Friday, September 23, 2005

On the 12th day of opt out- I said NO!

TODAY! Join UFPJ in Washington, DC or
Get out in the streets of your town on Sept. 24
and make your voice heard-
End the war in Iraq,
Take care of folks in our communities,
Get recruiters out of our schools, and
Bring the troops home NOW!

-Stop by the counter recruiting tent in DC this weekend, meet NNOMY members, and find out how you can join NNOMY in opposing militarization of youth!

On the 12th day of opt out a recruiter said to me...

When asked if he told his potential recruits about the harmful effects of depleted uranium-"That's your job-not mine."

Joining the Military can be hazardous to ..... Mental and Physical Health Risks from exposure to depleted uranuim weapons, toxic materials, dangerous vaccines


The Cost of War: Depleted Uranium

As we now deal with the reality of war in Iraq, depleted uranium (DU) is becoming a greater concern for many people, especially those with friends and family serving in Iraq. The U.S. government doesn’t often discuss DU, but when it does, it describes it is an “efficient” part of military arsenal and tries to reassure the public that DU poses little danger.
What are the facts?
-DU is a by-product of the processes used to convert natural uranium for use as nuclear fuel or weapons. DU has 60% the radioactivity of ordinary uranium and a half life in the billions of years.
-The U.S. military (and other armed forces, including the U.N.) has relied on DU as a means of penetrating the armor of enemy tanks. With the density 1.7 times that of lead, DU is used to coat the shell of bombs and bullets.
-Upon impact with a hard target, DU contaminates the local area with radioactive dust, which may be inhaled or ingested during and after the battle.
-DU has been used in Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and on target ranges in Vieques, Puerto Rico. During the first Gulf War, the military released over 300 tons of DU into the environment.
-Scientific research on DU largely has not explored its long-term consequences and is often distorted by the government. However, doctors report a large amount of anecdotal evidence that DU is associated with Gulf War Syndrome, kidney problems, childhood and adult cancers, neurological disorders, birth defects, and other health problems. Certainly it is worth noting that nearly half of the first Gulf War veterans are sick and over 10,000 have died.

What is certain is that U.S. soldiers as well as Iraqi citizens are currently being exposed to DU. The true health and environmental costs will only become clear in the months and years ahead.- from Western Mass. AFSC flyer on DU http://www.westernmassafsc.org/flyers/flyers.html

-Exposure to DU may be higher than we are being led to believe http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/236934p-203326c.html

-Vanity Fair Article on "Gulf War Syndrome"This%20month'>http://www.vanityfair.com/commentary/content/printables/041115roco04?print=true">This%20month

Toxic Materials

"The U.S. Department of Defense is the largest polluter in the world, producing more hazardous waste than the five largest U.S. chemical companies combined. (1) The types of hazardous wastes used by the military include pesticides and defoliants like Agent Orange. It includes solvents, petroleum, perchlorate (a component of rocket fuel) lead and mercury. And most ominously, depleted uranium.

The health problems that have been documented as being attributable to these various toxins in military use include miscarriages, low birth weight, birth defects, kidney disease and cancer. Military pollution most directly affects those who are targeted by our weapons, soldiers and anyone living near a military base, both in the U.S. and abroad. In the U.S., one out of every ten Americans lives within ten miles of a military site that has been listed as a Superfund priority cleanup site. -Military Pollution, Common Dreams 3/27/05

Out of 700,000 U.S. soldiers who served in Gulf War I, 118,000 are suffering from chronic fatigue, headaches, muscle spasms, joint pains, anxiety, memory loss and balance problems. Gulf vets are twice as likely to develop Lou Gehrig?s Disease, and two to three times more likely to have children with birth defects.
War has always been a toxic business, but it is much more so today than it was 50 years ago. -American Soldiers Endangered By Their Own Instruments Of War http://www.tompaine.com/feature.cfm/ID/6815

Vaccines

Soldier falls ill after taking vaccine shots
http://www.kfor.com/Global/story.asp?S=3794922

Father of dead soldier claims Army coverup

http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20030807-043512-3755r

Soldiers Refuse the Anthrax Vaccine http://www.resistinc.org/newsletter/issues/2000/05/SoldiersRefuseAnthraxVaccine.html

Military Mute On Vaccine Danger?http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/08/21/eveningnews/main569522.shtml

Joining the military is also hazardous to...

