Marine Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez, 22, was the first combat casualty of the war in Iraq, on March 21, 2003. According to a reporter Carol Amoruso, “He was an orphan and hard-knocks poet, had hopped trains at age 11 from Guatemala before crossing the border into California. His dream was to become an architect. The military had promised him an education and he had promised to bring his sister, Engracia, to the States.”
David Mata, a student in my “Tourist-Theorist-Terrorist” class, has written about the recruitment of Chicana/o youth in the U.S. military. He has drawn on the writings of Jorge Mariscal, whom I had enjoyed meeting many years ago in San Diego. Jorge is a member of Project YANO, a counter-recruitment organization of military veterans and activists who speak to young people about the realities of military service. He is also a professor of Chicana/o and Spanish cultures at the University of California, San Diego. Here’s a recent article by Jorge. One of his earlier articles that David quotes is available at the Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft site from where the following photo has been taken.