03. June 2005 · Comments Off on NYT: Parents Keeping Kids Out Of Military · Categories: Military

I wasn’t going to bother with this, until reading (and following the links on) David’s earlier post, which this story dovetails with.

In one of their typical anti-war stories, the NYT reports today on the “growing problem” of parents urging their kids not to enlist in the military, or at least the Army and Marine Corp. Well, duh; the worried parent/loved one syndrome, particularly in times of war, is as old as time. Author Damien Cave stoops to some unsupported editorializing, however, with this line:

Mothers and fathers around the country said they were terrified that their children would have to be killed – or kill – in a war that many see as unnecessary and without end.

Well, perhaps some do see the Iraqi campaign that way, particularly if they get all their news from the NYT. But I would guess that the great majority of these same parents would try to dissuade their children no matter what the war was doing.

What really gets my neck hair bristling are the parents trying to unduly influence the decisions of other parents and their children:

Meanwhile, Amy Hagopian, co-chairwoman of the Parent-Teacher-Student Association at Garfield High School in Seattle, has been fighting against a four-year-old federal law that requires public schools to give military recruiters the same access to students as college recruiters get, or lose federal funding. She also recently took a few hours off work to stand beside recruiters at Garfield High and display pictures of injured American soldiers from Iraq.

“We want to show the military that they are not welcome by the P.T.S.A. in this building,” she said. “We hope other P.T.S.A.’s will follow.”

And there’s this:

At schools, they are insisting that recruiters be kept away, incensed at the access that they have to adolescents easily dazzled by incentive packages and flashy equipment.

Oh give me a break. There’s no reason military recruiters shouldn’t have the same access to schools, and make the same sort of pitch (so long as they are truthful), as recruiters from other employers or colleges. To be balanced, however, there does seem to be some legitimate gripes about recruiters who are something less than honest:

Orlando Terrazas, a former truck driver in Southern California, said he was struck when his son told him that recruiters were promising students jobs as musicians.

But, just like any other human endeavor, one is going to find a few bad apples. That’s no reason to condemn the whole bushel.

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