Gilad Atzmon, Musician and Writer, Joins VT Staff



By Senior Editor Gordon Duff

Gilad served in the IDF during the 1982 conflict, a paramedic, but has noted that he is more than a bit uncomfortable with Israel’s policies. I feel much that way about the United States. Gil is joining like minded people from more than a few countries.

We are simply happy to have gained a decent saxophone. He is that and a bit more.

Those of you unfamiliar with Atzmon can buy his novels (2) or his music (much) or visit his website. More risky, is reading what others have written about him. Best stick to reading what Gil has written. I recommend this, not just to learn about him but to have the joy of seeing someone live with courage. He certainly does that.

I hope this is how we all want to define ourselves, our imperfect selves, in a world increasingly undefinable each day.

I know of Atzmon from Ian Dury and the Blockheads, the punk band he joined in the late 90s. He has moved on and does 100 concerts a year.

During 2011, read all of Gilad Atzmon’s posts on here on his Gilad Atzmon Profile Page.

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  1. My Viet Nam, Your War on Terror, Our Veterans
    I came home from Southeast Asia in 1972 after 4 years in the USAF and was honorably discharged at Travis AFB. I was 23 years old and eager to begin my life as a student using my GI Bill putting my military experiences behind me. I felt the shame that was part of the mood and politics of our country towards those who served in the military. My best course of action was to grow my hair long, be silent and hide my past from those who ridiculed veterans like me. It was the same for many of my fellow vets like Jim Hall. He served as a Marine Corpsman during the bloodiest time of the Viet Nam war on the battlefield using his medical skills to save lives. He and I became teachers with long careers in education. In 1970’s the issue of transferability of military experience into civilian life meant that we got little in the form of college credit except for Physical Education for our time in the service.
    I went on to a long career as a teacher of the disabled and the issue of transferability of credit given to veterans did not become an important to me until my son Jay returned from his deployment to Iraq in 2008 . Prior to this he was top of his class as a Combat Medic and at Walter Reed’s Mike 6 Nursing program in DC that lasted 12 months. He too applied to my alma mater CSUS for admission to their BSRN program. He was asked to bring his pre Army college transcript for evaluation to the school of nursing for admission. He was told not to bring any of his military education for evaluation because they will not award any college credit for his experience or 80 weeks of medical training he received while in the Army. He was told that he could not be admitted since classroom spaces were filled by others more qualified than him. “Go to the back of the line and wait”. He is still waiting after nearly 2 years for admission to their program.
    I became an advocate for veterans like Jay who are told go to the “back of the line” by our public California colleges and universities. School policies and administrators are under pressure to make more money, admit students who pay a higher tuition rates. I have discovered to my chagrin, many students who occupy nursing programs limited classroom spaces are F1 Visa non-nationals who pay three times the tuition. In addition, as a condition of their visas, theses students are under the constraint of having to return to their country of origin after completing their education unless they become US citizens through marriage or employment. Clearly, our state public schools have their admissions policies priorities wrong with respect to the veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan of today.
    Back in 1972, my friend Jim Hall wanted to apply his medical skills and training to become a nurse, he found only one school in the Unites States recognized the value of his training and experiences. The school was Duke University. Duke began a new program called Physicians Assistant for those like Jim. Today, 40 years later, the schools of our state continue to refuse to reward and recognize the value that these new vets bring to their campuses. We waste our tax dollars and their GI Bill money by not utilizing this valuable resource by forcing them to “wait in line” behind those they served. Time for these changes is NOW before this newest group of veterans blends back into our society out of frustration and delay. They see the failure of our schools to understand their sacrifices’ by crediting their training, education and experiences. Shouldn’t they be prioritized for admission first not last?
    Please share this letter with media or your elected representatives who may be of help with this issue.
    James J Cahill MA ed
    2652 Prescott
    Placerville Ca. 95667

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