Panelists represent wide variety of experience, opinion.
College of the Canyons, the Santa Clarita Valley Historical
Society, the SCV Senior Center and the Veteran’s History Project are joining
forces to host a unique panel discussion entitled “The Costs of War:
Historical, Political, and Psychological Aspects of Human Conflict.”
Featuring the insights of six distinguished guest speakers, this free event
will take place from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, October 21, in the
college’s cinema room located in Hasley Hall 101 on the Valencia
“The issue of war is about more than countries at conflict, it’s about the cost
to the human condition,” said Patty Robinson, College of the Canyons’ dean of social
sciences and business division as well as the panel organizer. “This includes
everything from the political and economic losses experienced by a society, to
the physical and psychological losses experienced by an individual.”
“So to really understand the nature of human conflict, it’s important to
examine the subjective side of war and to witness its affect on the human
spirit,” added Robinson.
Featured speakers at the panel will include:
• Morris Deason, a WWII amphibious craft Coxswain in the South Pacific for the
U.S. Navy and retired supervisor of the South Coast Air
Quality Management District.
• Chaplain William Bowman, who served with the U.S. Marines in Vietnam
and has 35-years of combined experience as a CIA agent, Los Angeles County
Sheriff’s Deputy, and administrator at Northrop Grumman.
• Robert Brode, who served during the Vietnam War but remained in the U.S.
as a result of his Military Occupational Specialty (MOS). Brode is a former
member of the Burbank Police Department and is currently assigned to the California
State Military Reserve as a Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps officer.
• Brian Conley, a Vietnam
veteran, retired software industry executive and 27-year SCV resident dedicated
• Herb Hightower, a former member of the U.S. Air Force Strategic Air Command
in Vietnam, where he also served for seven years as a civilian employee before
working in Iran on the Iranian F-14 program. Hightower is also the founder and
chairman of Vets Back to the War Zone — an organization dedicated to returning
war veterans to the locations they served in to gain therapeutic benefits
related to post traumatic stress disorder.
• Dr. James Kelleher, Professor Emeritus at College of the Canyons. Before
retiring in 2007, Kelleher served as chair of the college’s political science
department, in addition to having taught at California
Los Angeles and CSU, Northridge.
The Veterans History Project (VHP) is dedicated to the collection and
preservation of remembrances from American war veterans and the civilian
workers who supported them.
First-hand accounts — primarily from veterans who served in World War I, World
War II, the Cold War, Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War (1990-1995) and
Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts (2001-present) — are collected and subsequently
archived in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress for use by
researchers, while also serving as an inspiration for future generations of
To date, College of the Canyons’ involvement with the project has generated
more than 80 interviews that have been sent to the Library of Congress. However
there is a continued need for both veteran participants and VHP volunteers to
conduct future interviews. Event organizers hope this panel discussion will
help generate an increased community interest in this ongoing project.
For more information about the panel discussion “The Costs of War: Historical,
Political, and Psychological Aspects of Human Conflict,” or to become involved
with the Veterans History Project, please contact Patty Robinson at (661)