12/28/2005

Recruiter Transparency


After working on a local recruitment education program, a parent came up to me and told me they had seen my comments in the paper and my statements concerning recruitment and felt that this was doing a disservice to the recruiters, who were aready having a hard time meeting their targets. "Without new recruits, some of our kids will stay there longer than what is fair," he said. "We have a duty to support our President." Support the President? Is he risking his life? Did he serve his country? How many of his family members have been buried for this 'noble cause'?
What about supporting our troops and making damned sure that they risk their lives ONLY when absolutely necessary, for a cause with merit? How are we honoring our troops by sending them to die, by treating veterans the way we do? I'm sorry but I am not convinced that I should support my President 'right or wrong'. It seems that everywhere people need to be reminded that dissent is American, that we are expected to hold different views and our freedom to express those views are constitutionally protected. I am tired of hearing about how my opinion that there should be recruitment transparency is unpatriotic. What is so crazy about suggesting that recruiters should be disclosing the details of the agreements and promises in an upfront way? When I am offered a credit card, I must be told the terms: my interest rate, the fees. And yet a person is not entitled to disclosure when considering something as life-altering as the military? Here are some somber stats:

**The military spends approx. $11,000 per recruit convincing them to join. (New York Times 2000)

**Approx. 1/3 of the army forces are people of color, yet only 16.9% are officers. (Dept. of Defense Almanac 2000)
**90% of women reported being sexually harassed. (Dept of Defense 1996)
**1 in 3 women reported being raped (Murdoch and Nichols 1995)
**1 in 5 women reported that they were denied a raise or promotion because they refused to have sex in exchange. (Murdoch and Nichols 1995)

**The Department of Labor in 2000 reported that there were over 421,000 unemployed vets
**72% of veterans believe their pension is unfair.
***1/3 of all homeless in America are veterans
****The average federal financial aid from Pell grants and Stafford student loans is 20% more than the GI bill.

8 comments:

Lew Scannon said...

So, were the parents (who voice concern) children signing up, or were they worried that if the Army can't meet it quotas the Congress will reinstate the draft?
I guess I don't have to tell you how I feel about recruiters. How about recruiters informing potential recruits about possible exposure to DU and the dangers therein? Of the 580,400 vets from the first Gulf War, 11,000 have died and by 2000, 325,000 are permanently disabled due to exposure to DU. 67% of a test group of 251 Gulf war vets had babies with severe birth defects. That number will sure to climb with the prolonged exposure the troops are receiving in the extended time they are spending in Iraq now (the first Gulf war lasted about two months)and the increased use of DU by the military.
One only needs to talk to Cindy Sheehan to understand that a recruiter can promise your child anything it wants and the Army is under no obligation to keep those promises.
What stinks the worse is the media and how they use propaganda and fear tactics to justify an unnecessary war. If the media had been responsible and done it's job, more Americans would have informed about the absence of WMD, the absence of links to 9/11 or ties to alQa'da in Saddam's regime.
Next time you encounter some one who asks you to support or President right or wrong, perhaps you should ask if it was right for the president to cut millions from the VA at a time when he's intent on creating more vets who will need the VA to cope with life after prolonged exposure to DU. I could go on, but I'd rather not hog all your URL

Lily said...

You can go on as much as you like, of course. Did you see the "Leave My Child Alone" dvd with Cindy Sheehan?
And yes, part of the concern IS about the draft and part of the concern is the idea that if more people enlist the ones in Iraq can come home faster. What they leave out of the mix is the fact that there is a better way to get the troops home and not by sending more!

Lew Scannon said...

No I haven't seen it yet, and my guess is that they don't have it at the local video store.I guess I'll have to add it to my wish list (along with Beyond Reason and Manufacturing Consent)of movies I should grab a copy of when ever I see the chance.

tp said...

the draft can be instituted almost over night, and the outrage will be too late. But thats what happens- people will care when the middle class white people get drafted. Suddenly death will matter. As long as the people fighting are most often poor people looking for a career, insurance, etc. people are far more willing to throw them away for oil.

Lily said...

Maybe I can find a way to get them to you. Do you mean "Beyond Treason"? We are showing this in the community here in march. Too bad you are so far!

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