tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN December 30, 2013 12:30pm-2:31pm EST
of that. so within our own base we had to make sure all of the telephone cable and fiber-optic cable worked. it was a gigantic airbase midway between ramadi and fallujah on the al-anbar province. it was like heading up construction crew and my marines were really hard-working. they were great. they would dig trenches and lay cable underground. we would get the entire company helping us out, 200 marines, pulling out cable under a airfield. they took out the old iraqi telephone wires and replaced them with 30 kilometers of cable throughout the base. then we got mortaredded. the then the cable would be cut. and my repair marines would repair it. it was like being in charge of the whole cycle of operations there, which was stressful but i worked with a lot of fantastic people, so that was really great. >> that's great. and nicole? >> my story i guess is a story
of a misdirection, believe it or not. after i took the asap i wanted to be journalist. the recruiter told me i didn't make the cut, to get a proper score to enlist as, get journalism slot. so, i was like, what do you guys have to offer? he was like, you know, he mentioned a few other moss and then he mentioned supply. well, i have retail experience. i have sales experience. i have office experience. and it's a strange story because supply in garrison versus supply in during the deployment it is very, two different atmospheres, two different types of stressors. whereas when i was in garrison in germany it was a lot more fun. i felt like, i felt very
interconnected because i did unit supply and i was in the ordnance. i was in the ordnance company. so i was in an ordnance unit, rather and my company was the largest of that ordnance unit. so and bravo company, ordering a pen, i could order a pen, i could order a machine gun and m-60, saw weapon, these things were on the books and on paper it is very interesting to have accountability for these incredibly massive and powerful weapons. and at the same time, oh i need a roll of paper, some tissue. so it is pretty ironic. and then the networking aspect is so vast because you have unit supply, which is a 92 jiang key. then we worked with shop office -- yankee.
and alphas also worked at the warehouse and 92 juliettes which were medical supply officers. so it was a small world among the logistics family. and we all kind of knew each other, knew how to get to each other versus, you know, in different aspects of the military the jobs would be a little more secular and separated. so logistics was more like professionally a little bit, a bit more of a happy family. in that sense we were in s-4 and it was just strange aspects of it. but then when you take that to deployment it's a different situation. because the budget itself, would fluctuate a lot more differently compared to in garrison and a more quote, unquote relaxed situation. so there are times when we didn't have the supplies to give to the soldiers and it could be
a life-or-death situation. i remember we ran out of flak vests to assign to different soldiers and we had to scrutinize and rotate and come up with innovative ideas, whom, how to protect whom. who is going on what mission? where can we get, where can we borrow what we need. so it was a dire situation sometimes. it was very unspoken in my section but it was, i could constantly see that way weigh each on either of our brains if we ran out of gas masks what will we do if there is a biochemical attack? that kind of position puts you in a strange dichotomy in the relation to the rest of your unit, in relation to other supply offices and, your
position in the hierarchy of the military. and it's a very frightening aspect that i feel hasn't been really spoken about because people think, oh, well it is only logistics but the whole aspect of quarter masters and logistics and connection to supplying one self in the military, in deployment is a life-or-death situation and these are things you can't really teach in garrison or in training. it kind of just happens along the way. it develops through experience. so, i think that, seeing that aspect and seeing that hierarchy, those echelons and that ladder go up and down and spiral and sometimes be broken, really made me the person and writer i am today. >> i mean it sound like you were
at the center of the circle. >> yes. >> people have to come to you. >> very much. very much we were the center of the circle and again, these are things that are never really spoken about. i think a lot of people when, even the media, when it concerns itself with war, sensationalism, oh, the bullets and the bombs and mortars and the ieds and all this sensationalism. there were my times my job is pretty mundane and sitting in the office and no one is there. it is 9:00 to 5:00 and no one picked up a lock today. two of my friends in my section, oh, we've got to get to camp annaconda. oh, you have to go through sniper alley, our lives were in danger just to do our job and it is literally pushing pencils, but at the same time, as supply we were a crucial part of operations. we were kind of unsung because
because we weren't the ones through the door first. just aspect that is never really played up. >> right. i also want to have have you talk some more, all of you, about your experiences in iraq or in afghanistan. particularly stories about, you know, maybe a, one of the more memorable stories that you, where you felt that your, your skills and things that you were trained to do really paid off. that you really made a difference. sound like, nicole, you had that awareness every day that you were doing your jobs. at types it might have seemed out of sight but you were underpinning how the operation was going to be successful or not if they didn't have their supplies. teresa can you talk about that. >> sure.
during my deployment, was actually the first battle for fallujah in april 2004. a lot of people remember the second battle in november where we actually took the city. but in the first one the marines went in a few days and pulled back and tried to let the iraqis do their own thing. during that it was a pretty stressful time around the base. we had just gotten there about a month before. it was crucial we made sure everybody had connectivity and talk to each other. we would call each other electron warriors jokingly because we were behind computers a lot of time or talking on a radio or trying to connect a satellite. and i do remember one occasion in succession a bunch of communication systems broke and we had to find different ways to like talk to a base that was about 50 miles away and we were trying to, you know, i was trying to translate dialing code on one thing, how we dial on the
satellite phone instead and bounce it off the bird and get to talk to a different base so our higher commanders could actually talk to each other and know what was going on. so between that and just, brute forcing cable underground so that people could have those electrons flowing in this age of having to actually communicate via email and send images things like that, sending images from the drones is a big thing. we need ad lot of bandwidth for that. so that proved to be pretty crucial. so three main things you need in war, shoot, move, communicate. grunts would be shooting. and nicole's units would be moving supplies back and forth and we would help people communicate so. >> at would you say the infrastructure got up, the communications infrastructure? was it at 2004 or right at the time of the first battle? >> i think for our particular job in my unit was to transition. so it was still comparatively
early in the war. for this base we took it over from the army who had only taken it over from the iraqis maybe less than a year beforehand. so by the time that we left in september and really moving on into the winter, the infrastructure was far up on that base. in general throughout irwe had like satellite communications between every base, so there were ways to communicate well but they were becoming entrenched during the deemployment i was on. >> rebekah. >> my story is extremely graphic. so be forewarned. one of the, when i worked with task force paladin, we would post to post-loss scenarios and post-loss scenarios include suicide bombers. when somebody would blow themselves up and we would pick up all the pieces. doing things like that you tend to develop somewhat of a, warped
sense of humor. you deal with, you find ways to make things less intense. so, having kind after morbid sense of humor was a way a lot of me and my guys and people i worked with kind of worked. so we got a call one day and there had been a suicide bomber who had blown himself in one of the main cities and it was the first suicide bombing that i had been called out on. so i was, didn't really know what to expect. i had done a lot of, you know, ordnance is one thing. blown up people are another. so i'm with a group of infantry guys and one of the guys in the vehicle hands me a stick of gum, here, chew on this. it helps with the smell because these bodies have a very distinct type of smell. okay, thanks, dude. and my team leader at time, the guy i was working with was not friendly person. we did not get along.
