by Jeremy Bearer-Friend
August 7, 2008
Take your pick: prison or war.
That's what some army recruiters are telling high school students in
Houston, Texas to scare teenagers into joining the army.
On July 29th, 2008, a local CBS affiliate in Houston broke this story
about illegal army recruitment tactics and a shady new strategy
called the "Delayed Entry Program." As part of a $5 billion
recruitment budget for 2008--that's right, $5 billionArmy recruiters
ask high school students to sign a non-binding contract that says
they intend to enlist in the army upon graduation.
According to the Army's own policies for the new program, "under no
circumstances will any [recruiter] threaten, coerce, manipulate, or
intimidate future soldiers, nor may they obstruct separation
requests... At no time will any [recruiter] tell a Delayed Entry
Program member he or she must go in the Army or he or she will go to jail."
So when Eric Gonzalez and Eric Martinez, two high school friends in
Texas who signed a Delayed Entry contract, were told they'd go to
jail if they didn't join the Army, they realized something wasn't
right. They came up with a plan to tape record the recruiter's
illegal and dishonest claims, then leak it to the press.
Here's an excerpt of what Irving was told after repeatedly explaining
he wanted to go to college instead of joining the army:
"You want to go to school? You will not get no loans, because all
college loans are federal and government loans--so you'll be black
barred from that. As soon as you get pulled over for a speeding
ticket, they're gonna see you're a deserter, they're going to
apprehend you, take you to jail.
"So guess what? All that lovey-dovey 'I wanna go to college' and all
that? Guess what? You just threw it out the window, because you just
screwed your life."
So how would you know if a military recruiter was lying to you? And
even if you did know they were lying, whom would you go to? Who could
Worse yet, how many teenagers are in Iraq and Afghanistan right now
because they were told they didn't have a choice?
To take action on this issue visit: http://www.notevenone.org/takeaction.html