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War on Terror continues, affects GC families

by Analicia Cass/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Private Jacob Ramey, picture taken after his graduation from boot camp in Fort Benning, Georgia.

The War on Terror, while it may be mentioned a lot in America, is a subject that many people may not fully understand. Many others may also not realize how the war affects a soldier’s family.

The War on Terror was declared by President George W. Bush after the horrific happening of the 9/11 terrorist attack, as the United States was left stunned from the outcome of the attack. President Bush wanted to make sure terrorists knew the U.S. wouldn’t stand for it nor would they let it hurt their patriotism. The declaration of war was aimed towards the end of terrorism in America, specifically the group al Qaeda. The terrorists were in a few countries in the Middle East already, so the idea was to stop it before it spread out even more.

Although we were triumphant over al Qaeda, another well known group came to light, ISIS. There are many other smaller terrorist groups in the Mid-East, too. Our attempts of abolishing terrorism are far from complete, but we will continue to fight against it until it is terminated. Even if that means gaining help from unlikely sources.

The old saying goes: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” The U.S. is using this as one of their tactics against terrorism. U.S. troops have made accommodations with the Taliban to help rid the Mid-East, and everywhere for that matter, of ISIS. The Taliban is working in Iran to create a buffer zone where ISIS cannot go to war in Iran. “Iran has contributed troops, weapons and funds to counter ISIS since the jihadists’ lightning advance in 2014, making it a reluctant, yet effective partner of the U.S,” wrote Newsweek writer Tom O’Connor in a July 10 article, “U.S., Iran, Syria and Russia finally agree: Iraq’s victory over ISIS praised around the world.”

Due to recent events in Afghanistan, political action has taken place. The biggest non-nuclear bomb the US has was dropped on ISIS, ordered by Pres. Trump. He said that he is determined to end the war in Afghanistan “by committing more US troops” to the cause, according to an Au. 22 Telegraph article, “Donald Trump commits more US troops to Afghanistan and calls on Britain to follow suit.” He has called upon the United States’ NATO allies, such as Great Britain, to increase their troop numbers the same as the U.S. Trump’s bold decisions have upset some, but made others more comfortable with their loved ones being overseas in the Mid-East.

Many of our own students here at GC have a family member, a friend, or a significant other in the military. Although not all soldiers are deployed to Afghanistan, the students are all still affected in some way.

Cole Gwin, 10, has both his father and brother in the military. “My house is fairly empty and it leaves my mom to deal with most of our problems alone,” he said.

Having not one, but two family members in the military makes a change in the overall function of the household. Ethan Kile, 12, has a brother and soon-to-be brother-in-law in the military. Kile says, “Active duty often gets in the way of family functions, it is weird not seeing them there.”

Not having a close family member with you at family outings can be difficult at times. Even though the soldiers are gone, their families still have a somewhat hard time adapting to the changes. After acclimating with the soldier not being there, the families must get used to the lack of contact.

The families don’t usually get to see or even contact their soldier often. The soldiers only have so much time when they are able to talk. Gwin said, “Hypothetically I can talk to them whenever I need to, although talking in person is a few times a month, sometimes less.” Not seeing or speaking to a family member for months can, at times, be challenging. The same goes for soldiers who are across seas that aren’t able to speak with their family or friends as much as they used to.

Private Jacob Ramey is a former student at Greenfield-Central who decided to go into the infantry in the army after graduation. Ramey said the separation from family is tough. “The lack of talking to family brings down the morale around here.” When a soldier doesn’t speak to their family and friends for extended amounts of time it can make them feel isolated.

When troops are in war torn countries, the government must have a plan to keep them safe while achieving the goal of them being there. Ramey said, “Our plan is just to push ISIS back to Pakistan so we don’t have to worry about them being in Afghanistan.” The idea is to push ISIS into Pakistan and prevent them from going over into Iran. Iran and the Taliban have teamed up in some ways to get rid of ISIS, creating a buffer zone that prevents the violent terrorists from going into Iran.

Gwin stated, “While the cause is something we need to pursue, after so long, this way of going about it can not continue without revision.” The new plan of just pushing ISIS back is a revised one, as for how well it’ll work in the long run, it cannot be anticipated.

The War on Terror, which is mostly centered in Afghanistan at this time, has been ongoing for the past 16 years. “There are currently around 6,000 US troops on ground in Iraq and Syria, according to Military Times, though even that number does not tell the whole story since the Pentagon assigns troops to the region on a ‘temporary’ basis that does not contribute to its total count,” wrote Business Insider writer, Paul Szoldra. With this many troops in war torn countries, it’s difficult not to be concerned about the War on Terror. The war is still a serious one, however it is doesn’t have the attention it used to. The ongoing war has changed over time and has escalated in different ways due to technological advances. The need for troops in these Middle Eastern areas affects the soldiers and their families in many ways.

 

Prom preparations under way for ‘Enchanted Forest’ evening

by Hailey Dodds/Staff Writer

Peyton Bousman, 11, displays the hair style she will likely sport at Prom.

Greenfield Central students are preparing for yet another wonderful night of Prom, the occasion that has students talking, and posting about, for months before and after. The promposals get more creative every year.  Brooke Mills, 12, was asked by a Mount Vernon senior, Kameron Sergent, with a Harry Potter theme. There were vintage suitcases and a cage with a white owl inside. Inside the cage were notes asking her to prom. Brooke accepted the promposal.

           Peyton Bousman, 11, was asked by Cory Charbeneau, 12, with the help of GC Theatre members, considering both Peyton and Corey are theatre members. Peyton also accepted the promposal. GC senior Christopher Churchill asked Delonie Blake, 10, with her favorite candies and roses. Delonie had no problem accepting Chris’ promposal.

