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tv   Book Party for Charlie Mike  CSPAN  November 14, 2015 6:15pm-7:31pm EST

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diverse country which we work at that time. i mean we had one large minority bloc, the roughly 10 or 11%. the only hispanics within new york city and they had come from puerto rico and we hadn't had the cuban migrations yet, no one was paying it is attention to what they called in california because they were needed to harvest the crops. now we are far more -- i don't think anybody even knew about islam. that's something arabs do, right? so i think stewart was on the wrong side of history there in what the country had become. so yes it was nuanced and it was more written but the country -- which makes it irrelevant. last question i'm told.
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>> i may have misunderstood that i thought you said one of the cases earlier in your talk that one of the supreme court had his clerk look for particular case. do they do that? how often does that happen? >> not often. the reason was that they were getting ready, the majority court had decided that should be overruled. many states have argued opted laws providing lawyers. i think they were all men handful of southern states that still didn't but i'll bet. brady was on the book the court kept getting one appeal after another on the sixth amendment and wanted to stop that so they said let's get a case where we can overrule betts but the first two they came in they didn't want to use. remember the court controls this docket. i had a case, urofsky v.
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fillmore still studied, which was decided by the fifth circuit circuit -- the fourth circuit in richmond. the supreme court didn't take it in what i have always told students have asked about it it was absolutely right he didn't frame the question the right way that they would have been able to answer it so the court, they only decide 75 cases a year now. a lot of things, to give you one example there's a case coming up called fischer v. texas. dealing with affirmative action. way back when, the @dealing wit. way back when, the circuit court , the fifth circuit in texas? the fifth circuit in texas. the fifth circuit held that texas did not use race as a criteria for a commission. which meant all of the states
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covered by the fifth circuit were held to that loss. the supreme court refused to review it. why they refused they never made clear. they just refuse but a few years later they took almost identical case, two cases actually from the university of michigan one dealing with law school and one dealing with college and essentially overturned fischer v. texas of the court takes a look at not only what was the case but was it framed in such a way that they could say what we want to say about it? >> actually could they go out and speak? >> they have to look at what comes than that they get almost 10,000 a year for which they pay less than 100. [inaudible] >> they have to take it.
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>> once they get a case they can run with it. >> they come back with a much broader -- >> you may not agree with it but he's the chief justice. he can do what he wants especially if he has for their votes. [inaudible] all right, thank you very much. [applause] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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booktv attended a publication party in washington d.c. with author and "time" magazine columnist joe klein. his latest book, charlie mike progress to combat -- eric greitens and jake wood. mr. klein mingled with guests and moderated a panel discussion about the book.
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>> that story is never really been told. >> get them to libya. get them to libya. >> we need them here. >> i see what you mean. >> many of them come back and i talk about creating a way to get people who have those experiences in the military service some sort of formal credit for it. >> i have been fighting this fight. i'm a journalist on everything else but i'm a lobbyist when it comes to these kids. i have been trying to get the administration to start a program that would give them licensing for their skills before they get out. we have 50,000 welders in this country and there are plenty of
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welders who come in out of the military and they have to pay money to go to school. if they come out with a credential. >> who speaking against that? >> i will tell you. >> the unions. >> matches the unions but the bureaucracies. the state licensing commissions. i was talking to kasich and they said you know the truck driver in ohio that paid $10,000 for three months of training. the guys who drove in kandahar province i think they can handle it. i said you are absolutely right and nothing happened. >> he's one that likes to see things happen. [inaudible]
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>> the senator from virginia really. >> mark warner? >> the other one. >> tim kaine. >> you have more brain left than i do. he and i have had several conversations about it. >> he is a really good guy. >> this is one of the areas you can really get bipartisan support. >> supposedly being run out of the first lady's office. >> she is the one that is more involved in the military. >> i don't think anyone has gotten tremendous leads but my son chris served in baghdad. they knew each other. >> good for you for documenting.
