Friday, June 03, 2005

Why do some parents hate America?

According to the New York Times (free registration required), parents are becoming a major obstacle to military recruitment, thanks a great deal to the Iraq conflict. Parents are throwing obstacles in the way of military recruiter visits to schools, despite the requirements of NCLB, and are sometimes threatening bodily harm to recruiters that call the house of a student. Do these parents just hate America and want the terrorists to win? From the NY Times article:
A few years ago, after Sept. 11, the issue might not have gotten Mr. Terrazas's attention. His father served in World War II, his brother in Vietnam, and he said that he had always supported having a strong military able to defend the country.

But after the war in Iraq yielded no weapons of mass destruction, and as the death toll has mounted, he cannot reconcile the pride he feels at seeing marines deliver aid after the tsunami in Asia with his concern over the effort in Baghdad, he said.

"Because of the situation we're in now, I would not want my son to serve," he said. "It's the policy that I'm against, not the military."

September 11 saw a rush to enlist. Iraq has seen an incredible drop off in that rush as Americans realize that hey, maybe Iraq wasn't such a good idea. I really don't know how I feel on the matter. I continue to encourage my students to consider the military as a career, particularly Air Force, but that they need to recognize that it is more than just another job or a way to make money. They could end up suffering bodily harm, and they need to realize it. Really, I try to push them toward the Navy or the Air Force, branches where you are less likely to end up patrolling the streets of Baghdad.
I would never try to prevent my child or my student from serving the country, but I would encourage them to enter the service with eyes wide open, and read the contract word for word. And, of course, I teach them about the lovely Stop-Loss policy.
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