Roy Bourgeois spent four years in the military including a year in Vietnam as a Navy Lieutenant. He is a recipient of the Purple Heart. After leaving the military he became a Catholic Priest and worked in Latin America for 6 years. He is founder of the SOA Watch, a grassroots organization dedicated to closing the School of the Americas, the US Army's training camp for Latin American military officers.
"Growing up in a small town in the bayous of Louisiana, I was taught to be patriotic. When I left college with a degree in geology, and our country's leaders told us we had to go off to Vietnam and stop the spread of communism, I did not question them. I became a naval officer, spent a couple of years aboard ship, and then volunteered for shore duty in Vietnam.
Vietnam became a turning point in my life. We soldiers were young and in a country far from home .... We were warriors, believeing our cause was noble. Then something happened. The suffering and death, the body bags coming back home began to change us. We started questioning our country's violence as a dead-end street. At the time I could not articulate it, but I was beginning to feel what Dr. Martin Luther King was saying: "The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy."
Fr. Roy Bourgeois in "From Warriors to Resistors", 2002
Next Friday night, April 8, Father Roy Bourgeois will come to East Hampton. He will speak about the "War on Terror" and the School of the Americas at the Windmill II housing community room at 219 Accobonac Road in East Hampton at 7 pm. Contact Gerry Mooney at 631-324-7195.