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>> they said to me simon & schuster, two guys who were linked by a tragedy hookah want to start these fabulous service organizations. one of them is eric greitens who founded the mission continues and is now running for governor of missouri as a pro-republican. he's running against republican ways & means. one of his first mission continues fellows fellowships for wounded veterans as they come up with this -- and one of his first fellows was jake wood who was the founder and he and his best friends developed an
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advocacy of that fellowship. >> wow. >> so the book is the story of them and clay's story. and how clays dad had this are found -- and how they adjust to the organization really changed it. >> jonathan karp, we write novels, plenty of novels, plenty of nonfiction novels. [inaudible]
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>> where is he now? >> jake. >> is he here tonight? >> he was going to be here tonight that his wife have surgery scheduled for tomorrow, so he can't be here. eric is -- that he can be here. we are going to have cool people from both organizations. when i go around the country in some cases jake is not only a former navy s.e.a.l. but probably the only navy s.e.a.l. who worked for mother teresa. >> mother teresa, jewish, navy s.e.a.l.. wow. >> is the fact that he is jewish jewish -- we are combining those
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with service projects with the mission continues service projects. >> part of this novel takes place in the middle east and a lot of it has been taken to israel. >> he wrote a couple of big stories. >> whatever it's about it's going to be a terminal figure. all the world airlines in the biggest melting pot. [inaudible]
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>> is very plugged in. >> used to have an italian restaurant. do you know about that place? we were the only people there. >> the same thing in vietnam, i can remember as a vietnam veteran. it was the same sort of differentiation. >> my case was they were doing counterinsurgency and i went out in the vetted. in afghanistan i said to myself they are going to come back to do public service.
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i hadn't thought of that but it was probably right. he and paul went to work. in fact they are both acknowledged in the same paragraph. not in the same sentence. >> anyway i really look forward to reading it. >> there you are. who is following you? >> c-span. >> assistant secretary of state. [inaudible]
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one of the best overseas ambassadors that we have. [inaudible] >> the main thing was and i gave them -- [inaudible conversations] >> i have been to the middle east a number of times. >> i hadn't been out on patrol before. >> i wouldn't do that now.
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how did you like it? >> i liked it a lot. these guys, you should really be getting to spend more time with them. it would really be great if you could coordinate with them. they are brilliant. i was there today. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> dave callaway is a veteran that has been setting combat surgery throughout the world. he helps civilians out.
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he also runs emergency services in the city of -- in north carolina. [inaudible conversations] he invented a new kind of turning kit. he invented a new kind of turn a kid. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> those guys are often overlooked. i've got to say this was the greatest time in my life. the interesting thing is that we don't realize most are not going
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to stay in the military. we have 120,000 soldiers. it's the american dream. we offer g.i. benefits that but 90% of them according to the polls -- [inaudible] >> i'm trying to remember the name but i was in leavenworth with petraeus. i was watching the government in these towns. [inaudible conversations]
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he could go home and run for governor of iowa. i think there are should be preparing kids. he said i hadn't thought about that. so he started helping me. >> k there are folks, good evening. hi there. i wanted to warmly welcome many episodes j. -- friends of joe and i also feel very fortunate to call many of you long-time friends.
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time spent in government in washington and now as the new chapter has begun. it's so good to see all of you and welcome to the home. i'm extremely grateful to be able to host this evening and i will say more about that in a moment. you know as jill and i have been talking in recent weeks about doing this here in washington it occurred to me that in every era in american history there have been tremendous infusions of character and strength into the citizenry of the united states and they are our returning veterans. these men and women tempered by war as we all know well for multiple deployments have made extraordinary contributions to what and who we are as a country and as a people and most recently in the last 14 years in
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iraq and afghanistan, and also other places they have fought to keep us secure and as we have so often found in his joe is written about so eloquently in "charlie mike" once they have returned home more of them do not return to their communities and try to answer the question happily continue to serve here now that i have transitioned in the amount of uniformed? people like your friends and people like jake wood and many people who have served. you try to essentially continue the mission in your own way. i think this is ultimately why we are all here tonight. for joe, for the content of the book, essentially to recognize an outstanding generation of returning veterans and hear inspiring stories of these men and women and how they're making making -- and i also think to reflect upon our consider how we
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essentially hear that call to service, how we engage as joe says active citizenship here in our own lives. one of the things that i wanted to do right now before we proceed with joe and the panel and several of our sponsors who want to come up and say a few words from go with someone we all know who is sophisticated entrepreneur philanthropist where will known in washington and obviously the owners of the legendary café milano. one of the things that i think is so interesting that people don't often know is how dedicated and committed he has been to our troops since they have returned home. in fact he has done is under the radar and obviously not in any
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sort of a public way. during the height of the force he spent a lot of time at walter reed and bethesda talking to wounded warriors. again off the radar and that's when you really know it's the real deal. i can't think of a better partner in crime as i like to call it. i can't think of anyone for whom i really have more respect and joe as well and are grateful and bringing together this awesome group of people tonight. i wanted to say franco thank you very much. i wanted to invite you to comment and offer a few words and i'm -- i really really really appreciate your commitment and how you made that manifested again here tonight so franco do you want to say a few words? [applause] >> by now you are did know my name. my name is franco.
