As part of Ethics Awareness week, a panel discussion titled “No One Calls Me a Hero” focused on ethics in war. The panel featured Kenn Reagle, a poet and Vietnam veteran. Wayne Hanowitz, a UVU philosophy professor with more than 20 years of military experience, and Lisa Beaudry, a UVU student and Marine Corps veteran, also participated in the panel.
Reagle began the discussion by talking about his four years in the army and his service in the Vietnam War. “My year in Vietnam molded my life,” he said.
He turned to poetry to record his feelings about war. For the past 15 years, he has written and shared poetry with veterans and others as a form of self-therapy.
With his published book of 23 poems, Reagle does many readings to touch people’s lives. He held a reading once at a brain trauma center. After the reading, a man told Reagle that seeing him gave him hope.
Following Reagle’s speech, Hanowitz gave his observations on war. He said that in war, soldiers learn how to kill even though doing so is against human nature and a moment comes when the soldiers feel like they will die.
Hanowitz said poetry and art present those feelings in context so people can add their own thoughts to make it their own. He said poetry is helpful in handling those thoughts.
Lisa Beaudry then spoke about her experience in the Marines and the preparation for a possible war.
She called herself a fighter and said that whenever she sees someone bullying someone else, she cannot help jumping in and defending the victim. She applied this to war — she is proud when America stops bullies. It can be ugly to do so, she said, but it is just as ugly to ignore bullying.
During a question and answer session, Reagle and Hanowitz agreed that whether soldiers are in the frontlines or behind the lines of attack, they are important; and Beaudry explained that whether they are in a time of combat or in a time of non-combat, people in the military are always preparing for the possibility of battle.