Wednesday, January 4, 2012

VISTA Recruiters at Cal State Fullerton

The following is an excerpt from a work-in-progress called The Town I Live In.

In the 1960s, amidst the Vietnam War Draft, and the accompanying student protests, another government group also began to recruit students, called VISTA, which stands for Volunteers in Service to America, whose goals were radically different from the Draft Board.

According to an article in the Titan Times from 1967: "This year VISTA expects to recruit 4,500 volunteers to serve in one of 300 different projects from coast to coast and in Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The projects are located in urban slums, rural areas, migrant camps, Jobs Corps centers and mental hospitals. VISTA Volunteers may express a preference for location and type of assignment."

While I was well aware of the Vietnam War Draft Board, I only recently learned about VISTA. It was sort of like the domestic peace corps, with a mission to help those in need, to heal instead of wound. VISTA survives today, under the name AMERICORPS VISTA.

Working on two college campuses in Fullerton, I often see Army Recruiters on campus. I have never, to my recollection, seen VISTA Americorps recruiters. I would prefer them to the military folks.

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