POSTED BY WINDBENDER (B. HAGER)
The so-called No Child Left Behind Act has a little-known provision that mandates schools to provide our children’s personal information to the Pentagon so they can be recruited into the armed forces. The law also allows parents and guardians to stop schools from providing this information to the Pentagon, but few know what is going on or how to stop it.
We need to deal with the secret sending of records to the Pentagon (shades of the SLA, Marcus Foster and the Oakland School Board, circa California in the '70s); but I have no problem with recruiters on Campus...anymore than I would object to VetSpeak or Vets For Peace having access to the open minds of students. "Fair & Balanced", and all that.
I have spoken on many high school and college campuses since we had to fight the good battle to get onto the campuses to counter the recruiters back in The Day, and I just don't believe that we should interfere with the right of students (High School or College) to know both sides of an issue before they make such an important life decision, and I certainly don't think that we should stifle the forums for the military to pitch it's message to our youth (all that Freedom Of Speech stuff). Their parents' politics are not necessarily the right politics for them; and they are entitled to exposure to the realities of the world they live in, and to learn to think for themselves (the very roots of self determination). I would have probably been dead or in prison by the time I was first deployed for Vietnam as a result of a lack of structure and unchecked juvenile anti-social behavior gone awry (anyone remember "Rebel Without A Cause"?). And, most importantly; I wouldn't be sitting here exercising my Constitutional Freedom to have an opinion on the matter in this uncensored format, without the thought police knocking on my door. Instead I joined the United States Marine Corps , of my own free will and choosing. Tyranny deserves worthy opponents, and as it applies to the military of my time; it has certainly found that it has some very worthy one's in those who campaigned in the ranks of the VVAW of The Day...which would have never happened had there not been Veterans who knew the Truth first hand willing to take up the fight. So, it really is a two edged sword, and one that I don't think we should purge from our arsenal
The risks of combat were a growing experience, and tapped the depths of my resourcefulness and capabilities, and was an indeed, overall, character building experience that has stood me in good stead throughout my life. The risks were none that millions before me had not undertaken to insure that America remained a place where the concept of Freedom permeates our daily life, and has resulted in this being the showcase for Democracy in a very troubled world (please don't confuse the concept of Democracy with party dominated foreign policy and power mongering)...though occasionally a jaded Democracy...a Constitutional Democracy, non-the-less. A soldiers most basic duty is to defend that Constitution. An Honorable undertaking.
I wasn't proud of the way America went about it's political business there in V Vietnam; but, I am proud to have served my country in combat, as did my fathers and their fathers before me. We all owe something for the privilege of living in this greatest Democracy on the face of the earth. No matter whether it is in the military, or some other service to our country...there are no free lunches in this life, except at someone else's expense...and, no matter your ethnic, economic, or religious bent in this life; there is no better country in the world to have been born in, and to live in; many have sacrificed so that the rest of us can live and protest, and in some cases be generally disrespectful to others in relative freedom from tyranny. A free exchange of opposing ideas, and a synthesis reflecting the general will of the people has always led to change for the better for society as a whole. You can't have an exchange of ideas if one party is banned from the debate for ideological reasons. Communications is a two way operation. Things are bad, but let us not forget the era of the Nixon creature (some of his clones have resurfaced, as we well know from TTU) . Things have slid back to the edge of the abyss since that time. But, here we are; once again, hard at work exercising the freedoms that so many have struggled and sacrificed to maintain since then.
So, while I disagree with keeping recruiters off the campuses, I do agree that folks should have the option of stating their mind on the topic, but I also disagree that records of children should be exchanged by any other than agencies designed to improve the quality of life for them and their families, and to ensure that those not entitled don't sneak under the edge of the tent and exploit the resources of the deserving.