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Marine recruiters pursue high schoolers

COLORADO SPRINGS- I saw a local military-education atrocity the other day when I passed a school as kids recessed for lunch. Next time I’ll have a camera and I won’t be alone making sure it doesn’t happen again.

You’ve seen it at outdoor fairs, the Marine recruiter canopy. Bolt upright Marines stand in uniform around a chin-up bar beckoning teenage boys to come show off their upper body strength. Usually there’s a tank-topped ringer crediting his biceps to a military regimen.

In past this was as innocuous as any misappropriated emphasis on physical fitness. The services were voluntary after all, and short of the special forces, most military duty was served at sleepy bases in Germany, Korea or Okinawa. Of course, since Granada we’ve come to see how much more combat our soldier boys have been seeing.

These days with high casualties in Afghanistan, and Iraq, and growing conflicts in Somalia and Sudan, covert exposure in Georgia, Colombia and elsewhere, the prospect of the military getting their claws on your child takes on a sinister consequence.

Probably today’s chin-up bar would be akin to the archery tournaments of medieval days. Fun, irresistible, a sure ticket off the farm but to a destiny of a vagabond with a lost limb if you were lucky. Mothers no doubt cautioned their boys against showing off their bow and arrow skills, just as today they might panic about military recruiters seeing their kids’ Xbox scores.

Today I passed by Palmer High School at about lunch time. Kids were pouring out the front doors to spend their lunch hour in Acacia Park across the street. What did I spy, not in the city park, but right in front of the school building, but a handful of smartly dressed Marines with their chin-up bar. Right at the front door. You’d have to walk around around them to get in or out.

All around the red-painted chin-up bar were high school peers watching as others stood in line waiting for their chance to show their strength. There you have it. If I’d had my camera, I could have gotten the red bar, the formal marine uniforms, their cohorts in black wife-beaters, and all the eager kids, right beneath the WILLIAM J. PALMER HIGH SCHOOL lettering above the school entrance. I wonder how many mothers that image would have pleased.

A call to the counselor’s office revealed that the recruiters cannot be denied from visiting a school at a moment’s notice. A further conversation with the principal revealed that the recruiter’s presence is supposed to be no more than a table with literature. The circus attraction was news to him. But a quick survey of a couple high schoolers revealed that the chin-up bar attraction has made the rounds before.

I imagined circulating among them with antiwar fliers, and earning the teenager scorn as if I was crashing a scene to which they were already wise. Kids know everything these days, except of course they do not. Nothing’s changed over the centuries, neither war predatory appetite, nor a child’s vulnerability, nor their stubbornness to defy wisdom.

I think it’s the same foot you have to put down on drugs. You, Mister Know-it-all, may think you’ve got your eye on the ball beneath that shell game, but the scheme’s much larger than your peripheral vision. You’re in school to learn about widening your view, and before you graduate there are predators whose only crack at you will be during adolescence.

Young would-be drinkers often raise the argument that if you’re old enough to serve your country in the army, you should be old enough to drink alcohol. Now it’s true that the soldier-makers want you in your prime. Except for that perversion of a life’s purpose, we need to turn that comparison on its head. If you’re not ready for alcohol, perhaps you shouldn’t be let near the soul-changing fork in the road presented by a military recruiter.

8 thoughts on “Marine recruiters pursue high schoolers

  1. Your rule is always that a good defense is always to go on offense. Right, Mr. Israeli Military Spammer? This site was downed for a couple of hours immediately after your last threatening comments here, so now you have the damn gall to come online and ask if I removed your post? …lol… I might rather ask if you removed our blog offline?

    We hardly have the resources to keep your software away from the site permanently and still keep this site where real people can post their comments here. Deleting one fictitious name’s posts (you ‘Dan’) would hardly ever succeed in removing your odious presence for any length of time so we are selective about when we choose to remove your spam. This was not when you had your comments removed at all but rather when you might have succeeded with a Denial of Service Attack for a brief bit? We have no doubts about your desire to censor us in any way possible.

  2. Hey, Gunny, we DO something for our country and our world.

    We stand up and tell the truth.

    If it weren’t for US and others who have the courage to stand against your Murder Regime, you bastards would have established a permanent immovable dictatorship here the same way you did in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The concentration camp guards had people they called “LagerKapos” which is German for Snitch-Bitch, Trustie, Turnkey…

    They paid them for their servile groveling obedience by promising them extra rations, an extra blanket, be the last one to die…

    What do the Colorado version of the Gestapo undt Totenkopf SchutzStaffel pay you for your willingness to throw out the old stiff-arm salute and mach mit der Sieg Heil?

    Do they let you lick the cum off the floor when they have their Mutual Masturbation Sessions, watching the Torture Videos and the pictures of dead babies?

  3. “Your rule is always that a good defense is always to go on offense. Right, Mr. Israeli Military Spammer? This site was downed for a couple of hours immediately after your last threatening comments here, so now you have the damn gall to come online and ask if I removed your post? …lol… I might rather ask if you removed our blog offline?

    We hardly have the resources to keep your software away from the site permanently and still keep this site where real people can post their comments here. Deleting one fictitious name’s posts (you ‘Dan’) would hardly ever succeed in removing your odious presence for any length of time so we are selective about when we choose to remove your spam. This was not when you had your comments removed at all but rather when you might have succeeded with a Denial of Service Attack for a brief bit? We have no doubts about your desire to censor us in any way possible.”

    Um, yeah, I’m doing all that from my subnotebook computer, which, crashed when I loaded it with Windows XP LOL.

  4. Look, ‘Dan’. We have been plagued for months now by a whole slew of fictional characters spamming pro-Israeli government and military propaganda onto our blog through your software program called the Israeli ‘Internet Megaphone’. We have been downed several times, too, and always after we had responded to you folk rather forcefully. We are simply sick of your dishonesty, ‘Dan’, where you and the other fictional internet pseudonyms always state that you are merely disconnected individuals who have somehow developed an obsession with this local Colorado Springs blog, though all of you seem mainly to filter through on New York City area servers!

    We know that the Israeli government has an organized effort to spam blogs like ours and considers it information warfare. So take your claims of being a bagel or taco eating ‘law student’ and shove it right back up your ass, please.

    See ‘Megaphone desktop tool’ at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megaphone_desktop_tool

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