Albuquerque, NM – Mitzi Kraft says she got involved because of the impacts war had on her family. Her father was a pilot during World War II and flew in the bombing raids over Dresden Germany. He committed suicide 50 years ago on Good Friday.
Kraft's grandson did a tour in Iraq and is now having a hard time adjusting to civilian life and suffering from PTSD. He joined a JROTC program when he was a freshman in high school and Kraft says she never thought his participation would eventually lead to his enlistment in the military.
Mitzi Kraft is a retired grandmother in Albuquerque.
APS spokesman Rigo Chavez says the JROTC program is not a military recruitment program. He says the district views it as a leadership program. Fewer than 20 percent of J-ROTC participants go on to join the military, Chavez says, at any point in their lives.
Chavez says the district is bound by federal law whatever recruitment access is provided has to be provided equally to community organizations, to colleges, and to the military. APS did a survey and found last fall that district schools were not applying this rule uniformly and officials are working on policies to standardize implementation of the equal access rules. Chavez says those policies will be presented to and approved by the APS School Board no later than May.
The vigil to protest military recruitment and JROTC programs in Albuquerque Public Schools begins at noon today outside APS headquarters. There's more of the conversation with Mitzi Kraft at the link below.