so i wasn't relying on him for much guidance or advice. and when we got there, it was kind of what you would think of. i don't watch horror movies because i have lived them in real live life. i have seen what that stuff looks like. in reality. so basically when someone blows themselves up all is left usually part of the head and part of their legs. the rest of it is left in little gooey bits. and i was basically searching for secondary devices. hey, there is hue among bus boulders. can you please go check the boulders to make sure there is no secondary devices. i was like, sure, whatever. so i'm walking over these very unstable rocks, huge rocks, and i slipped, i'm wearing 40 pounds of gear, carrying a weapon, all geared out as usual and i
slipped and fell and put my hand in the pile of goo. i was like, oh, what is this. it was pretty much the guy's face. y'all miss ad piece. i will bring it to you now. we had to collect all of that stuff and take it back for analysis. so that kind of stuff is, some of the things that dealt with on a somewhat daily basis. not all the time. but it was kind of, one of those things that you deal with and you're looking back, it was kind of like playing a videogame, i'm not going to lie. it was very much kind of third person. i'm kind of outside my body right now. i'm kind of watching this stuff all happen and i'm not sure how i'm going to deal with this. so i'm just not going to deal with this right now. i will put that in the back of my file cabinet and deal with that when i get home. so those were some of the stuff. that was my first experience with those type of situations. there were guys who had seen those things multiple times and
had dealt with, you know, way worse stuff than that particular situation and, things actually got even more intense after that. i had about a three-month period where, you know the-hit the fan for a while and we up to eyeballs and missions and talking about what we did and sometimes, i'm sure we'll get to this in a little bit. i will touch on it quickly. what do people want to know? people sitting in the audience, what am i going to ask her about? what should i say. sometimes i'm like, you know, this isn't stuff that i talk about a lot. i mean i'm actually perfectly comfortable telling some of these stories but a lot of times people on the receiving end are, like, oh, my god, i don't know how to respond to this. i don't know how to react. i can see it in your faces,
response, recoil, i don't even know what to say to this story. it is interesting when you talk about what, what are you proud of in your service. what made you the person. those are the types of things that reilly do have made me kind of who i am and given me some perspectives i have. i come back and we see things and we do things and people get all up tight about stuff. look, nobody died. chill out. it is not that serious. so, slow it down a notch. relax and figure out what we need to do and get stuff done. so those types of situations, while very kind of gruesome and very kind of intense and took some time to kind of process and get through once i had the time to get through and process them they're still in a sense like very helpful in kind of crossing a perspective about life in general sometimes. >> right. no, i can imagine.
raeanne, do you want to jump in. >> sure. when i was in afghanistan, this was the beginning of the surge to southern, well, the gypping of the surge for the u.s. we went into southern afghanistan and we at that time there were multiple ground units battalion level soft you're looking at 400 soldiers, 200 soldiers per so many square miles guess. i, not every battalion belong to the same overall brigade. so there were a lot of fragmented communications going on. different standard operating procedures. so it was really, i guess difficult way to operate when you weren't all trained together. so that is what we went into. as an aviation unit we were supporting multiple ground forces who were having difficulty communicating. some of that came back to the different communications architecture that are in place.
they just hadn't trained together in the states. so when we got, when we got there, kind of hit the ground running and we had been looking at intelligence through the year leading up to this and i was stressed with my soldiers for being able to support multiple units on the ground and try to direct or make recommendations to my commander where he would direct aircraft and who to support. i felt this immense pressure to be right. by virtue of intelligence is supposed to drive operations, that was what we were aiming towards but it didn't always happen. one of those things, you're damned if you do, damned if you don't. you think you're directing something in one direction. but of course if you're predicting future enemy operations, then the commander, the my commander would want to counter that. well if he counters it successfully the enemy may not be successful. that is good news and look at
the intelligence officer say, you predicted wrongly or incorrectly. so that could be frustrating. but i think a moment in afghanistan where we were, we were there in winter of 2010 and kind of the vegetation is very bare during the winter time frame in the south. the enemy was relatively quiet. then we got into the spring of 2010. vegetation starts to come back. this is where area where locals, the poppy, growing poppy was really important to the local economy. but it also helped, for the foreign fighters or fighters there to be able to have cover and concealment, or more cover to be able to move freely through southern afghanistan. so i went out with, on a flight with a one of our pilots. my commander as intel officer
wanted me to see what they saw or detect 50 feet up, 100 feet up in their aircraft and flying fast. so we flew through there and it was incredible. there were grape rows where. these are five feet high. so you can imagine when the ground, the enemy has the advantage of having lived there forever. friendly forces coalition forces have disadvantage they get there and there's five foot high grape rose they have to navigate over what the enemy has to navigate through. we learned of heavy fighting and supporting ground forces to crack the code how enemy is working there and got through the fall when the vegetation is dying out, we heard after full year that the enemy had underground tunnels and there were huge cache sites. some was medical supplies.
some was weapons, ammunition. and, so we realized what we thought to be enemy operating, multiple firing positions simultaneously, this is complex enemy there, it was just they were navigating underground. we had to build the relationship with the ground units, to trust us we think this will happen at this location because last spring we saw this, and now we're realizing that it's they were navigating from one firing position to the next underground, it was one guy, one enemy fighter. the ground units started to trust us through this nearly year-long relationship we established. so they started going and exploiting the underground sites and fulling a lot of a the lot of ammunition potentially out of enemy hands of the we started to see success there. it was really nice to feel like work we had been doing that had taken so long to build this up was actually paying off. every time we had either
aircraft shot at or hit, or, you sit in a operating, a operations center, tactical operations center, which is most of the time where i was and soldiers, analyst that is worked for me would, day in and day out look at reporting, they were looking at significant activity as it came in. to them it was just statistics. they were seeing you know, a triple amputee. this came across within the operations cell. you would see this, this unit got hit on ground. they ran into a string of ieds and they lost five people. that is catastrophic to a small unit. one loss is catastrophic. you can imagine when it is more than that every time this would happen, we would come back and making it more real for us in a operations center where we're sitting behind computers t felt more like a videogame than reality it was. we would start to question, did we send, did we ask to send these people out in harm's way and did we miss something?
so to see the success of operations and pulling this ammunition out of enemy hands was really, i think a rewarding moment for us there. it was also a way too keep my soldiers and analysts engaged to support those guys out there. and make sure the guys and gals going outside of the wire every day, it also helped to build that confidence what we were doing. we found that relationship was really important so that intelligence would actually drive operations. >> interesting. can we now turn to talking a little bit about your, the skills that you learned and how you transitioned out into civilian life. nicole, can you talk a bit about what you felt you gained from your experience and then, sort of how, how your transition went. >> my story is a very strange
arc. i always consider it as a continuous, build upon and re, just retransforming myself. i don't want to say i didn't learn any skills. i think it reinforced who i am as a person being out in iraq. again my job position and my, the psychological connection to my job position. i got to see many aspects of iraqi people and my fellow soldiers in the military and the tricks, the tricks that played on my mind, was very difficult even now to explain to many people. i think, one of the things that helped me cope and to filter out and decipher and constantly
modify my perception about myself and my relationship to my deployment was the fact that i'm an avid reader, i'm an avid writer and the skill of doing my job and the routine of that helped keep me sane in that situation. it was very difficult because, again, for me being supply, i got to stay behind a great deal, but at the same time, my unit, so many people in my unit constantly tasked out to different portions of the military. like we supported tankers and infantrymen and i had many friends that were medics. they were constantly sent out on missions. then we had iraqis come in and they had jobs on our post and, while we were stationed there. so they ran the laundromats and they built the cafe.
and its with a strange dichotomy because on one hand there were some interpreters, on one hand you see the situation, this is the enemy and we're here to liberate. but on the other hand there are people here who are not the enemy. who are of this collective and this ethnicity look like me being the african-american woman. so there was that social aspect there. that are risking their lives to feed their families and feed their children and share this experience with me in the way that you come to the states and for many other soldiers in the coalition, wherever they were stationed from, they can't explain that to that civilian counterparts, whether be the family, their spouses or even their children. so i think that played a huge
psychological, placed a huge psychological burden on me for many years. how do you explain this unique experience to people that don't necessarily want to hear all the bad? they want to hear, oh, you fought for your country. oh, you're home, you're safe, you're alive. i'm like, no, there is so much gray in between, you know. on one hand you are, i was very young. i became 23 in iraq. i had a birthday and i had to celebrate my birthday in a situation constantly reminding me of my own mortality. then i had shila, my daughter, march of 2003. and i redeployed to germany in april of 2003. and i re-upped with my unit in iraq in july of 2003.