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of course i want to give a word of welcome to all of you. it is my privilege and honor to host this special group. first of all let me thank the board of sponsors for their generous support and express my deepest and most sincere gratitude to the honorable jane honors general gene jones general john adams. and congressman seth -- and last but not least windy -- wendy anderson.
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she is the soul of the offense and most of you don't know she traveled to italy last week. to rome. [laughter] i spend of lot of hours on my knees praising this weather. [applause] she is really incredible and extraordinary. her passion really brings us together so a very special thank you to you wendy. and now let me express my gratitude to joe klein for this book and truly am proud to host today. there is no greater responsibility than the men and women who have given everything to serve and protect us, to guarantee our freedom and security.
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joe klein's charming -- is a tribute to our veterans. this is a tale of life and death. page after page the stories of eric greitens and jake wood fills our hearts with hope. for the first time we see an energy from the battlefield, a story of lives saved, not devastated. this book is a positive story for all of us and these two combat veterans who continued their mission by helping others. so thank you joe for this powerful and magnificent book of hope and faith and welcome home. thank you.
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[applause] >> i'm about to throw you over to the real point of the night which is joe and a great group of veterans who are going to speak with him. i just wanted to say it's really clear to me that joe has aspired to write "charlie mike". soldiers and marines not just fighting but helping revitalize communities and helping people and i think he has recognized very clearly brought the content of the book that this generation is going to have a very strong inclination a natural desire to continue to serve and lead back here at home. from the start he has clearly recognized that this bear assets
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and their potential season leaders. there are people who are living lives of consequence and that they have something as a group as individuals, something profound to teach all of us about the way that we participate in our democracy and act as citizens in the 21st century. that's really what the message is. i think what i take the message to be of "charlie mike" and the reason we are all gathered here tonight. thank you. [applause] >> i'm kind of blown away. thank you so much for coming. thank you to the sponsors. i want to thank all of my buddies from the wars of new hampshire and iowa and
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afghanistan. i know there are a bunch of people out beyond this place who i've spent many, too many nights in iowa and new hampshire with and i also was want to thank the veterans. thank you for your service has become a cup kind of a cliché. too often it's thank you for your service. [inaudible] and so i will thank you for your service but i want to hear for important words first uttered by a eric greitens in iraq. he walked up and down the awards and he asked the wounded bear, what do you want to do next?
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i had the same experience. they always say the same thing, i want to go back to my unit. and then he would ask them, well if you can't or when you get out of the service what you want to do? and they would say well i want to go back and maybe coach little league or teach or become a cop or fireman. and the polls show that this extraordinary generation, 90% of them want to continue on their service when they come home. and so eric in a moment of brilliance, which is not unusual , found himself saying to these kids who said that they wanted to continue to serve the following four years -- for words. we still need you.
