Jinny Soo Herman/For The Times-Standard
The battle of whether military recruiters should or should not be
allowed on school campuses is ongoing, and no matter what the
"resolution" is at this point in time, I feel it is important to
address the issue yet again.
To begin with, I am displeased with the resentment toward military
recruiters in which school districts and parents project out. You are
misleading your children to believe that the military is not worthy
of their attention, that serving one's country is unjust. To keep
recruiters off school grounds advocates negativity towards the
military that young people can detect and is also another means of
denying them the ability to make their own choices about their future.
The removal of military recruiters is not just the personal insult I
feel, considering I myself am a veteran of the United States Air
Force, but also the denial of choice to young people as stated above.
Your children have the right to know what careers are available to
them. Of course, they may research online or make an effort to go to
a recruiting office, but if the opportunity is available for them to
seek information right at their doorstep, why not allow this
opportunity to take place? The military is a career choice and,
living in a free society, young people have the right to see that choice.
And if you ban military recruiters, will you ban police and
firefighters, as well? At least for me, I was approached by public
service defenders in the form of a Career Day during grade school.
Already, the education system was setting me up to think about my
future. Theoretically, there was nothing wrong with being subjected
to possible future careers even at such a young age. However, why is
this idea refuted later when that young child becomes a teenager?
An argument for banning recruiters states that having young people
approached by them could be harmful because a young person is not
ready to make such a decision about his or her future. So how can
this be that a teenager cannot make a sound decision about his future
but a child can be influenced to become a police officer? Keep in
mind I am not discrediting these public services by any means. These
career choices are very noble and honorable, and so is serving in the
Another reason for allowing young people to be exposed to the
possibility of a military career is because for many students, this
may be the only stepping stone they have to start themselves toward a
better future. The military offers a four- to six-year stable job to
young people straight out of high school who have graduated. This
includes a substantial paycheck and also provides them with living
amenities. The military also teaches young people discipline and
respect for themselves and others.
An example of this is my older brother. During high school, he was
struggling just to graduate, failing many of his classes. And with
poor grades, his opportunity to find a good job without at least a
college degree was nearly unachievable. Since college was not an
option for him, considering his struggle in high school, a positive
outcome of his future was unlikely. Then, at the end of high school,
my brother made a decision, with the help of a recruiter, about his
future. He decided to join the U.S. Air Force. Eleven years later, my
brother, a sergeant, is a flying crew chief who is in charge of all
the mechanical and electrical aspects of the plane he flies with. How
many D-average high school graduates without a college degree can say
that they've accomplished that?
No matter if a teenager decides to join the military or become a
firefighter, he or she has the right to choose his or her career
path. Guidance from the school or parents can be helpful if applied
correctly, but ultimately, it is up to that particular young man or
woman to decide what is best for him or her.
Young people can make sound decisions about their lives if given the
proper tools to help execute the outcome of their future.
Jinny Soo Herman of Fortuna is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force.