and i didn't see my daughter for three months later. that kind of personal separation and that personal experience place ad huge psychological burden upon me because it is such a remote experience. is. and again there was a lot of bringing for me. so coming back home i really wanted to start where i had thought i left off. i had a lot of college friend around me and they, they would never, they wanted me to talk about my experience in the military and, i pretty much was like no. let's just pick up where we left off. for many years, like that was how i dealt with it. these are my experiences. i kept them in a box and this is the person i want to be again and transforming from that, realizing that life had gone on and you are a mother now and you're not the young girl that
went in, even though i was much older than a lot of enlistees i knew. i came in at 20. i got out and turned 24. it was so many dynamics of change that happened. and that short span of time. and it took me so many years to digest it. and to deal with this concept of ptsd and depression and anxiety and all these labels for mental illness when it really is about a person having a dynamic experience that's very convoluted and can not be explained as good or bad living with ambiguity. . .
that is where the pulse of transition began but that is ten years. that took ten years and that was a lot of downward slope between those ten years and the acceptance of help from the center where i still receive treatment, you know, and building a support system and realizing that where a lot of my anger came from and a lot of these concepts of misunderstanding and realizing
that there are going to be people who want to listen but they aren't going to want to hear everything and that's okay but to being willing to tell it any way so future generations like my daughter won't just read about iraq and think that's the whole story. that's gone about 11 years since my enlistment. it's really been a journey and realizing there is nothing about that experience, not a good or bad but saying this is my perspective and this is a part of me and i am not necessarily proud of my position in the war but i am proud of the person that i've become that has come out of my perspective from that experience. >> you said you have learned to live with that in the devotee and produce through your writing
process is that what will come around and talk about that. can you talk more about that? >> the leadership skills that you learned and in the transition. >> absolutely. when i join the, i was a very quiet kid and i stayed quiet pretty much until we had to start talking to large groups of people which is when i became a platoon commander in iraq and i got put down in the deployment. i deployed after being in my unit about four weeks. my commander was like welcome aboard, don't unpacked. we are leaving soon. so i got over there and they actually shuffled around a bunch of the officers because we were short staffed so i didn't know i would be leading the two platoons' until i stopped my boots in the sand. what i learned is how to talk to anybody because i grew up kind
of nerdy and ply yet and communication architecture and things like that but you are leading people so i had to talk to the marines and everyone from the 18-year-olds who are already married and his wife was pregnant and about half the beebee while we were deployed to my 35 year old senior enlisted who would give me advice like great, thanks and tell the rest of the platoon this is what we are doing now. and that being able to kind of put your ear to the ground and listen and gather information and talk to all of your troops and fellow officers are around you and penal to digest that and come up with a plan of action and tell everybody what to do and execute afterwards with something that learned during that compressed period because when you are doing the training is kind of real but no one is firing anything at you.
there isn't the pressure outside the wire troops are on the ground depending on the communication architecture that you are putting together. so that was a huge thing i've learned over there and to be able to walk into the room and realize everybody is in fact human and you are going to have to be able to work with each other and talk with each other. so after that the plan and i served in california for two more years and then i got out and went to graduate school and i was in the ph.d. program which i have since vanished. being around people after the marine corps who were four years younger than me and were right out of college and then going to school after words was difficult the first two years so one of the first things i had to do was be in the teaching assistant for the class and it turns out undergrads do not salute. [laughter] who knew. so that was hard because i would want to reach across the desk
and choke the kid and realized that would get me arrested. whereas in the marine corps you can do a lot. [laughter] i never did that. so, it took a couple of years to die on the pressure and the pressure on myself because there is an intensity that you build within yourself when you are in the military and you are all about getting the machine gun. as a team he were a brooch force through the night and he would leave the table and do whatever you had to do and in graduate school with the projects and everything i was just waiting for someone to tell me what to do and that isn't the point of doing scientific research. the point is to find out what science has to tell you. so that was hard and it was hard at first to make friends and then eventually bit by bit i started making friends in the program actually that only happen after i came forward a little bit with my story and started confiding in my classmates of the things that happened on the deployment and
the experiences and what it was like to be on the dais and finding people i could trust. one of my best friends was an army officer who was getting a master's to go back and teach at west point so he was still an active duty and we became friends and from there i developed a good cadre of people to hang out with and from there that helped a lot. but the writing has helped, too but i gather that we will talk about that and another question. >> rebecca? >> learning how to blow stuff up doesn't really translate into civilian life. what i gained the most from it was perspectives adjustment of sorts. i grew up pretty sheltered. i've always been a bit of an overachiever. i think what i learned the most is how to chill out. but even that's kind of hard.
i just started graduate school this semester and i'm taking for graduate level courses and i am up to my years in papers to monday and tuesday. so that's been as you were saying there is kind of -- when i got back i've always kind of felt like i've been an out liar, again, being a woman in his office hard but a woman in the environment where you don't see other women ever. and i got dealt a pretty bad hand as far as units go. my commander and first sergeant were not nice people. and so i had a pretty crappy experience with my unit and some of the things i dealt with from the man i worked with. so one of the things i learned and it was a hard lesson, but well learned is all i can take care of myself. i don't need anybody. that was definitely one part of it. but then on the flip side of it is part of that, too is i
learned that i do need people and coming to the realization that i have to be willing to accept help sometimes but it isn't always just about me and yes i can do my damnedest to get through things on my own and i don't need any assistance but when it came down to it i really did need assistance. i was unemployed and bouncing from couch to couch and it was hard to look at my best friend and the like can i come live with you for six months? i need a place to stay and he was like here have a couple hundred dollars. you need to get back to the gym because you need to work out and i'm like i'm cool. and she said no i'm buying you a gym membership, go to the gym. being able to look at people and just say thank you without
having to say anything else or feel like i had to apologize for where i was at. still a lot of times i feel like i am an out liar. i didn't have a very good experience. a lot of times i do not relate well to veterans. a lot of times i'm very weary of veterans because i was burned badly by the people i worked with so i am very kind of sensitive to people who tell me that they are veterans. i'm kind of like a case of my balls go out and i act like a little tough because i got better and there's kind of that play in that dynamic. i moved up here for a job about two and a half years ago. i love new york city. i want to stay. and i found roller derby. roller derby for me has been kind of a little bit of a place but at the same time i am a roller derby referee so i'm still on the front end in a
manner of speaking. i've had to learn how to navigate that fringe in a sense and so that's kind of then an interesting way of doing it completely 100% on your own and having to navigate that and then figuring out know i can't do this on my ellen. it is about finding a path and it is a journey. everyday you are kind of reinventing yourself where you have been and where you are now and where you want to go. >> i wanted to just specifically ask you because when you came back, you joined the class-action suit against rumsfeld -- and for those of you that don't know it was a class action suit against the defense secretary gates and pentagon for not taking note of the sexual harassment charges and that
women had been sexually harassed and 17 former current members of the military sued them claiming that this behavior, not paying attention by the pentagon had led to violence against women being tolerated. it was dismissed and then in the spring of this year you testified in front of the senate armed services committee and you discussed your experience of being raped in afghanistan and your feelings about the military criminal-justice system and i wanted to just ask you about your decisions. these are big steps to come forward, to go public and to testify about your experience. can you talk about this decision and then your decision to become an advocate for changes in the
military justice system? >> like i said i am first and foremost like my experience is not the experience of all women. like i said i got dealt a bad hand in a manner of speaking that just because i had a bad experience doesn't necessarily mean that everyone else has. sometimes i feel like the talk around this issue of sexual violence in the military a lot of it get stereotyped and i kind of try to debunk that. i'm like yes, there are dynamics in the military that make this an issue that is challenging to deal with, but that doesn't mean that everyone acts this way. there are good people in the military, there are good women and good men. that being said, the bad apples in the military have a lot of leeway to get away with the crap they get away with because the way that it set up. so i think that the dynamic is difficult when you're trying to talk about how do we fix this, how to be adjusted and talk
