Published: Sep 26 2008,
Measure F in Arcata and Measure J in Eureka, the initiatives to
prevent military recruiters from approaching kids under the age of
18, do not prevent youth from approaching military recruiters.
The Statement of Law in the initiatives reads, "Nothing in this
Ordinance shall prevent any person from voluntarily visiting a
military recruitment office or specifically initiating a request to
meet with a recruiter."
The School Recruiting Program Handbook states, "Remember, first to
contact, first to contract... If you wait until they're seniors, it's
probably too late." Brain research reveals that the brain continues
to mature up to age 25. Recruiters are asking youths at age 16 or 17
to begin making decisions for which they have neither the brain
maturity nor the life experience to make.
Equating joining the military with choosing a college or other career
path is comparing apples to oranges. 50 percent of students entering
college drop out. If a person doesn't like a job he or she can search
for a different job. People and circumstances change.
For those in the military, these options are not available. You
cannot quit. The military does not have to honor any promises made at
the time of enlistment. You must follow orders whether you agree with
them or not. The business of the military is war and soldiers are
asked to kill and be killed.
Recruiters pressuring our youth, at ages 16 and 17, to begin making a
decision of this magnitude is exploitation.