Part of a Green Vale education involves regular lessons and opportunities to learn about another way of life or aspect of the world in a manner conducive to genuine empathetic global awareness and citizenship. At different grade levels, this takes different forms. 8th Graders recently had an intimate opportunity to contemplate military life and the impact of wartime service on an individual.
Former soldiers from the Israeli veterans' group Brothers for Life spoke to students candidly about the transition from civilian life to the rigid existence of a soldier at 18, the complexity of nationalism, the physical and emotional scars from war, lessons of gender equality, and more. The goal of the group is to raise the level of public discourse around war and military service and help those injured in combat to move forward with their lives through a sense of communal commitment, cooperation, and understanding. This model -- wounded soldiers coming together to talk about their experience -- is being integrated by American veterans groups as well, which was the reason for the Israelis' US visit. This impactful conversation supports the 8th Grade's year-long service learning theme of mental health.