presented a compelling excerpt of the “Winter Soldiers”
testimonials which summoned the visual and emotional interest of otherwise unresponsive youth. Matthis engaged the students with his own personal recollection of the military. He asked important questions, revealing truths of the racism of the war on Iraq, and connected to the personal lives of the students, while Elaine Brower offered the perspective of a mother, a point of view many of my students are sensitive to, having been raised by only their mothers.
After the World Can’t Wait presentation, it was apparent that my students were affected. The next day one student showed me a poem he wrote about a young boy from the ghetto enlisting in the military and dying, another asked for a World Can’t Wait t-shirt, and yet another, who had wanted to join the military, handed me a recommendation form for a vocational school. Others are still lost forever to the military but the “We Are Not Your Soldiers” tour offered the education American youth really need and that more teachers need to be more conscious of.