By Yvette Tello
LULAC President urges Latinas not to join the military after the disappearance of Vanessa Guil- len. “We are asking all women especially Latina women or their families: Do not enlist in the army until we have assurance they will be protected and taken care of when they serve our country. And right now I just don’t believe the military is capable of doing that because of what happened to Vanessa Guillen,” said Domingo Garcia, the national president of the League of United Latin Ameri- can Citizens, or LULAC. What do you think? Let’s talk about it..

Gary Zeinert: “Obviously, what happened to this young lady was a horrible and tragic crime. How- ever, the military is a pathway to a successful career and financial stability for a lot of people. So, advising an entire cultural group of women to avoid the military may not be the smartest thing. What has bothered me is, in my opinion, this is every bit as tragic as the George Floyd murder but up to this point I don’t see the same outrage on a nationwide scale.”

Barbara Ann Mendoza Mead: “Typical LULAC mentality.”

Frank Burton: “ Instead of say- ing, “don’t join,” we should be demanding it be fixed. Real men don’t do this to women, criminals do. We need to fix the problem, not add another to the pile. Root out these people and make them pay the price for their actions. The military is an honorable path forward for many. We need to root out the bad apples just like in law enforcement. The people covering them up are just as guilty because they empower them.”

Tricia Ann Ybarra: “I believe that’s the wrong state of mind to be in. Don’t hold them back but make us stronger. I just do not know of LULAC’s way of think- ing.. It’s a ridiculous thing for them to say for Hispanic women not to join! We just need to con- tinue to stay strong and proud for serving our country. I pray for Guillen’s family.”

Thomas Mc: “I chose college and it paid off. I had friends that did trade school, that paid off. Many of my friends who decided on the military have issues ranging from PTSD, disabilities, and worst of constantly getting the runaround from the VA. That may not be ev- eryone’s experience but it is many. Unless minorities and soldiers of color are going to be taken care of, they should not join. I deal with stats and data daily. Look up the numbers yourself. I base what I say off the numbers and the experiences of those I know. Even the VA has done studies in racial disparity and inequality in the military. Research yourself , look at studies from NIH, CDC, etc. . Racial disparity, minority inequality in military, health care difference for veterans of minori- ties in the VA… Years of data on each and the numbers have every- thing to do with all the widespread problems.”

Robbie Willis : “Why bring up anyone’s color of skin regarding joining the military. None of us are taken care of properly. I am white and still fighting for my disability; but do you know what? I would proudly serve again. This has nothing to do with skin color. Bringing it up shows they are part of the problem here in the U.S. What happened to her is wrong but it has nothing to do with race except women are sexually harassed way way more than men. Numbers have no say here with this post. I don’t care if you deal with numbers everyday. It has nothing to do with this. It has nothing to do with the color of your skin but lack of leader- ship. Why does everything have to turn into the color of someone’s skin. This post was about joining the military. And until you do you don’t know how it is. I saw women sexually harassed. Not just brown or black women, all women. I saw great men of all skin colors advance and become great leaders. So this has nothing to do with skin color but ignorant men who treat women wrong. That is what this boils down to. Men that make good men like me look bad. I told my son who is in the navy, if I ever heard that he knew about a female being sexually harassed and did nothing I would beat him. I raised him right. I know I don’t have to worry. Again, going on the post only, not any other issue, this has nothing to do with race. Some men are not good people and treat women wrong.”

Steve A Duran Sr.: “I think the military is still a great opportunity for young people and we can not blame all branches of the military for one bad apple.”

Denise Castano Wirth: “That’s taking steps backwards.”

John Diego Vacca: “Tell him to create more high paying jobs in the inner city of San Antonio and to bring better job training for the workforce.”

Mary Svetlik Watkins: “It was the Hispanic guy doing the harass- ing in college ROTC. He had an affair with a cadet. The army sent him to a boot camp base where he raped women. He retired quietly.”

Mike Miller: “Now you know which side of America that LU- LAC is taking with all the stuff going on.”

Eric Tello: “There are people (myself included) who are hell bent on joining and figure that’s the only way to stand up on two feet in this day and age. To be told to do a metaphorical about face and change your plans? It’s tough.”