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we really do need you in this country because of your values, your discipline, your sense of community. now you may wonder how one old political reporter like me got involved in this. and so i'm going to tell you a quick story and then i'm going to provide a -- wendy is right, i wouldn't be here tonight if i hadn't been there but i wouldn't have gone there if i didn't live in a town just north of new york city where nine of my neighbors didn't come home on the night of september 11. i thought i had retired from journalism. it turned out i retired for eight months and 11 days and i had to get back in. for me journalism has always been an education and i had to learn the military, i had to learn intelligence, i had to learn islam. in it the region some but i had to learn that better and during the course of this i've bought
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once we were there we would have more responsibility to calm things down and let the iraqis have their own state. and in 2006 when things were going really bad i wrote a column about counterinsurgency strategy. military folks here know all about it. the basic principle was instead of playing whack-a-mole and going off to try to find the bad guys we would protect the good guys. we would protect the public. so i wrote this column and the next day i got a call from a guy named david petraeus who had been cast into the outer darkness i don't know rumsfeld one of the dash servants we have ever had that he sent to fort leavenworth. there are petraeus was
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concocting a counterinsurgency and he said look, you were on the right track but you don't know anything. he said you want to learn and i said yeah. he said i'm going to send you a reading list. immediately he sent 30 articles about general insurgency and he said do you want to come out and study with us? i said sure, absolutely. the ground rules were was all off record but i could ask anything i wanted and i began to learn their. for example i might ask the question from one of his brilliant circle of advisers all of whom seemed to be scholars, you know one of them would respond why did she read
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chiarelli's piece about postelection warfare? at 1.1 of them looked at my loafers and said klein you were too lazy to even tie your shoes anymore. [laughter] and the only possible response to that and their intelligence in rigor and a government that i didn't think was paying enough attention was to fall totally in love. and so i kept in touch and six months later david petraeus was sent to iraq to try to patch things up. i said when you want me to come? much to my wife's chagrin and he said i will let you know. at first i went into a rack and abetted their credit when on patrol and i got caught up in it as wendy said i was mostly
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embedded in afghanistan and most of it in afghanistan in one town which is just west of kandahar. two towns over from mullah omar's hometown and i first embedded with the fourth and third -- infantry division with a 30 old captain who was in charge and the mayor of the town. his job was not only to protect them but also via public works money so for the hearst time in human history, the afghan residents were asked what would you like us to build? what would you like us to do with this money? the overwhelming response was they wanted us to reopen a
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school that the canadians have built. the overwhelming response from the local warlord was that they wanted us to build an irrigation ditch west of town where the leader found out from intelligence -- [inaudible] the school was opened. the irrigation ditch was not built. it was a very specific day when we are about to launch the operation. i was with the captain and he was trying to convince the local landowner who owned a two-story building in town to allow some of our troops to take an oversight position to make sure that the taliban didn't come in
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and set an ambush. this guy was given two choices. he wanted the school to reopen but he also feared if he was harboring american troops the taliban might kill him. they were known to hang people from trees. jeremiah alice sitting with this, it off leaning against the wall smiling but not too much in body language apps look perfect in convincing this guy to do it. i thought to myself my god, he could go back to iowa and run for governor. so when i got home i called general petraeus and i said i think this counterinsurgency training that the army and marines have is preparing for this generation for public service as well as for
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entrepreneurship. he said you know i never thought about that but he said i think you're right. he became obsessed with this and he and others on his staff and members of the veterans -- started introducing this on along the way sub five who was a rhodes scholar, became a navy s.e.a.l. the only navy s.e.a.l. who worked with mother teresa. a humanitarian who decided to join the s.e.a.l.s after you been to in a refugee camp and had seen all these kids with their limbs chopped off. he said the innocent of the world -- i told you the story about what happens when he came home. he had a number of ideas which was an going to try to enable these people to serve so the
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mission continues was born and it gives six months public service scholarships. [inaudible] one of the first recipients of one of these fellowships was a guy by the name of the jake wood who played tackle for the university of wisconsin and wanted to serve and wanted to serve when he got out but was hesitant because of his football injuries. army wouldn't take him. he had six operations on his foot and finally he found a recruiter who needed to meet the quota at the end of the month. the demarino rose to sergeant and when he got out after two tours in iraq and afghanistan he was watching the haiti
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earthquake on tv and he said we can do something about that. he filled out his mba application. anyway he called, four of whom joined him and they found three doctors and one of his friends william mcnulty contacted the jesuits who would run medical supplies into haiti. and team rubicon was born and four days, four days after the first phonecall team rubicon was running the emergency room in the largest hospital in port-au-prince. they got there first, they got there fast, they got their efficient and as jake said -- i have deployed with them in
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various places especially in oklahoma after tornadoes. with their forward-operating base in the parking lot. home depot should get a shout-out here. and you see them organize and d.c. church groups who come to do good works look to team rubicon for how to deploy and for how to do it they are going to do. it really is one of the most gratifying things, the most wonderful things, and so in the course of writing this book and telling jake and eric's stories which includes a terrible tragedy, i came to realize a couple of things about the military and about what civilians can learn from that.
