Friday, March 17, 2006

They really are after the kids.

American school districts are starting to limit the actions of the US Military on high school campuses. Military recruiters in the US, in recent years, have resorted to strong arm methods and intimidation to try to get students to sign up for the military.

In addition military officials are intentionally trying to get to these children when the parents are not there. Recruiters have said that the biggest obstacle to getting high school kids to join the military is parental interference. So they go to the campus to do an end run around the parents.

Recruiters are attempting to go after 100 percent of high school seniors. Students who are not considered old enough to sign legal contracts can sign up for the military however. They can’t buy a car but they can obligate themselves to die. A Bush proposal hidden in “education” legislation required that the schools turn over all school records to the military so that the recruiters could go after the kids.

Parents have complained that recruiters simply refuse to stop pestering when told that the child is not interested. Repeated phone calls to the same student were common and phone blocking programs won’t allow one to block calls from the government.

Recruiters need to fill body bags and they say that if the school districts restrict their access to students they will simply shift to going after kids at the local mall.

One student has blogged about how recruiters act in the shopping malls. He was with friends at the mall when recruiters in plane clothes approached them.

“I ask the guy if it's for the Army, and he just smiles at me and says, ‘College isn't the only option out there, dudes.’ Ok, I'm done with this guy, I figure. I smile, say No thank you, sir, and motion to my friends. The head guy says he needs our names, phone numbers, and addresses, so we can be put into the ‘Not Interested Database.’ Yeah bloody right. Again, I say no thank you and move off. They block us again. The head guy says, ‘We're getting your names, kid.’ I turn around, and two more Army guys have materialized out of nowhere, undoubtedly having moved in while we were talking. It's the four of us being surrounded by five Army guys that look like they tear phonebooks in half for light exercise.”

“We stand there, surrounded and scared shitless, for about ten seconds that feel like hours. Then, one of my friends, a girl, screeches, ‘RAAAPE! GET YOUR GODDAMN HANDS OFF OF ME!,’ and screams so loud that I'm certain glass cracked somewhere nearby. This distracted the Army guys long enough for me to break between two of them with my shoulder, and we ran through the hole like bats out of hell. We ran the ENTIRE length of the mall, through the parking lot, piled into my car, and peeled out of there in one minute flat. I don't even know if they were chasing us, but I think they didn't because there is NO way that I could have outran these guys.”

Recruiters wants Axel Cobb, 17, and they wouldn’t leave him alone. At one point they showed up at this place of employment and removed him from the premises, though he was on duty, and took him to a recruitment center. They confiscated his cell phone and spent hours and hours trying to get him to sign papers. His mother suspected that the men who took him were army recruiters based on past experiences with them. But the recruiters insisted they did not know where Axel was. He was held over night by the recruiters. And it took an attorney to end the situation.

In Houston Sgt. Thomas Kelt kept calling school boys trying to persuade them to sign up for the war. After one young man hung up on him the Sergeant called back with this threat, which was left on the boy’s answering system. ““Hey Chris, this is Sgt. Kelt with the Army man. I think we got disconnected. Okay, I know you were on your cell probably and just had a bad connection of something like that. I know you didn’t hang up on me. Anyway, by federal law you got an appointment with me at 2 o’clock this afternoon at Greenpoint Mall, okay? That’s the Greenpoint Mall Army Recruiting Station at 2 o’clock. You fail to appear and we’ll have a warrant. Okay? So give me a call back.”

It was a lie. There is no legal requirement to sit through the strong arm methods of the military.

David McSwane, a high school student in Colorado, decided to test the military. He recorded his experience with them. He told them he regularly used illegal drugs, which was not the case. They told him how to hide this fact so they could sign him up in violation of the law. They had said they used this method to cover up drug use in the past. He also said that he didn’t have the required high school diploma. Recruiters instructed him on how to get a forged diploma instead.