about it? is a gender, is it not gender? so when i got back, yes i was raped by someone that i worked with a week before i came back from afghanistan and initially i decided i wasn't going to say anything. i just wanted to get out of the military and move on with my life. so now the military has two types of reporting. you can do an unrestricted report and i decided in the end i did a restricted report which basically makes you a statistic. nothing happens. so after that, again i just kind of got out of the military. i didn't want to discuss it or talk about it. i just wanted to move on and figure my stuff out. i was approached by this legal team who in the end of the whole idea was basically challenging the doctrine where you cannot sue the military for anything. it doesn't matter what. so the was kind of the press was trying to challenge this legal doctrine under the premise that most of the time when you are
suing the military they usually come back with the idea that no you can't sue us because this is something that relates to military service or it's a function of the military environment or in the case of when it started, those that started the military because they gave him lsd without asking permission and they were like no we gave you that in order to experiment as a part of what would happen if he were actually given this in a combat environment so it serves the military functions of that is what we were challenging is that it serves no military function whatsoever and in fact the military says they have a zero tolerance policy. so, and has it was mentioned it's been thrown out and one of my biggest problems with the whole thing is the judge basically called it a hazard of service actually written in the legal documents that were handed
down by the judge. so began the whole idea is when i first decided to speak about this it happened very unexpectedly. i signed onto this and it's just one of many participants and then i got thrust into the media spotlight kind of last minute. they called me on a friday and said can you fill with pbs and i said probably not. why? they said we had somebody drops out and i said i have to take care of the kids what you want me to do. they said can you get somebody for the weekend. we will fly you out. literally on saturday afternoon i did an interview on sunday morning and they put me on a flight and flew me home and air on tuesday morning. i had no idea what was going to be like and then they dropped the lawsuit about an hour after this aired, the segment aired which then kind of pushed me into a whirlwind of media and as a result ended up working for an organization here in the city that deals specifically with the
issue of sexual violence in the military and trying to address the policies of it's interesting because it's been about almost three years since i started speaking publicly about that issue and there's been a major uptick in media coverage of awareness around this issue of men speaking out about out their experiences as well. and if you follow these things, the gillibrand issued a proposal, the military justice improvement act which the whole idea is to take sexual assault cases out of the chain of command. some people agree. some people don't. i personally do because the infantry commander is not a lawyer and an infantry commander probably is dealing with both the accused perpetrator and the person who accused them in the unit. you cannot be objective in those situations. so, again, without going into too much detail, there definitely needs to be something that's done and the only way you can change the military is
through the act of congress. so these types of things have been in the works for a while and people ask like a whole combat exclusion policy was repealed this year. doesn't that mean more women are going to get raped? i said no it does not and diversity in the military is a good thing and women are just as capable of doing the same things and it's all about the standards you set. and i honestly believe the leadership that you have is going to be where that line is drawn. good leadership this stuff doesn't happen. bad leadership, anything goes and you have to hold people accountable for their choices and that includes leadership that chooses to sweep this under the rug and pretend it doesn't happen. but again, my perspectives are i still have very strong feelings about the military and i believe that it was a good thing for me. there's a lot of cognitive dissidence there.
like i said, i still cannot do the veterans day parade. i can't do it. there's an overwhelming sense of pride and all the songs and i just have the swelling of emotion and it's just like about this and i just can't reconcile that sometimes. maybe i will get there one day. we will see that i still feel very strongly like those that choose the military should have the best experience possible. there is a lot that the military can offer. people make the choice to serve for many different reasons. and whether we agree with those reasons or not, people should be able to step into the military, serve with honor and pride and come out a better person on the end without having to deal with stuff like sexual harassment, sexual violence. stuff like that shouldn't be in the picture of the equation, and if it is, those people should be rightly dealt with. and until that happens -- we have some work to do, but social change takes time and you're doing it.
i think we are getting their. >> could i piggyback on a lot of what you said? like you come on was raped. i was raped in iraq. for seven years i suppressed it and relabeled it and i never reported it to my unit. my unit didn't have my back on many issues. so i knew the minute if i would even decide to say i was raped and this concept of non-violent rape doesn't exist in people's minds it's an oxymoron. so, that dynamic i was like look ayman annette, i got to get out of it, i've got to make choices and sacrifices. so, i constructed my brain to think well, it was just sex that i didn't like. and for many years, several years, you know, i just harbored
this resentment and all these emotions and all this pain and i even got into a relationship that spiraled really a downward. and for many years the depression got worse where it would go from three days of i'm just laying in bed for no reason to six months of what i do for six months and of this overwhelming cloud of sadness that blocked everything and i can't recall six months of my life. and it went from six months to a year and a year to another year and it got to the point where in 2010, my depression got so bad, my apartment was a mess and i literally -- my daughter was taken away by acs she was removed from my home for six months and it literally was so bad for me about suicide was a
huge option. and then instead of that, you know, the resiliency of people is amazing. and my resiliency to say no. i am not a bad person because these things happen to me. and, you know, to start digging and to ask for help and for the halt to actually be there. one of the biggest issues with the term sexual violence in the military especially when i came back is that there was no help. they were like okay you have ptsd, but it wasn't even considered back then. and it took seven years the program that i went into in new jersey for women who suffered mst and not in a population of ptsd where other male veterans could come about.
seven years of suffering, and for many women they suffered with it longer. so, just for the dialogue to happen, it was almost a decade. and for these issues to take precedent in the eyes of the media is still a fight because women are constantly associated with rape in the media with sexual assault in the media. and then you're in the military and it's like it's a man's world. you better set it up. and just the dialogue on saying rape is wrong. rape does not just happen to women. there are male soldiers that experience sexual assault and sexual violence that hasn't come out at all because of the dynamic of welcome your a man and this doesn't happen to men. so the misogyny and the stereotype and getting rid of these things that are
engendering rape is still a dialogue that needs to happen. and and my eyes, i've read in "the new york times" this article of women who did come out and say i was raped while they were with their unit and every single woman in that article experienced some type of blame and shame. this isn't to say every woman in the military is going to get raped. absolutely not. it's just saying that this culture has been placed in the hit in light and it is unfair -- i mean, we won't tolerate this in the civilian world. it's not tolerated. so why is it in the military? why is it covered up and protected? that is a dynamic that i never understand and it doesn't translate. for the pioneers like you to say i'm going to talk about this and it's uncomfortable and i totally understand the idea of being in
front of the media and you are just a normal person thrust into the situation that you never asked for is the hardest thing to do. and you know, that in itself is bravery. so, these are just things that i challenge people, civilians and veterans alike and people still in the military that contemplate >> i think by talking about these things and addressing them and doing the advocacy work around them, you are going to change the policy. it's going to be slow but you are doing it and you are going to change the narrative. i wanted to ask about your transition and then i want to talk about sort of your creative works and how your writing has helped you deal with this and your other sorts of things you're doing has helped to work
on changing this. >> well, transition is near and dear to my heart right now. i've only been out a year last october. my husband who is actually sitting out here today is an army veteran. everyone is looking for you, so you can raise your hand. he is right here in the fourth row. so we met in the military and decided to get out. he wanted to pursue business schools and he was accepted to columbia business school, and i had a really great experience in the army. i love being a leader and i loved the people the most and there were a lot of skills that i acquired and i watched how i grew and others around me so i loved it but i also knew that i had a goals, tom and i had a goals as a family and wanting to be co located for longer than a few months. we have gone through a deployment after we first
started dating. he had been stationed in germany and then deployed to iraq and three months later after i moved to fort campbell kentucky ai was deployed to afghanistan. so when we deployed and said goodbye to each other, we knew based on my three month delay in day in his deployment it was at least a year at least 18 months apart. so we came back from the planet, we have leaders who worked with the organization to get a skull located and spent time together at fort campbell and once tom was accepted to school i decided to get out as well so that brought us to new york and here i am from a small town in kentucky, had been in the military for seven years, loved what i was doing and now i needed to focus on transition in the required something. i know these ladies appear understand but i think it's really something that we tell the story of our transition so that people who are not in new york city where i think the veterans are able to speak and have a voice and the civilian world wants to listen.
