Tech Sgt. Olen Gillespie is a U.S. Air Force recruiter in New York City’s Times Square. “Recruiting here is amazing just because it’s so diverse,” he says. Veterans Coming Home joined Sgt. Gillespie in Times Square as he met several potential Air Force recruits. “I became a recruiter because I’ve seen recruiters turn people around all the time,” says Gillespie. The Air Force is not easy to get into. Sgt. Gillespie disqualified several potential recruits while we were there. But joining remains a prized opportunity for many who enter the recruiting center.
We met Golam Rabbi, who Sgt. Gillespie calls one of his most memorable recruits because he is a recent immigrant from Bangladesh. Rabbi came to America with his parents for a shot at a better life and says he is joining the Air Force for the opportunity to become a better person. “Serving in the air force itself is a big opportunity and a big honor,” Rabbi tells us. “My father and my mother, they’re going to be the most proudest when they see me in this uniform,” says Rabbi. “I will never leave an airman behind. I will never falter. I will not fail.”
This is a video from VETERANS COMING HOME, an innovative public media project exploring the lives of post-9/11 veterans, the divide between them and their communities, and the stereotypes that veterans and civilians hold about each other. Why does this divide exist? How does it affect communities across the country? And why does it matter?
VETERANS COMING HOME (VCH) is a project by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Kindling Group, and Wisconsin Public Television. This video was made with help from WNET in New York City, New York.
Learn more about the Veterans Coming Home project at www.VeteransComingHome.org.
GET MORE FROM THE VETERANS COMING HOME TEAM: