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COC to host panel discussion on ‘The Costs of War’

Call for volunteers to continue Veterans History Project

Posted: October 15, 2008 9:14 a.m.
Updated: December 16, 2008 5:00 a.m.
 
College of the Canyons, the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society, the SCV Senior Center and the Veteran's History Project will join forces to host a panel discussion entitled "The Costs of War: Historical, Political, and Psychological Aspects of Human Conflict."

Featuring the insights of six distinguished guest speakers, this free event is set for 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 21, in the college's cinema room, located in Hasley Hall 101 on the Valencia campus.

"The issue of war is about more than countries at conflict, it's about the cost to the human condition," said Patty Robinson, College of the Canyons' dean of social sciences and business division as well as the panel organizer. "This includes everything from the political and economic losses experienced by a society, to the physical and psychological losses experienced by an individual."

"So to really understand the nature of human conflict, it's important to examine the subjective side of war and to witness its affect on the human spirit," added Robinson.

Featured speakers at the panel will include:

• Morris Deason, a WWII amphibious craft Coxswain in the South Pacific for the U.S. Navy and retired supervisor of the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

• Chaplain William Bowman, who served with the U.S. Marines in Vietnam and has 35 years of combined experience as a CIA agent, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy, and administrator at Northrop Grumman.

• Robert Brode, who served during the Vietnam War but remained in the U.S. as a result of his Military Occupational Specialty (MOS). Brode is a former member of the Burbank Police Department and is currently assigned to the California State Military Reserve as a Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps officer.

• Brian Conley, a Vietnam veteran, retired software industry executive and 27-year SCV resident dedicated to volunteerism.

• Herb Hightower, a former member of the U.S. Air Force Strategic Air Command in Vietnam, where he also served for seven years as a civilian employee before working in Iran on the Iranian F-14 program. Hightower is also the founder and chairman of Vets Back to the War Zone, an organization dedicated to returning war veterans to the locations they served in to gain therapeutic benefits related to post traumatic stress disorder.

• Dr. James Kelleher, Professor Emeritus at College of the Canyons. Before retiring in 2007, Kelleher served as chair of the college's political science department, and taught at California State University, Los Angeles and CSU, Northridge.

The Veterans History Project (VHP) is dedicated to the collection and preservation of remembrances from American war veterans and the civilian workers who supported them.

First-hand accounts - primarily from veterans who served in World War I, World War II, the Cold War, Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War (1990-1995) and the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts (2001-present) - are collected and subsequently archived in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress for use by researchers, while also serving as an inspiration for future generations of Americans.

To date, College of the Canyons' involvement with the project has generated more than 80 interviews that have been sent to the Library of Congress. However, there is a continued need for both veteran participants and VHP volunteers to conduct additional interviews. Event organizers hope this panel discussion will help generate an increased community interest in the ongoing project.

For more information about "The Costs of War: Historical, Political, and Psychological Aspects of Human Conflict," and/or to become involved with the Veterans History Project, contact Patty Robinson at (661) 362-3992.

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