Martyr’s Monuments.
The mortar rounds.
Kaboom, Kaboom, Kaboom!
 
For 3½ hours.
Explosion after explosion.
After explosion.
 
Trampling in each other’s
footsteps.
 
A caravan of clumsy elephants.
 
Followed by the promises of a clown.
 
My Captain assured us the convoy would be safe.
His delusions of authority ran deep.
 
He assumed we all were playing by the same rules.
Death cheats.
War has no referee.

-My Narrow Escape, by Nicole Goodwin
 

Nicole Goodwin is a tour de force.
 
The author and proud veteran of the United States Army is also a Hostos alumna, who earned degree in Applied Science in 2008.
 
But while studying at Hostos, Goodwin also explored her inner author after being urged to pursue writing by one of her professors, Johanna Gómez, now the Assistant Dean of Student Life at Hostos.
 
That passion eventually turned into her book, Warcries, a collection of poetry inspired by her self-discovery and self-acceptance during her military service as a combat veteran and beyond
 
Goodwin returned to Hostos on February 15 to share her work and her stories with other veterans as part of a powerful Hostos Alumni Speaker Bureau Black History Month event.
 
“I’m grateful for the faculty and staff encouraging me to complete the book that was many years in the making,” Goodwin said, as she read several poems from Warcries before inviting fellow veterans who were on hand to read select poems.
 
One guest and fellow veteran was also a Hostos alumni, Johnny H. Williams Jr.
 
“The first book I wrote is really for others who have been in our predicament … and that book shares the title of my motto, “Help is on the Way,” said Johnny H. Williams Jr. (Hostos ’07). Williams is a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War where he served in the 199th Light Infantry Unit. He is a brave survivor of the 1968 Tet Offensive and is proud to be a veteran of the United States Army. As the founder of a community based organization whose mission is to promote, organize, and sponsor disabled U.S. Veterans in the five boroughs, Williams’s most recently helped launch “VetTrans,” an accessible transportation provider for veterans by veterans.
 
Former Director of Hostos’ Center for the Arts & Culture, Wallace Edgecombe, also attended and spoke about his service to his country during the Vietnam conflict.
 
“There were 55,000 Americans troops who died in Vietnam but remember there were nearly three million people who died in the war, and we shouldn’t forget any of them,” Edgecombe said. “I consider myself a patriot even though I do not always support what our country does—both then and now. In reading Nicole’s book, I was especially drawn to the poem, My Narrow Escape, which resonated with me because I definitely had a few narrow escapes myself.”
 
If you are interested in becoming a motivational speaker for the Hostos Alumni Speakers Bureau (ASB), please contact Adam Meyer at AMEYER@HOSTOS.CUNY.EDU or call (718) 518-4152.

About Hostos Community College
Eugenio María de Hostos Community College is an educational agent for change that has been transforming and improving the quality of life in the South Bronx and neighboring communities for nearly half a century. Since 1968, Hostos has been a gateway to intellectual growth and socioeconomic mobility, as well as a point of departure for lifelong learning, success in professional careers, and transfer to advanced higher education programs.

Hostos offers 28 associate degree programs and two certificate programs that facilitate easy transfer to The City University of New York’s (CUNY) four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions. The College has an award-winning Division of Continuing Education & Workforce Development that offers professional development courses and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. Hostos is part of CUNY, the nation’s leading urban public university, which serves more than 500,000 students at 24 colleges.