24 Jan 2007

Yale Ignoring War Service

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Wick Sloane SOM ’80 reading through his monthly issues of the Yale Alumni Magazine observed a conspicuous absence of attention to war-time service on the part of the University.

What is Yale doing to recognize those from Yale — graduates, staff, faculty — who have served in combat in the Persian Gulf or in Afghanistan or the other troubled areas of the world, either for the United States or for their own country? What about any working in humanitarian jobs in these places? More than once I’ve asked this of Joel Podolny, dean of the School of Management. I’ve asked University President Richard Levin and the Association of Yale Alumni. No replies.

U.S. Army Col. Rich Morales SOM ’99 is back just now from at least his third tour in the Gulf in combat, including the first Gulf War. His e-mails to friends are inspiring in their courage and dedication to his troops. Not a syllable of politics or criticism. Most humbling is that he wrote to us that he understood that the debate at home over the war is what he and his troops are fighting for. I’ve asked the School of Management who else is serving, military or otherwise. Has anyone died? Any Yale staff called up in the reserves? Why not an edition of the Alumni Magazine on these people? The SOM Alumni Leaders’ Web pages have color photos and write-ups for the captains of industry and many fine people. Rich is there in name only. No photo or write-up. I am embarrassed for Yale here.

The University could make a powerful gesture of support to her alumni serving overseas by ending Yale’s Vietnam era posture of hostility to the US military and permitting ROTC programs to return to the Yale campus, but it won’t. As in the case of Vietnam, Yale will eventually inscribe the names of those who died on a slab of marble in Woolsey Hall, and that will be that.

Hat tip to Memeorandom.

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