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most important is that this is a generation of volunteers and they have served and they have served in a cause larger than themselves, and they have created millions of caring purposeful communities and they understand the spiritual importance of helping others. they have come to understand and this is really a benefit that the acts of helping others is a great way to treat post-traumatic stress. the first study search is coming out now and i mention them in the book. it will be shown that this actually works. i have seen it work. there are stories in this book a people's whose lives were saved
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by these organizations. the other thing i learned, another thing i learned was that post-traumatic stress isn't only about what they saw and did over there, but it's about the act of coming home in the losing the sense of community that they had, no longer being a part of the community. ..
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we have kind of lost in all of this affluence that we have experience in this country we have experience a loss of spirit and spirit of community. politicians talk about rights all of the time but you never hear them talk about responsibilities. now that their home we are always aware of the responsibilities. we have been trying to do a weird experiment in political history.
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we have been trying to do democracy without citizenship. i truly believe that these people who i've spent the last four years with are going to show us the way back to citizenship and that is a major cause for optimism in the world. what i would say is that the general is going to come up in a minute from the 100 first airborne and in watching these two organizations evolve and save lives, and help people in our communities has been the
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greatest privilege of my career. so now i would like to call him up. let's talk about it a little bit. [applause]. [inaudible] >> hello i'm janine davison.
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>> i want to congratulate you on the presentation. it was amazing to hear the transformation. okay. >> i am the president and ceo who we hold in very high regard. >> ken harbaugh i would pass myself off as jake would tonight , the clo.
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>> i'm seth moulton i'm a marine veteran. >> i am jim mcconnell and chief, i served with a hundred first airborne division with extraordinary men and women. >> general. [inaudible] let me start with you general. >> know you are not. people talk about the greatest generation and i come from a fairly proud mission and you see this hbo series about these incredible men but the men and women we see today are extraordinary. they signed up to serve, you
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knew after 911 that when you signed up with the military that you would be going to combat. they do that. you know if you go to the 100 first you'll get a tougher mission than what you chose to serve. it is incredible to serve in the company of these heroes. it is amazing what they do. they are giving the young men and women of afghanistan and opportunity for a future. it is a very to place to to serve. they don't have the infrastructure we have here. to see these kids have a chance, young girls and boys to go to school, that's as exciting as it gets. we wish our kids would go to school and the environment they go to. to see the schools and what they're trying to do is incredible. >> one thing i've noticed is a
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disproportionate number who are either classics majors were studied ethics, you are in physics and philosophy major. >> just physics. >> again, he was one of the harvard speakers in the class of 2001, and announce that you are going to the marines. why did you make that decision and how has that lets your continuing service? >> first of all i should say that if anyone is thinking about going to school majoring in physics is great. anyone in life who sees your resume in and not your transcript will think you're very smart.
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[laughter] i grew up in a nice town, not with a lot of money, i am still paying my college loans now. i went to public schools, and harvard for college. when i was at harvard i realized i had never done anything to give back. i had not served in any way. i was able to have some mentors and he talked about the importance of service and how it is not just about believing in service, you have have to find a way yourself to serve. so i looked at different options. it was not a sure thing that i was going to the military. i looked into the peace corps and other things. at the end at the end of the day had so much respect for this people whose served on the front line in our military and decided that is what i wanted to do.
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my mother was not thrilled with, she would say quote i would only been more disappointed in seth if he had chosen a life of crime. [laughter] i also made, graduated in 2000 once i did not know that i would be in combat, i thought i was going at peace time. when i started training i thought i had just missed the war in afghanistan. fundamentally, it it was the respect i had for the 18 and 19-year-old kids that led me to serve. and that's why wanted to be in the industry as well.
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>> you once told me a story about how when you told one of your professors that you are going into the military he reacted how? then i would like you to tell me what you went into the military and why when you came out the notion of continuing your service was so important? >> so eric and i were part of the same program at duke. it was a way to bring in kids who needed a little extra support, and they had high expectations worse. this was before 911 and they had high expectations and when i told the scholarship, the professor who administered the scholarship program that i was going to join the navy, he
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brought me into his office and tried desperately to talk me out of it because he was afraid what it would have on the scholarship program for the university. i did it anyway. in some ways i suppose it was reflective. i grew grew up in a military family, my family father was a pilot in vietnam, my brother was a pilot. i did not choose that path when i went to college, i i grew a beard and played guitar, hick hitchhiked across new zealand. i realize all of the thing i was doing i had done nothing to enjoy the privileges that i was taking advantage of. i came back from that semester hitchhiking around new zealand and signed up. i refer that programming because for me service met military service.