to the rest of the country there are a lot of veterans out there that may feel isolated. the military is a culture within our society that's actually pretty small. it's less than 1%. and if veterans are not self identifying and for various reasons some don't, then they feel very alone and isolated in their communities and when they hear stories of just success, maybe not such a great experience, they feel like someone can identify to their experience and they feel more like speaking. and i think that puts them on a path to a successful transition and hopefully build up on the skills that they've acquired in the military. i think veterans are incredibly resilient and that is just by virtue i'm not sure if it is the virtue of the type of people that want to serve or the experience they had in the military that shaped them and lead them into the kind of people that they are. but i have learned that we are
great at overcoming adversity. we are good at working with people that are not so much like ours all this because it is the dynamic of pulling people from different walks of life together and focusing on accomplishing the mission. you have problem solvers and people who are really good under pressure being able to make very difficult decisions using discretion. it's an incredible set of skills that the veteran supplier to the surface and then they come into civilian life and feel alone and you never think the rest of society never gets a benefit from that and to be honest you were paying our summary so i think it's important that if we can continue to serve and use the skills you paid for the and you could probably benefit as well in many capacities. so i have been focused the last year on that transition and trying to do some analysis of
what skills do i have, who am i today because of the military being able to speak to that and then being able to just find veterans who you feel like you have a common language and you can talk about and use acronyms and understand what that means and it feels really good to go back and tap into that comfort zone but then at the same time it would be a disservice if we also didn't reach out and challenge ourselves to get to know someone who is not a veteran and just in the relationship over time being a more educated and that is how we start to bridge the gap between the services and the civilian population. through my times instead to leave to deciding to join until now, i have had people who everyone has been very supportive whether it was family members, friends, some people in my community at home that may be
disagree with the war just in and of itself, but they have been nothing but supportive of me and respectful of the time i served. and so i think that it's important that we talk about that and they were able to feel welcomed when we come back or get out. it's just a totally different lifestyle and i'm learning that now, but i will finish here but one small piece. somebody asked me what's the biggest thing you've learned since transitioning and this is more in the professional capacity. besides the fact everything is tied into the revenue in some way was the idea that i could wear earrings to work and i could let my hair down. i had a hard time of my first set of job interviews not taking my hair down. i felt confident walking into a job interview if my hair was pulled back and there were no hairs flying because that's what it was like in the military at least in the garrison
environment. and so, i started to relax like eight months into the job my boss said i've noticed you have kind of transition over the last year. she had no idea because it didn't cross her mind it was a difficult transition for me and there was a transition to be had tall and so when i started to talk about it she said i noticed you are starting to wear more colors. your hair was down coming your curling it now. so she had no idea why those of the was a tiny piece of my transition that shed some light and she was like that's pretty cool. >> are we ready to wrap up? i'm hoping that traviesa and nicole in their answers can integrate some of their writing work that they are doing because we wanted to make sure that you knew that people are giving interesting projects and profits in their experiences and all sorts of work and creative ways. >> i will blight the first
bullet. thank you all for joining us on this fun and a bright saturday afternoon. you could be doing something else but thank you for coming here and listening to our women warriors. i am the founder of women veterans and families that work and we do a couple of different things but one of the things that we have been more active on is actually connecting women veterans to fees last ounce of services that are out here. and we realize that the mayor's office have a lot of service to provide. and so the cucs and other women, but they're having a difficult time finding these seal veterans because as bebekah said, she didn't really affiliate with those veterans communities she had a tough time in the military. and for us, you know we realize
that not everyone wants to come out and be engaged in the veterans community and one of the things we realize is that there is a very high number of veterans that are unemployed and who are divorcees and they are having the toughest time out of this transition process and that really transcends all of like the age group. so if you look at these statistics they are much higher than their male peers. so that is kind of one of the reasons we started our nonprofit. and here she is on our board and she has had a phenomenal time in the military and it helped her transition into the civilian world and because of her success, she wants to share that with other veterans so that they would come out and learn about these amazing services and these organizations they are providing. my question for the panel is you'll have a different
experience and we can see that it's really not that different from the mail pierce. you listen to all the folks in sure there are guys that worked that talked about the heads and picking up body parts and folks that work in the telecommunication trenches same thing as you and for me i would want to understand a little more like how would you go about reaching out to those female veterans who don't want to talk about their experience and you know you have done a fantastic job of being here and opening up and sharing your stories with a tree that the. >> so i actually i can talk a little bit because i'm pretty bredesen when talking about my experiences. it took me a few years to open at people who were even my friends, let alone other veterans and one of the scariest experiences i had was less than a year ago in february of this year walking into the veterans writing workshop at nyu which is a free nonprofit organization. it was like my very first day
there and i didn't know what to expect. i didn't know if we were going to share our own stories or riding but i had the feeling that ought of the veterans were going to judge me for what i had done or had not done in the military. so i think an attitude of acceptance is important for any organization that is reaching out. the folks both male and female everybody was cool and if you wanted to talk like that was cool and if you didn't feel like talking you didn't have to and i was shaking as i read it but it worked out okay and that whole process has been really therapeutic. my particular experience was that i had a relationship with the guy that was the officer in my unit which was a terrible idea and not the least of which
because he was married but my relationship was consensual and file had been writing about it and it helped our whole lot and i think that attitude of acceptance has been very --. >> we were in the same workshop. so to see another woman veteran that was amazing. and then you keep it all inside. but for me i think one of the biggest motivations that really encouraged me to just tackle what it is and redefining this idea of being a veteran is that i accepted my experiences and i
accepted the uniqueness and the similarities of my experience to other veterans and the questions that arose from that i accepted those. so there is a -- you have to have an ability of self acceptance and that comes with time. so, what i encourage to a lot of civilians how can we help veterans and how can we get in contact with female veterans is if you consider this idea that they are always around you even if you don't know at. and the encouraging thought of give it time. it's universal. you are going through this hard situation. i don't necessarily know what it is, but give it time, give it time and things change. york appearance changes, the way that you look at the situation changes, your perspective changes. you grow.
