We are keenly aware of the many ways this administration abuses the military. These include repeated deployments, stop-loss extensions of tours of duty, poor equipment and delay and denial of both benefits and health care. We were speaking and singing out about these issues long before the Walter Reed scandal broke and we lobby our legislators on behalf of veterans as well.
At the same time we have well founded and well documented concerns about the way the recruiters approach adolescents (whose judgment is less than adult), the promises they make and the deceptive way the enlistment contract is formatted. In our contacts with minority parents they tell us of harassment by recruiters and are hungry for information about how to finance college or find a career path other than through the military.
We go to recruiting centers less as protesters and more as educators and consumer advocates. We do, however, hope to contribute to slowing down the recruitment of young people as a means to end the current disastrous wars. We want to see our sons and daughters brought home and taken care of when they get here. We do have strong reservations about the uses to which the military has historically been put in U.S. history. An excellent and very readable resource on this topic is the book "Addicted to War" by Joel Andreas.
We notice that the opponents who have on one occasion shown up to shout insults at us seem disturbed by any criticism, however reasonable, of U.S. policies. They seem to be motivated by fear and anger and to be in deep denial about the real motives behind the Middle East wars. Conversations indicate an inability to contemplate combating terrorism by any means other than war, and acceptance of a pretty wide range of administration lies. We are saddened by this, but remind ourselves that the American people know better.
In fact, the Military Times reported in December of 2006 that only 41 percent of the military polled said that we should have gone to war in Iraq in the first place.