Military recruitment

13

To the Editor:

I am writing to voice my concern about military recruiting in our public schools. While I support the troops and the rights of a volunteer military, I do not support institutionalizing involuntary recruitment practices. The No Child Left Behind Legislation automatically gives the military the right to take any students’ private information without any form of parental permission or notification.

This snooping into students’ private school information needs to stop. There is an opt-out provision in the legislation, but rarely are students or parents informed of it. I encourage students and parents all over our state to send a letter to their school’s administrators asking them to keep their information private. A sample form can be found at http://www.militaryfreezone.org/opt_out.

I think it is awful that military recruiters use misleading tactics to recruit students, especially at a time when so many of our troops are in harm’s way in Iraq. The promise of $70,000 for college is just factually wrong. If you study the GI Bill, you will learn that very few veterans qualify for the amounts that recruiters and advertisements quote. The U.S. government needs to understand that today’s students are smart, and can read the fine print about how much money we will actually receive for our education in return for military service.

The amounts typically received aren’t even close to the ever increasing costs of a college education. We need to work together to end these misleading ad campaigns that entice young people to enlist by offering false hope and empty promises. Surely America can do better than that. Enlisting when you are told the truth and have the facts you need to make an informed decision is one thing, but enlisting when you are given misleading or false information is just plain wrong.

Rex Sharpe

Taylorsville, Indiana