Sometimes I’ve said what has to be said. The organization Veterans For Peace had mutual friends to Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom. I attended a small meeting at Veterans For Peace and volunteered to speak at the public schools board meeting regarding the military presence in the high schools. Every family’s privacy is invaded every year with personal information furnished by the school to the military recruiters. The attendees at the meeting looked so grateful I couldn’t let them down.
Fortunately during a lunch at work I viewed an article in The Oregonian (with pictures) of the recruiters walking in the hallways during exchange of classes at Wilson High School. That fueled my fire. I wrote a page and appeared at the board meeting and got in line. The meeting was being videotaped. Just about everyone who spoke was yelling (board members do seem to be half asleep and have made up their minds before it begins).
The public consistently used the policy of not allowing gays in the military as building a stronger defense against their presence in the schools. I was treated a full year before this time for a thyroid illness and had just reached normal test results (November 1999). I had been robbed of my energy so when I spoke in a small voice which was loud enough for the microphone I agreed that I could complete what I committed to. I laid out why I thought the military were to be displaced from the high schools. I was organized. It was clear and concise. I was an outraged parent of 3 daughters attending the public high school system with military recruiters walking the hallways with them during exchange of classes and was unbending in giving my views about gays who are our neighbors and working within the constraints of our society also being able to serve in the military which the military did not agree.
Since June 30, 2016 transgender people have been openly allowed to serve but our present US President is planning to reinstate a policy commonly referred to as “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”
I walked away and made a good impression. It was quipped at me that it was a clever approach by a WILPF member but I knew it could not have been any different and thanked God it was put in place.