By Gabriela Resto-Montero
MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS — An Iraq War veteran received jeers from fellow Columbia University students last week at a town hall meeting about the possiblilty of returning the ROTC program to campus.
Anthony Maschek, 28, was shouted down after he stepped up to speak in favor of the ROTC, which has been banned from Columbia for 42 years, at a campus meeting last Tuesday.
"It doesn't matter how you feel about the war," Maschek, a freshman, said according to audio from the event. "It doesn't matter how you feel about fighting. There are bad men out there plotting to kill you."
Students in the audience called Maschek a racist, jeered and laughed off his claims, the New York Post reported.
Maschek, who is studying economics at the school, was awarded a Purple Heart after being shot 11 times in Iraq and surviving with wounds to his legs, chest and stomach.
The Idaho-native spent the following two years recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and continues to use a wheelchair, the Post reported.
Columbia University is currently conducting a student survey to gauge support for bringing the ROTC back to campus, the paper reported.
The last time the ROTC question came up before the University in 2005, officials decided to uphold the ban citing the military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy that was overturned in December, the Post reported.