Women’s History Month: Veterans Speak Out Against the War

Claudia Anaya

Maricela Guzman, 30, Navy veteran and psychology major at Cal State L.A., talked about her rape in boot camp and her experience on Diego Garcia, an island south of India’s Southern Coast, “I found out the U.S. military used Filipinos as cheap labor and would not allow them to see their families .”

Wendy Barranco, 22, an Army veteran and physician assistant studies major at Pasadena City College (PCC), talked about an 18-year-old soldier, “I remember we tried to massage his heart.he was later pronounced dead.”

Jane Song, 23, Army veteran and English major at PCC said, “I didn’t know why I was still here and others weren’t.” She thought it was survivor’s guilt.

Guzman, Barranco, and Song spoke out against the war on Thursday in Kreider Hall beginning this year’s Women’s History Month theme entitled “In Defense of Humanity: Women Who go Against the Tide.”

“I will not tell a woman to join the military,” Guzman said.

Guzman talked about a 17-year-old girl she knew who recently joined the army but now wanted out, she said the military told her she could go to jail and threatened to call INS on her parents.

“The Anti-War movement is made by the troops,” said Song, who joined Veterans Against the War and used the philosophy used in battle, outside of it to support veterans “I didn’t want to see any of my friends. any soldier left behind.”

Guzman, Barranco, and Song have joined various groups such as Service Women’s Action Network (S.W.A.N.) and Veterans Against the Iraq War to advocate pulling troops out of Iraq while also taking care of veterans physically and psychologically when they come back from war.

“We have power, we have potential power, the chance for ordinary people to make history, power in your silence and power in your activism,” said Lisa Lubow, coordinator of Women’s History Month, and GCC history teacher who joined the women in their talk of breaking the silence.

Women’s History Month will continue with various presentations and film discussions in Kreider Hall and classes open to visitors.

 Today there will be a film discussion on “North Country” from 3 to 5 p.m. in Kreider Hall, SR 138.

 On Thursday there will be a discussion entitled “Changing the Game or Playing the Cards? Race, Gender, and Class in the Upcoming Elections.” With Hazel Ramos, Kerry Riley, Mona Field and Lisa
Lubow from noon to 1 p.m. in Kreider Hall.

 On Friday, Elizabeth Kronbeck, History 111 will lecture on “Mary Wollstonecraft: A Vindication of the Rights of Woman” from noon to 1 p.m. in LB 220.

 On Monday, History Professor, Peggy Renner will host a film and discussion on “Madame Secretary: Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor” from noon to 1 p.m. in AU 116.

 On March 19, there will be a film and discussion on “Antonia” in Kreider Hall from 3 to 5 p.m.

 Another March 19 event with Elizabeth Kronbeck, History 111, entitled “Grimke Sisters: From Abolishinists to Fighting for Women’s Rights” from noon to 1 p.m. in LB 220.

 On March 20 “Food from the Hood and Produce for the People: One Mother’s Fight for Community Alternatives to the Junk-Food Machine in South-Central L.A.” from noon to 1 p.m. with Neelam Sharma.

 On March 24 there will be a video and discussion on “Ella Baker: The Fundi of the Civil Rights Movements.” With Peggy Renner, History 115, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. in AU 116.

 Another event on March 24 by Elizabeth Kronbeck on “Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucrecia Mott: Organizing the Seneca Falls Convention, the First Women’s Rights Convention.” From noon to 1 p.m. in LB 220.

 Also on March 24, “Influential Women in Psychology” with Dr. Jessica Gillooly, Psych 101, at 1:15 p.m. in SR 138.