A wounded Iraq war veteran and Columbia University freshman was jeered during a meeting about bringing ROTC back to the school, the New York Post reports.
Anthony Maschek, a wheelchair-bound Purple Heart recipient who was shot 11 times during his time in Iraq, was hissed and booed at when he spoke in support of ROTC during the Feb. 15 town hall meeting. Some students shouted "racist" during Maschek's testimony, during which he stated, "It doesn't matter how you feel about the war. It doesn't matter how you feel about fighting. There are bad men out there plotting to kill you." (Listen to audio of Maschek's remarks here.)
ROTC has not been present on the Columbia campus for 42 years, and the debate on bringing it back in the wake of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal has been contentious. In a recent piece, Spectator opinion blogger Caroline Blosser addressed the controversial fight, which has snowballed into a pro- and anti-military argument:
"... ultimately I find something fundamentally flawed with the current debate that has nothing to do with the content of either side but rather with the debate itself ... The ROTC question has exploded into a wholly larger debate, an infinitely expansive, poignant, and polymorphous debate on militarism and war. But the ROTC debate platform cannot adequately hold the weight of such grave discussions."
Columbia's University Senate will conclude a poll gauging student thoughts on bringing ROTC back to campus Thursday.
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