Women-Sexual harassment and assault are a daily reality for the overwhelming majority of women in the armed forces. The VA's own figures show 90 percent of recent women veterans reporting harassment - a third of whom were raped. Despite the glossy brochures that advertise "opportunities for women," the military's inherent sexism is evident from sergeants shouting "girl!" at trainees who don't "measure up," to the intimidation of women who speak out about harassment and discrimination - not to mention military men's sexual abuse of civilian women in base communities.-http://www.objector.org/before-you-enlist/hazardous.html

Homosexuals-http://www.sldn.org/templates/get/index.html?section=19

the poor, minorities, and the people living in the countries we "liberate", the environment......

Don't talk to a recruiter-- talk to a counter recruiter! Find a member group of NNNOMY- the National Network Opposing Militarization of Youth near you-http://www.youthandthemilitary.org/sponsorsandendorsersyouthandthemilitary.htm

What about support for our veterans?

On the 11th day of Opt Out a recruiter said to me....


"As for a recruiter making promises and not following through, the recruiter's not in any position to promise anything. We hope that all our recruiters are communicating honestly with our applicants," Mr. Smith said. But he added, "In the contract [between the new soldier and the Army] it says, "Anything the recruiter may have promised me is 'moot'."
Doug Paton, "Rift over recruiting at public high schools," The Christian Science Monitor, online edition,
18 May 2005.

Veterans Issues- The military may take care of their own- but they forget about the veterans... veteran hospital closures, medical care reductions, PTSD

The GI Bill of Rights educated and housed a generation of soldiers in the 1940s and 1950s. Free lifetime medical care was another benefit for two decades of service.
Now, that free care has been ended. US Court of Appeals in Washington ruled that the recruiters who promised lifetime free medical care to WWII vets did not have the standing to do so.


35 percent of the military hospitals that existed in the United States in 1987 are closed today. Other hospitals have cut services. The number of doctors, nurses and medical technicians in military service has also been cut. Yet more Iraq vets are returning with missing limbs and wounds that could not have been survived in the past. Many have head injuries that will require intensive and long-term - if not lifetime- care.

Bush asks America to support our troops- but do you call this "support"?:
-budget cuts that include a huge reduction in veterans home funding, resulting in the loss of thousands of veterans' nursing home beds, and the closure of some homes entirely.
-cutting the benefit that allows vets to stay in nursing homes, literally forcing them out into the cold
-doubling the amount vets pay for prescriptions


PTSD-Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
What is PTSD?

"People who suffer from PTSD (have) nightmares and flashbacks, difficulty sleeping, and feel detached or estranged. These symptoms can be severe enough and last long enough to significantly impair the person's daily life. PTSD frequently occurs with depression, substance abuse, problems of memory, and other problems of physical and mental health. The disorder is associated with impairment of the person's ability to function in social or family life, including occupational instability, marital problems and divorces, family discord, and difficulties in parenting. "-National Center for PTSD


The Associate Press reported that 1 in 8 returning Iraq vets has PTSD. CNN says it is 2 in 10. And while one study found that 17 percent of those veterans questioned had PTSD- only 40% were seeking help.
"Ninety percent of those posted to Iraq reported being shot at. A high percentage also reported killing an enemy combatant, or knowing someone who was injured or killed. About half said they had handled a body."-CNN
"A 2004 study endorsed by the Veteran Administration says 18 percent of troops returning from Iraq will have post-traumatic stress disorder, the result of fearing for their lives and the lives of their friends, and the guilt of taking other lives in war."-Washington Times


If our country is going to ask men and women to go into battle and risk their life and health, then we need to be prepared to care for them when they return home. I have often heard that "The military takes care of their own", but the veterans who serve our country aren't being cared for.