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then i married a schoolteacher who served on the front lines of the dropout academy in connecticut. i was going into loss school after my time in the service. i realize there are many ways to serve. the military for me was for me and we have got to find a way to reinject this citizenship into democracy. that was part of the art dealer your mode of. was also about re- animating the spirit and large. using veterans as an example of that. a trojan horse if you will. hopefully that is starting to gain momentum. i think a lot of people look to the work we are doing to engage
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veterans and saying you know, there is a lot we can do in our communities. we will have 40 veterans leading an operation and spontaneous volunteers will, and do a personal part. after hurricane sandy, 300 members organized 10000 civilians to clean up in the rockaways. it was an amazing piece of work. eric cannot be here tonight because he is doing his own show. he is is running for governor of missouri. he had to raise some money. this would have done a good fundraiser for him. also jacob would was going to be here tonight but he had a
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medical emergency and his family. spencer you have taken over for eric and tell me about how michigan continues since the original scholarship fellowship program. >> i will paint the of where we are now. versus where we were when eric had that initial idea. the initial idea was born in the hallways and walter reed. it turned into the inspiration. where we are now is the michigan continues right now is men and women, veterans active just down the street.
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now men and women, veterans active in his own in los angeles. what it looks like now is men and women who are active in the charter school network. but it looks like now is men and women veterans who are combating in phoenix or countering violence in south side of chicago. it has evolved that initial idea that was a born of seen veterans coming home, missing something, something other than their arm, their eyesight or their hearing gone. it was that connection to a mission, a connection to service, social connection to others. we shared, we shared, broader in the spirit of court. it has all been replaced by omission in their community. there is no lack of mission in
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the community. just like ken said we have a tremendous opportunity, now to ask, to challenge our veterans, the men and women who are returning daily to our community, to be that vanguard. we are saying it is the positive by making in this democracy, i'm not taking withdrawal yet. my generation is not about withdrawing, i still have deposits to make. i will make it in my community, not just -- i didn't leave it in iraq or afghanistan, or wherever i serve. it is my community and that is where i will make my deposit.
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we shared one thing that drives us to the mission to continue, earlier this week is a photo that we cut out. it is one single photo that represents what we are trying to do. it is a black-and-white photo of space blue prince on the moon. i don't think there is a photo that more singularly and without words represents the culmination of omission and a vision. that photo that signify that an entire country said we are going to do something, we are going to do it by certain date and that photo suggested that they did it. the reason why we use that photo is not only to convey what our own goal is, as the mission continues, to influence future generations desire to serve, but
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also to suggest that every man and woman looking at that photo can choose and determine what interests they want to leave on the world. what is their blueprint going to be? we believe the only blueprint that is left in the sand in the dirt, they can leave an imprint on the lives of the future generation of americans who are soon to be making a decision about how they are going to serve, whether they are going to serve their country. that may be in the military but it should be in some way serving the country in the community, low-income low-income schools, community centers, or joining the military. it is our great privilege to be on that vanguard. the men and women are serving now complete their first chapter and can continue.
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[inaudible] >> i joined the air force because they gave me a scholarship. i think you may find this, for those of us who have served in the military it is not really a question. i was a military brat, my father was in the navy, i knew that i was going to do something that had to do with government and teaching, doing something adventurous. so i joined the military and i was a little bit older than the veterans you're talking about. i served in the 90s. it astounds me today, i am
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heartened by how much people come home and you here thank you for your service. i think there is a tidal wave that is enabling you to do what you are doing. for me, and for so many veterans that you are talking about was never a question, the skills we learned in the military have enabled us to move on into other things. i'm a teacher, professor and i cannot imagine not being part of our democracy at that level. so i think that we have a huge opportunity with the future generation to continue to monitor that behavior. the last thing i'll say is we
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have so many negative images i haven't really talked about that. they are community organizers, they are are skilled, they are ready to get the job done and they are out there doing it everywhere. i think that is a message that i know you are hooked and that is why i'm so happy to be here tonight. >> you can see i have a really tough job in interviewing these people. that it is just like pulling teeth. actually, i really am incredibly honored and touched by how much so many of them open their hearts to me and told me.