there is a lot of growth and suffering and people don't realize that. but you have to give it time. and a lot of veterans i don't think are encouraged to give it time. a lot of people are like well i have to know. i have to see now. i'm interested now. it is an immediacy to the situation and transition sometimes are gradual and sometimes just being there and not saying anything means so much more to a person than just saying okay i want to hear your story just tell me your story and it's like well right now i don't want to speak about it. and like everything in life you have to have strong roots in order to grow into something, to blossom into something resilient and profound. so give it time. we are always around. but just put that out there and
somebody is eventually going to respond. >> i want to say something to the whole defied. i actually had this conversation the other night with a girl that is a therapist and works with these issues and we got talking about veterans and she said finally think veterans can help veterans and i said you're wrong. [laughter] and very adamant about a statement. i'm like we all -- everyone in this room has experienced something that i know nothing about and i have experienced something that you know nothing about. it doesn't mean we can't relate to each other as human beings. some of the best feedback and the halt i got was from civilians who were interested enough in trying to help me make transitions and be successful and it's like trying to kill a therapist is you have been raped you can't work with rape victims. if that doesn't hold in any psychotherapeutic setting. so yes it is helpful when people are like we want to try to have
these understanding cultures, we want to try to at least sympathize, be able to empathize some of these experiences but just because you are not a veteran doesn't mean that you can't be friends with veterans and you can't learn some guidance that may need some assistance to get the whole concept of veterans are the only ones, i125% it doesn't -- i disagree. absolutely disagree. yes there are ways i am going to relate to the women appear a little bit differently than those that may be haven't been in the military but that doesn't mean that i am not going to gain something from the other relationships and the other communities that i felt so i always try to throw that out there with people. there is definitely something unique about having military service in your background that doesn't mean that we are our own little island to be left adrift for ever and to never be, you know, acknowledged or to be, you know, --
>> three integrated? >> yeah. it takes some time and sometimes civilians can get like we don't know what we are doing. we don't know what we are doing either. we will figure it out together. we are all on the same playing field where everyone is trying to find a way to meet, to find a happy medium to reintegrate into the community. the people i meet, people that care. you showed up because you have an interest. you somewhat care about hearing what we have to say. so just embrace that. those of thus that have been through that have offered some questions and there may be hurt feelings when i tell you i'm sorry i'm not interested in talking about right now and he would be like what i do i don't understand. but there is still that interaction and without the interaction there is plenty some awkward this and that is where it starts. >> i'm so sorry that i have to make this announcement, but the
building and closes at 6:00. and i wish that we had to hold another hour to be able to have this conversation. this is truly an honor for us to have you here. meg i would like to invite you to make some closing comments if you have them. >> can i just yield my time to the person with his hand up? >> very briefly. >> [inaudible] [inaudible] i want some of your thoughts on how that can be approached [inaudible] >> my last job in the military was as a commander so i had soldiers who we were focused from the top down from the top
of the decision now focused on how do we address this issue and it is happening throughout the military. it's happening across the country for the veterans now and unfortunately the numbers are increasing but the way that we tried to address that was through exactly what we are saying today. people have those issues and overcome them. so other soldiers or people realize that they are not alone and i think that is a huge start but it also has to be something embraced by the chain of command so that dialogue is something that becomes more common. that is any sector and any population. you talk more about people that have issues not as them but all of us because we have our own set of issues, some have had more support than others and that is a topic that is discussed rather than shunned to feel that way or to think about
suicide or taking your own life. people who talk about that i think that it will be more people better potentially thinking about committing suicide to come forward and seek out help and also having the conversation that the help is there and showing where the resources are so that when they do come forward, they will listen. >> everybody is carrying a weapon all the time and it's easy to think about and nobody really talks about. it's easy to have that spiral in your mind putting it having the dialogue of everybody has thought about it just nobody talks about it and very few people admit even having thought about it, making that more of a community thing and everybody empathizing with each other is important and gives veterans that sense of acceptance when they come home in engagement i think is really good. >> i think for me when it comes to the subject of suicide is a
personal one because i attempted twice after i got back. what really has ensured my survival is the fact definitely of my work through art and writing, just starting on that path. i couldn't say everything i wanted to say but at least i had it down and i got it out. so encouraging different outlets to decide it may be too uncomfortable to vocal the talk but to keep the diary journal and to be able to put it away and come back to it later, the encouragement of those alternatives really does help for me because some of these topics are just too uncomfortable to share right away. and, you know, to come back and say this is how i felt a few days ago and this is how i feel today and i am able to look at that and save those feelings and they were not as resilient as i
thought they would be. and then to build on that and say this was a year ago and this is how i felt then and be able to look back at that and when it is on paper it is just as real as talking to somebody that at the same time it is not as powerful as keeping it inside. so it is a healthy medium. just creating artistically being able to articulate artistically was a calfee medium for me that i was able to build on overtime. >> we have to stop. thank you to the panelists and everybody for coming. >> [inaudible]
in this book is a story of the development of this project as it is told through a number of individuals involved in it, people who were some more policy makers at very high levels of government, some are judges, but mainly it is about a group of military and law enforcement officers who found themselves instructed to carry out this
project over the past ten years and to do so under very difficult circumstances. and in particular in finding around every corner a lot of the presumptions about the way the legal system works and what american legal values are challenged. the question just to back up for a second come having worked on this for ten years i forgot the idea and i had to explain what it was so let me step back for a second and say that the individuals who were involved in this project out the front line, the military officers were people who had experience in the courts martial and trying to sort of offenses that go on in the military bases around the world. they tend to be things like
domestic violence, drug crimes, things like that. they didn't have a lot of experience with national security or a lot of experience with very complicated conspiracy charges but they did know a lot about the history of military justice particularly after world war ii and the nordenberg tribunal and the following tribunals and by the united states and other allied powers and the kind of example that was set in retrospect that has a pretty good reputation for the way that the victors treated as a defeated enemy. that image also animated people at the top of the policy change officials in washington that developed the system but for them it seemed to represent something else. the kind of trials that took place in the 40's during and immediately after world war ii were different from the ones we have today because they didn't follow many of the rules that the civilian courts have since ended in the criminal procedure.
so, for people in the white house and some in the department of justice or the department of defense, going back to this model of military tribunals seemed to be a way to avoid a lot of those developments in talal that had taken place since world war ii. so when president bush issued his order in november of 2001 it was striking in the way that it resembled the order that president roosevelt issued in 1942 involving the nazi saboteurs that harmed the commander carmen -- what was his name? what ever that he refers to there. the concept was that this order what sort of create a legal time machine that could avoid all of those postwar developments and allow the trials based on very minimal rules in fact they boil down to this. they could consider evidence that had a reasonable person.
period 2012. the purpose of the exhibitionist to highlight the cultural heritage of the planets frozen frontiers from the alpine region, the arctic and antarctic. this is a photograph of the greenland ice sheet by a german artist dating from 2008 and its exhibited side-by-side with a photograph by eight camille. also from greenland it's the last ice berg series of 20 of six. many people understand the importance of ice for the planet, it's reflective qualities that help regulate the climate, but many people are unaware that there is a collective consciousness and western culture about these regions. and so it was important in the context of climate change to let
people know that these regions are fundamental to our identity. the u.k. parliament and the dates once a year and the british house of commons. this year the members of the parliament and the ages of 11 to 18 the date of the voting rights for teams, you find employment and programs for young people to find work. now, the fifth day relates to the combating youth unemployment as it is printed on paper and to move the motion i would ask you to welcome from the northwest of england mr. stevan actions peery [applause]
>> thank you mr. speaker today there are 965,000 people that is 965,000 to many. and at the time that we did something about it. to build the olympic stadium 12 times over if reserved for only one second as one person that was unemployed, i would be standing here over 11 days now i'm not going to be that long. every member, every figure represents a young person that has been given no hope for the future and it is a story of one that had potential. generation jobless with creating a brighter future for tomorrow.
but on what has been is despair. that is the unemployed and they feel deep inside bangerter, pressured, and security me, with. this isn't just an economic issue. this is a major issue for the country and one that needs to be addressed now. they recognized the youth unemployment as an issue and 91% said it had gotten worse in the past five days. if it said that your condition was working by 91% to would go in. they believe that they could contribute to the youth unemployment crisis.
mr. speaker it is time that we play our part. and we go into the parliament and this is our time, our movement, our chance to sustain the argument and make the change that is needed and is necessary to improve the lives of so many young people, the young people that we represent and the young people that need our help. the youth unemployment affects us all in all of our communities. and while the people that are struggling to find a job, they cannot stand or act at this point all of that continues. we are one country, one parliament. we ran together and while there may have been some stories, the truth this 965,000 more.
