This is in response to the death of a former ULV student, Bernard Corpuz, in Afghanistan [“Alumnus Corpuz killed by IED in Afghanistan,” Sept. 15]. I am a part-time instructor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at ULV, a former anti-war activist in the 1970s, and a Vietnam veteran; it is appalling to see our government making the same mistakes now that were made during Vietnam. I did not know this student personally, but I knew many young men who never got the chance to experience the rest of their lives due to our country being involved in a conflict that is based on lies, greed, and cronyism. When are we going to realize that nobody wins a war? As long as we keep sending the young people from Salinas and Coachella to war and set up the young people from Beverly Hills and Gross Pointe, Mich., in businesses which feed off of the deaths and pain of others, there will be no end to this insanity.
An editorial in the Campus Times [“Corpuz’ death brings war home,” Sept. 15] made the point that it is up to our generation to do something about this. I agree in principle, but I think it is up to all of us, young or old, to reclaim our spirit as a nation. We can put an end to this, just as we were able to influence a different administration with our anti-war work. Please stand up and be counted; our nation is being ravaged by the greed of a few and we need to change this.
I realize that in this day and age of eroding civil rights, this e-mail will probably illegally be in a government file somewhere, but at this point I can’t stay silent and allow this travesty to continue.
Adjunct Professor of Sociology and Anthropology
I’m writing to thank you for publishing the articles about Cpl. Bernard Corpuz in last week’s issue. He lived a few doors down the hall from me in Brandt during my sophomore year at ULV, and we became friends over late night games of pool and heated (albeit friendly) debates about religion, politics, and the current state of affairs. Bernard was an intelligent, humorous, non-judgmental, unique and enthusiastic, heavy metal-loving individual who lived his life with more passion in one day than most can hope to experience in a lifetime.
One of my favorite memories of Bernard was when I saw him walking across the mall in front of Brandt Hall, beautiful long black hair flowing, and yelled to him. In true Bernard fashion he didn’t return my hello, but rather held a clenched fist in the air and yelled, “rock on!” flashed his infectious smile, then disappeared into Brandt.
I am honored to have had Bernard as a friend, and pained to know he was taken from this world so early in life. Be proud to be attending a University that boasts graduates like Bernard Corpuz. And the next time you see someone on campus you really appreciate having there, tell him or her that. Then get their phone number and stay in touch. I know I wish I had.
Class of 2002
As a communications department alumnus, I was initially impressed that the Campus Times took the initiative to write an obituary for Bernard Corpuz, as I know keeping track of alumni is difficult for content purposes. Then seeing your editorial “Corpuz’ death brings war home,” I found myself very disheartened.
To begin with, I knew Bernard. We competed in high school track against each other in Central California, we were hall mates in Brandt for two years and, most importantly, we were friends (as were many to him) throughout my time at La Verne. Aside from being an outspoken, charismatic and colorful campus fixture known for his love of Manowar and ‘80s metal, Bernard was a driven, passionate person when it came to his political views. I wasn’t surprised to learn of his time served overseas, as he was a patriotic conservative soldier at heart. He could passionately argue for his choices and values better than most of his classmates (as noted in the reflections by his political science professors).
Frankly, I find it terribly distasteful that you chose his passing as the “latest local hook” to criticize this war. Bernard left to serve this country well after the infancy of this war. He’s not here to defend the politics involved, but he obviously believed in them and understood them better than most people at ULV ever will.
You stated as a board that you hope the University chooses to “honor his sacrifice” with a campus marker. You also hit the nail on the head when you admitted that you never met him. Perhaps a better tribute to his memory would be to respect his choice to fight this war and, moreover, use your freedoms of speech to not taint his memory by slanting it for an editorial on the cause for which he died.
I suppose I’m joining you in forming some bold opinions about his passing, but, then again, I did know Bernard.
Class of 2001