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they are a great resource and you are a great audience, maybe you have some questions for them. i wonder if any of you want to ask any of these folks a question? if you do stand. who will be the first? nobody. okay will then i'll ask another question. seth, what is it like in congress to be a veteran? so many people in congress are not veterans, i heard some democrats say i have more in common with republicans who are veterans then democrats who are not veterans. how does that work? how are you guys different?
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>> will first of all it is an interesting time to be in congress. i know from the outside it looks like things are in chaos in the house of representatives but let me tell you first of all from the inside perspective what is going on. it is total chaos. [laughter] so it is fascinating but there is a commonality that i find with fellow veterans. we have never had fewer veterans in our nations history then we do today. we face in on precedent number of challenges across the globe. so i find knowing cares about a freshman democrat for a whole lot of things but when it comes to issues about complex of the middle east much more senior members of congress to look to me for my thoughts and advice. i have found that, as a democrat you really have to make it
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better to reach out across the aisle to get to know republican. and some are very perceptive. so i reached out and took a fellow veteran out to dinner. he's quite conservative frankly, and we sat down and said work we find some common ground. we did not talk about abortion, there is issues we did not discuss. it turned out we agreed with what to do with isis and iraq. in particular some disagreements that we had with the administration. so i think that was good and it was much more powerful to write that piece with a co-author of someone from a different place on the political spectrum. representing a different constituency of america. if i have written it with another democrat half of america would have dismissed it without
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reading it. so, there is potential to get things done in congress today. i do think there is a lot -- >> let me just ask one more question and then we will get back to eating and drinking. i want to ask everybody, how this generation is different from the vietnam generation. from previous generations. and then i want both ken and spencer to talk about how their organization have reached out to vietnam veterans, to meet this was one of the most moving things that is going on. vietnam veterans are finding
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their community through this community. they're finding finding their place in the community as well. let's just go across the board and then go get drunk. >> when i think of vietnam veterans i think they're all the same. i think we are very fortunate, today in the military i been in the military for 34 years. we can't walk into a into a restaurant or shopping mall without people coming up and really passionate about thanking us for service. so if you see vietnam vets, thank them for their service. i had a chance to speak at harbor and i asked the vietnam veterans to stand up. and i said we get thanked all of the time. i want to thank you for your service because you never got that. these are grown men that had tears in their eyes because no
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one thanked them for their service. if they have served their country at a different time, they don't make policy they executed, they did the right thing and i have i have tremendous respect for them. >> [applause]. so if you can keep your remarks general that will be good. >> it is a great honor to serve the country today and it is also wonderful when you get to come home and see so much support from your community and from your fellow veterans. i have incredibly deep respect for the vietnam veterans who served their country in a much more difficult time. they went through horrendous experience overseas. and then they were disrespected back home.
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it is for me to get to know vietnam veterans in the same way. >> i think there are really practical. there are smaller, we had an invitation to take care of each other on a more intimate, personal level. some differences are structural the service organizations today are not necessarily membership base. we do not do not compete in the same way that old veteran services did. there's an organization that is incredibly cooperative. we are all in it together, moving in the same direction. there is a critical way in which the vietnam vets and you see it
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around. [inaudible] when they begin to open up. we do not not have a filter that says only post 911 vets. some of these guys. >> there is a vietnam vet in oklahoma during the tornadoes. >> they say this is 30 years over due. that is a powerful moment not just for the vietnam vet holding his or her place, it is equally powerful moment for the post-9/11 vet who who realizes that they are not the first one
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to be wrestling with this. there are people who have tried to take away and i think we had in opportunity here, at historic opportunity for the structural realities. the fact that it is a smaller group and that we were welcomed home and away was a fundamental difference than the way my dad was welcome home to. we have a chance to change america. >> i just want talk about one similarity and i think that is the need for community upon return. sadly, i think because of that dynamic in the country the vietnam generation many were forced to find that community behind the four walls of a building with smoke guns coming out of the windows. a large number of the community was wondering most going on
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inside. this generation pioneering a version of community that is on full display for community, in fact rick quires the innovation of the community prior to coming home. there are no four walls for this. it happens all over. a deeper community and a need for community is similar for both. >> obvious differences for generational volunteers and draftees they had a vietnam although there are many volunteers in that generation as well. the main difference is the american people. i was a navy brat go growing up, in this country and this city,


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