from the people that we represent, despite the right economic problems in things can improved. we can do this. we can crash this crisis and the voices of young people not just in the communities and the region but all of the great country. mr. speaker, young people need a solution to this crisis. young people need a solution to this crisis now. thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much indeed. [applause]
>> thank you mr. speaker. today we need to look at who we represent and today it is to select the campaign for tomorrow and the year after. now the youth unemployment yes the numbers are high but we only focus on young people aged 16 and above. let's pick an issue that all of us regardless and all of the 11 to 18-year-olds we represent and not just some of them.
if it's more than anything. they spend all their lives on education and being looked after we have a good education system, yes, but it's not always preparing this for the road of work the reality is as a country we haven't been very good at creating graduates who are meeting the needs and the demands of employers. ..
it's because we have the value of careers. we have been taught what it is to pursue our passions. the problem with this motion is that everyone on the full side of this debate said they need 11 days to get a rich person. everybody's favorite youth unemployment is such a big problem. that's all i'm hearing. i'm not hearing any solution. see here's a piece the puzzle. if 100% of young people are the future, then 100% of us need
advice. we need impartial work experience. we needed to guide us in the all of our people to have a better life. now, if we voted for this international can pain, we'd be voting on issues that only affects the proportion of us. we be voting an issue that government authority working on and we'd be choosing an issue that isn't realistic and winnable within one year. i'm not saying that youth unemployment is not a problem because obviously it is. what i'm saying is that the best and brightest but it has to offer scratch their heads. they've even invested really pounds and still have it very much. unless we come up with a grand plan, this is not a one-year winnable campaign. [cheers and applause]
let's pick an issue that affects us all regardless of how old we are. let's pick a more realistic issue that we can win without your unless mcauliffe will get people we represent proud. thank you. [cheers and applause] >> thank you very much indeed for that. now let's hear from northern ireland. whoever got from northern ireland? >> basically, youth unemployment, each of us would love a job or to give our parents money for suffering. but basically, it goes far beyond that. it's not just the financial aspect. having a job. i work in a coffee shop.
i've noticed since i started work in a confident. job interviews coming in diversity interviews. your most universities these days require interviews. we need the confidence and to have the communication skills to succeed. but where are we going to get these from? having a job to start off with, talking with a customer every day may not seem like much, but it will help. i strongly support this and it should be our national campaign. [applause] >> yorkshire and humber site. the gentlemen they are. >> as a member of the parliament, which has been -- [inaudible] the mac it's great having a campaign or a policy that is able to combat youth unemployment. but is it possible to do it as part of the u.k. parliament to
do it? it is my opinion today i feel that way we can increase the opportunity is to offer better work experience, that will be covered later. it is my constituents that we have better advice and larger amounts of these opportunities will become available, but not without it and not with a single policy. thank you. >> whoever got from scotland? >> ico it's effectively pushing young people with more to do. the lack of opportunity and a laborer skills.
[inaudible] thank you. >> what about the southwest? who got from the southwest? to chaff at the end of the chamber with the curly hair. >> the issue has so many deep and complicated groups and matters we can't feel the effects, problems which lie in thousands of employers in central and local governments among other things. the issue is a problem and i believe it could lead to a wasted year. for this reason i ask you one of two things. either go with me for something else or if this issue, i bake you, prove me wrong. >> what about this hack out why men along from me? >> my name is katherine davies
and i'm from wales. looking at the topics we debate today come the something is key in all of them. and that's education. we need to have life skills one way to get job opportunities that we are prepared, that we can draft smartly. this is what i think we should go with the different aspects such as a curriculum for powerful life because we all know we want to get standards of education. when we do get these jobs, we can get a approved generation that can be a good generation. [applause] >> whoever got wanted to speak from london? the chap with the green tie.
>> unemployment, youth unemployment is almost reached 1 million people. and we are the future. myself, you guys, the people with upset. we're supposed to be having the job. we're supposed to be earning the money. but we are the last generation. how do we find ourselves again? how do we become the olmos generation? i think the way to solve it is through better curriculum to prepare us for life because we are prepared out there. we aren't all equipped for jobs out there like some of the employees said. so if we support the better curriculum for life, for a second chance and finish the job we started, we can ensure we have the right skills and the best skills possible to make the best people for the jobs out there. please support a better
curriculum to prepare us for life, to achieve youth unemployment and to improve work experience out there. thank you. [applause] >> what about the northwest of england? gas, the woman with the great top. >> we are from the northwest because the authority god youth unemployment commission, which is adults to work together to combat this issue across the region and working really hard. i want to say i agree with the representative from wales. this education dissolve youth unemployment. that's what we should look at. thank you. >> thank you. that's extremely sustained. a good model of succinctness. east of england. who have we got from the east of england? >> thank you, mr. speaker.
when i first ran as mip, my main policy was to combat youth unemployment. i believe young people voted for me because this is one of the biggest issues facing young people. you've heard all the stats, facts and figures. why bore you with them again. i believe this is the main problem because youth unemployment is set to increase mountaineers. that means it's a problem that's going to affect all of us. not just 16 to 18 years old, but everyone of us us and young people in northern ireland. i think we should support this motion and do everything we can to combat youth unemployment before the problem becomes a crazy. thank you. [applause] 's >> northeast of england. whoever got from the northeast? >> this is an important issue because young people need to get a job. they're struggling at home because if they don't have a job, they need the money to
progress at their own life. they just live but this really conscience. they have to rely on other people. it's well okay if you can just go to a place and i can say thank you for coming. here's the job. we can help you find a job. why do we need to do that if you can just give them knowledge? you can give them knowledge and education. help them with what they need to do in order to get a job because it's okay just to help them. but there won't always be a person there to help you find a job. there will always be knowledge to help you find the job that you really want or progress in your life in what you want to do. but all you need to do is just an know where to find the knowledge in the knowledge is in the education if only we can provide it.
thank you. >> thank you. whoever got from the east midlands? disarmament springing out of his seat with a sort of gymnastic enthusiasm. >> in my hometown can youth unemployment is a big issue. i've had everyone complain about it. starting a whole new campaign is not going to suddenly abolish the issue of youth unemployment. instead what we should do is work with authority fair, see why is that not working, what is wrong with our current system? said of starting a greater campaign from scratch, support a system that dirty exist. over the past years i've heard my friend said it's common phrase to me. the struggle is real. i'm sure a lot of you might've heard that as well. i've always wondered, what is real? i stand before you today in regards to youth unemployment, the struggle is most definitely real.
[applause] >> the west midlands. [laughter] okay, i've heard your cries. he's in a state of uncontrollable excitement. we will not hear from the great man. >> thank you, mr. speaker. my name is vikram patel. i'm from the glorious second city of birmingham. [applause] i would like to reiterate the fact that the u.k. parliament is representative regardless of acting minorities are aged in this motion does not clearly support him on his 11 years old. how does that clearly directly affect us? today to put my hands and agree completely with what jawaad ashraf said that we are not economic masterminds. we can't sit and debate and saying, let's make a plan. it's not our job is youth
representatives to the inc. we cannot spontaneously think, let's create jobs. that's create jobs here, here, here, such as i'd like to. i'd like to target the youth problem. what is youth unemployment exists in the first lace? that is you wake up every morning. i'm sure every young person of aspirations, whether they want to be a hairdresser or doctor. they did wake up one morning and want to be unemployed. they do not want it. the red of the problem is our careers advice and work expenses not sufficient enough. we have been nonexisting service that is stuck in the 20 century, but now it's been abolished. we need to target the problem and how people reach aspiration. you might be not as good as some announced, but reached jobs that haven't been created or have been created. thank you very much.