Before the night of festivities and couples wearing gorgeous dresses and handsome suits, reservations need to be made, outfits need to be bought, and possibly the most stressful part of all for the ladies, is hair and makeup.

Mills and Sergent plan on attending GC prom in dark purple and black. According to Brooke, she was “going for something big.” She “saw the purple and black and absolutely fell in love.” Bousman and Charbeneau have picked to wear gold and black. When shopping for a dress, Peyton “stumbled upon it by accident.” She found her dress in January. Her dress is a two piece cream and black dress. Churchill and Blake have agreed on a combination of yellow, white, and pink for their colors.

As far as reservations go, Mills and Sergent have picked a uniquely different choice of restaurant- Waffle House. Bousman and Charbeneau have decided to go to Buca di Beppo. Blake and Churchill will be going to an undecided place.

This will be Mills’ second time attending prom at Greenfield, her first with Mount Vernon. Mills says, “I think it will be fun. I’ll get to meet some new people including Kameron’s friends.” It is also Bousman’s and Charbeneau’s first time going to prom, an anticipated date for most juniors.

Class scheduling continues

by Adrian Lotshaw

Photo Caption: Mrs. Sherri Foster talks with a GC student about her schedule.

Class scheduling for the current freshman, sophomores, and juniors started Monday, Feb. 6. The counselors are calling students in during their enrichment block. If the student does not have an enrichment block then they will be called down during a different class period.

Kim Kile, head of the Greenfield Central High School counseling department, says that there are mandatory classes that each grade level has to have. The classes you have to have are English, math, science, social studies, physical education, and health. You will take these classes until they meet the requirements for the diploma you are wanting to earn.

There are new classes that are being offered here at the high school says Sherri Foster, another counselor at the high school. These classes are AP Art History, AP Computer Science Principles, Web Design, Principles of Business Management, Principles of Marketing, and Honors Geometry.

Saylor Leal, 9, is planning on doing Human Body Systems (HBS), ACP Chemistry, and Radio and TV. Leal hopes to be joining an extracurricular activity sometime next year.

David Lopez, 11, plans on attending Pre-Cal, Jazz Band, and psychology. He is planning on doing marching band and indoor winds as an extracurricular activity for this coming up year.
Zach Perkins, 9, says, “I am looking forward to the new AP Computer Science Principles and the Web Design classes.” Perkins is wanting to take those classes for his dream to be a businessman.

Personality Profile: IUPUI student heads #SanctuaryCampus movement

by Erick Morales/Staff Writer

Caption: Hector Morales speaks with the IUPUI Chancellor Nasser Paydar.

Hector Morales, an IUPUI student from Greenfield, became alarmed at the remarks that Donald Trump had made about minorities during the 2016 Presidential campaign.

Morales organized a walkout in his college and gathered a large following of students to walk alongside him. He told people to spread the word by using #SanctuaryCampus on Twitter. Many other schools were participating, too. It was not his idea, but he organized it in his campus.

President Donald Trump has been known to make controversial comments towards minorities. The movement was made to make IUPUI a Sanctuary, or a safe place for immigrants, LGBT, people of color, or any minority. It ensured that students will be more open and accepting and to protect immigrants from major changes that Trump might make to the DACA Act, Consideration for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The DACA Act gives immigrated minors a chance for a work permit and protection from deportation.

Hector lives like any college student; he works, pays bills, and he works again. His actions, however, separate him from the norm. He organized and planned the walkout alongside other major campuses.

He went online and made a Google Forum and asked people to sign up for the walk out using #SanctuaryCampus. Only about a hundred or so people signed up, but once he got to the campus over 400 students arrived. The walkout reached their goal and they got to talk to the Chancellor to help make changes to benefit students.

The walkout was to increase awareness to stop discrimination, but mostly it was to help immigrants. After the walkout, the university responded, saying administrators would closely monitor actions taken regarding the DACA Act and any proposed changes to the policy. Hector described the movement, saying “Basically, it was more about a statement to tell the President that America is a diverse country, and any rule- any bill that anyone tries to discredit that America is a diverse country, we are going to fight.”

This movement had a huge impact, according to Morales.  “That day over 42 universities became sanctuary campuses. We were nationally all over the news,” he said. Yale and Harvard were also a part of the Sanctuary Campus movement, along with several other schools.

This, of course, got a lot of exposure. “Even Bill O’Reilly ( a Fox News personality) was talking about it.” Morales said. “Over 136 campuses were involved. This is considered one of the biggest walkouts that we have seen in the 21st century as far as university walkouts is concerned.”
Morales was the face of the walkout and personally talked to the Chancellor of IUPUI. They are working with IUPUI to make school safer for students. IUPUI plans to make the campus safer are still in development and administrators will release information as time goes on. Morales said that this’ll ensure protection and the well-being of minority college students.

Once there’s an opinion, there’s bound to be backlash. Morales said, “There were a lot of negative tweets, but there was a lot of people who didn’t show their faces. I think they were actually helping us to increase popularity via #SanctuaryCampus. They helped us a lot.”

Being a minority himself, a legal Mexican immigrant, he said felt he was the voice for minorities who felt like outcasts or unwelcome in a campus environment. He wants their voices to be heard and understood.

His parents, Maria and Hector Senior, support him, stating, “We are very proud of our boy. He will soon do many great things for our world. We just know it!” His siblings also agree. Emily said, “He’s really brave. To stand up and say something like that takes courage.”

In the end, Morales had only this to say: “The Caucasian community or any person that voted for Trump, we respect. At the end of the day everyone that was involved was aware that they respected the election. That’s what democracy is and looks like. We respect the fact that he’s our President. What we don’t respect is the hate speech of his campaign.”