Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Veterans launch Operation Recovery at Ft. Hood

On Memorial Day, I joined supporters of Under The Hood Cafe in Killeen to learn more about the Operation Recovery project now underway at the entrance of Ft. Hood.  Members of IVAW have gathered to bring their concerns directly to the new administrator of the base, General Campbell.  Concerns center on the multiple deployments of soldiers who are clearly suffering psychological and physical injuries that are not being treated adequately in the military.  Members of IVAW have built a watch tower overlooking one of the entrances to Ft. Hood to demonstrate their intent to hold the General accountable and to continue their efforts to meet with him.  See the video above of the press conference held this week by IVAW members at the watch tower.

Above, two of the silkscreened posters that Aaron brought from the Justseeds Artists' Cooperative to help illustrate traumatic injuries resulting from combat and military life.  

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Career Fair at Austin CAN! Academy

We were happy to be invited to participate in the Austin CAN! Academy annual career fair along with other tablers and classroom presenters.  Our table was conveniently located right in front of a painting of MLK, and two Austin Community College tables were next to us, representing health sciences and computer sciences (including a robotic car).  We always have some ACC materials at our table, so it was good to be near the ACC folks. 

This year, SOY also participated as classroom presenters.  Hart spoke about SOY and his army experience, and we were honored to be joined by two Americorps members, Katy and Sam, who spoke about their experiences in Americorps -- one of the Sustainable Options that we most frequently promote.

Katy's Americorps position is as a caseworker at Casa Marianella, a refugee shelter not far from the CAN Academy, and Sam worked in a six-month wilderness and trail maintenance program in the Pacific Northwest.  Katy and Sam gave very compelling talks, describing what their work entailed and the team-building, learning and personal growth that they've experienced, along with the monetary benefits Americorps provides:  health insurance and a living stipend while in the program, and an educational award at the end.

Hart brought the chin-up bar, which was a popular draw, even for some school staff!  We gave away stenciled folders and also invited students to make their own.  The hallways and classrooms at the CAN Academy are filled with creative art and diagrams.  A mariachi band also arrived and serenaded through the school.

Special thanks to Katy and Sam and to all the students and staff who welcomed us today!