[applause] >> the one remaining region from a treat not only dissipated as the southeast of england. yes, the woman with the red dress. [inaudible] >> as young oil, we are the future. we need to let current citizens in order to present test from becoming disengaged at politics, they must stop providing us with what we need the most, jobs. only for those with degrees or qualifications. it means jobs with able and willing young people with background and access to education. i also feel we should focus our attention to encouraging women in the world as well, empowering women and access to higher powered jobs has to begin with diminishing discrimination in the work place. i feel very intertwined with
this national campaign. together we will fight our jobs regardless of our education and most importantly regardless of our age. [applause] 's >> thank you. >> yes, okay, here. thank you. >> we are the u.k. youth parliament. we need to cheer up and stop being so pessimistic. why can't we achieve? what's wrong with all of you? cheer up. [applause] they can have a clear path to the future. they need to become more employable. we need to invoke this motion create a generation of people and young people that want jobs. thank you.
[applause] >> how about a speaker from the west midlands? yeah, what about the gentleman -- the tallest gentlemen in the back there. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i agree with what my honorable colleague from london says. we should be up to mistake. our economies on the the road to recovery. last quarter we had the highest grades in 15 years. the coming quarter we been given the most promising forecast. youth unemployment has fallen by 21% in 2009. for more opportunities are available for young people. the problem is we don't have enough young people that can fulfill the skills. we need to get a curriculum for life. we need to improve the skills of young people in this generation as generations come to ensure we have young people suitable for the growing opportunities by the improving economy.
let's go for a curriculum for life so we can produce generations that can take these growing opportunities. [applause] 's >> the woman who lapped up in the back row with the gray jacket and a pinky dress. >> i want to make sure, how do we justify jobs for youth when there still so many adults unemployed? [applause] 's >> what this out these? yes. >> i feel personally quite passionate about this. as my local campaign in my constituency, we promote the awareness center stage or freshness. one of the issues with input through today. however, i feel a friendship can
be combined with youth unemployment. they recently had a meet in my constituency with local business leaders and they all said to me do more apparent as she appear to simply find the communication between those who want apprenticeship and those willing to give them. that is where we should really be focusing on. maybe not the national level, there's certainly a grassroots level. this is the thing we can use in order to help youth unemployment neck assurances. [applause] 's >> large-scale representation the southwest. the second woman, indeed. >> i would just like to point out when looking at this motion, education equipped with the right tools. the way we can do this i've repeated many times as their education. the strategy was tackling this problem.
now the problem education and the lack of education, but also the lack of motivation in our generation but unfortunately comes to a lack of engagement with politics. i would really urge you to consider 2016 sl is curriculum for life said they worked for greater change for themselves and have a greater positive society and help themselves. [cheers and applause] >> from the back, if possible, i would like to hear from a man from northern ireland is not spoken. >> i am matthew carson. the problem in unemployment is a huge problem. i think the problem really lies with the strategy for extremely
nonspecific. that doesn't mean anything. if we brought back to the government, they would say what do you mean? we are to have a strategy, even though we know it's not working. there's already a strategy in place. we should focus on another issue and come back next year with a more defined idea of what we're looking to achieve. [applause] 's >> okay, i'm sorry not to accommodate everybody. that is true in every debate every time. i've done my best to get a fair representation to conclude the debate. it's the last debate before we break for lunch. i call from scotland, laurie donaldson. [cheers and applause] >> thank you, mr. speaker. i want to begin by thanking everyone who's raised their voice on this matter. we need voices raised. hopeful people stay quiet and
nearly a million unemployed young people are in that state of hopelessness. we need to be louder and more often. we heard against arguments that resources could be better used elsewhere, that this issue -- this issue is not a big enough priority for the youth campaign if it only represent 45% of our young people. i mean, maybe we do need to consider that our government has already checked that a significant amount of research into improving this issue and not for us to take our would be too unrealistic. i will say again for the argument, we've been confronted with the statistical extent of the problem, including the economic impact of the unemployed becoming unemployable and the long-term impact of today's youth unemployment on the next generation. earlier in the debate, my fellow
teammates from scotland, janet macleod, sad what is the point in having a curriculum that this thing here is for life? well, i tell you this, if there are no jobs to go into, what is the point? the issue is not who we are for the job. the issue is if we actually have a job at the end of that preparation. my dear n.y.p.d. is, we should all clearly see that there is presently an epidemic of jobless young people who are daily losing for the future. our government is not helping. [cheers and applause] 14 months ago, they issue these contracts and this was 2000 pounds to any business that employed young people. they pledge to give out 160,000
east contracts. 14 months on, they've given out only 4690, at a mere 3%. this just shows the pathetic attempt our government has made at combating this issue. there's a common stereotype that we highlight the issue. this campaign might not have a direct effect because we do not have the solution. godwin has that solution. we recognize this is such a serious problem that we now have a per minute minister. angela constants i had the pleasure of meeting last week. there used to be a minister for youth engagement. what a surprise our government scrap day.
need a minister for youth employment. we need support that is already offered this is especially important since the last election youth unemployment has increased by 24%. even that the elections, the economy was that is worse than and not now. is this too big a job for the youth parliament campaign? possibly. but we did not set the world. we've been told the old story. work hard in school, get a degree and you will get a job. this story is a fairytale. we have the best educated generation in history and has somehow. a black hole. now people are often told that we are the society of the
future. forgetting that we are the society of now. we are skilled now and we are unemployed now. members of the youth parliament, we must do something now. thank you. [cheers and applause] >> thank you very much indeed. that concludes colleagues, the morning session. the youth parliament will now adjourn. >> thank you. welcome back. hope you enjoyed your lunch. although it had to be rather brief. order, order, the level considered the fourth motion of the day with aiding to better work experience and careers advice has printed on the order
paper. to move the motion, i call from northern ireland, mr. ruairi kennedy. [cheers and applause] >> thank you, mr. speaker. fellow members of the u.k. youth parliament, many of us didn't know what we wanted to do and so we gained a little bit of work experience. the people who crossed the u.k. are entitled to one or two weeks of work experience during their time and skill. this is no longer composed the area. do you agree with me that it should be a? we all know young people in our local areas who's worked in the past involves making tea, photocopying and shattering, rather than high quality work experience they deserve. high quality work experience and career guidance as one is
aspirational, dave and rather than the update is focused on, it inspires. the u.k.-wide p. represents 11 to 19 euros. voted in favor of this motion is more inclusive of those to represent and does not represent a small minority such as those for 16 or 17-year-olds. youth unemployment is a huge issue. but fellow members, don't you agree or better quality and careers and work experience. a report of the education and employment task force craned young people who take heart in the work experience are 40% less likely to be unemployed? members that the u.k.-wide p., we need to work with local governments and its forms and the national educational depart and and make sure that young people received a higher quality
of careers advice of work experience is not. the most likely to be missing out by not those in education, does not unemployment rate does not in training or those who are destined upon higher education courses, but those stuck in the middle, they made high-quality advice and work experience. the telephone surveys. i logged onto one of these websites. but what you're not aware of this i'm allergic to cats, dogs and horses. so it's not possible. the youth parliament we should
listen to the voices of the 47,620 young people that voted in favor of this motion and many more job people all over our country better effect to buy this issue. all you need is a good first step in today's modern job market. i asked a vote in favor of this motion. thank you. [cheers and applause] >> the opening speech to oppose the motion. i should call from the northeast of england, mr. matthew otubu. [cheers and applause] >> while, thank you, mr. speaker. thousands of young people whose work experience are the most important issue. so we know it's a big deal for young people across the country. it was voted second in a series