-National Center for PTSD
http://www.ncptsd.va.gov/facts/general/fs_what_is_ptsd.html

-Veterans for Peace
http://www.veteransforpeace.org/

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Poverty Draft

on the tenth day of opt out a recruiter said to me...
"We'll supply your food, put a roof over your head, and you won't have to worry about what clothes to wear. And when you're done, you'll have job skills and money for college."
People worry about whether or not we will see a return of a military draft, but we have a draft going on right now-- a "poverty draft". Due to government cutbacks on funding for job training, educational costs rising, and a slowly recovering economy, low-income families are preyed on by recruiters who promise a way out of poverty.
The military spends millions each year on marketing that targets young people, promising "up to" thousands of dollars in pay- but they don't tell you that there are only a few positions that qualify for the highest end of the pay promised. They tell you the job skills will prepare you to get a job in the civilian world- but they don't tell you that many things the military trains you for don't qualify for a civilian job.
I recently talked with a young man who had done six years in the army, driving large equipment- tanks and such- from one military base in the country to another. And when the six year were up, he tried to get a truck driving job. It turned out that he still had to take months of training to get licensed to drive for a trucking company- the certificate he got from the army didn't do him any good with any of the companies he applied to. You might work with computers in the army, but they are often old and out of date models, and you won't be ready to use the skills necessary to keep up in the civilian world.
And what about the things the military does have- the realities of injury, PTSD, or death in a combat zone. Some recruiters have gone back to using an old line- that life here in the US is more dangerous than in Iraq! Some students got recruiters on tape using this line- and then got the facts on the real percentage of deaths from car accidents in their county. Numbers the recruiters throw around may make the military sound like a good deal- but do some research, and you may find some better ways to get scholarships and job training. And you won't be asked to kill someone.
On average, the Army spends about $13,000 in recruitment advertising to get one young person enrolled -- about what it costs New York’s public school system per year to educate one child, according to a Village Voice article. The misplaced priorities of the current (and past) administrations try to leave students believing they have no other options- but counter recruiters across the country are working to counter this myth.
-Project YANO- Project on Youth and Non-Military Options- you can download these brochures
Examples of Careers in Peacemaking and Social
Choosing a Career that Pays in Many Ways
-Travel the world and help people with Volunteers for Peace
-Free scholarship seaches
Join UFPJ in Washington, DC or
Get out in the streets of your town on Sept. 24
and make your voice heard-
End the war in Iraq,
Take care of folks in our communities,
Get recruiters out of our schools,
andBring the troops home NOW!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Conscientious Objection

On the ninth day of opt out a recruiter said to me....

If you believe that all wars are wrong, you may be a Conscientious Objector (CO). It is possible to get out of the military as a CO; and in the past COs have been exempted from the draft. However, this depends on convincing the authorities that your beliefs are deeply held and sincere.

The Selective Service System website provides this definition of a CO:
A conscientious objector is one who is opposed to serving in the armed forces and/or bearing arms on the grounds of moral or religious principles.

You can look at the
The Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors (CCCO) How to compile a CO Claim page for help in documenting your beliefs.

You will find information and links below to learn about some COs, about what it means to be a CO, how you can document your beliefs and some organizations that can help.

•Kevin Benderman is in military prison for taking a position as a CO and refusing to fight in Iraq. He says,
"I believe we are long overdue for placing as much effort into developing more positive solutions to disagreements as we do on maintaining a force for destruction. As mature, intelligent people, we all have a choice, and I have made mine based on my personal experiences. Isn't that a fundamental right that we all have?"
To find out more about his case see Kevin Benderman Defense Committee

•Pablo Paredes is another CO from the Iraq War. Here is part of what he said when he was sentenced for refusing to go back to Iraq, "What I submit to you and the court is that I am convinced that the current war is exactly that (illegal). So, if there's anything I could be guilty of, it is my beliefs. I am guilty of believing this war is illegal. I'm guilty of believing war in all forms is immoral and useless, and I am guilty of believing that as a service member I have a duty to refuse to participate in this war because it is illegal." From Pablo Paredes statement during sentencing.

For more information see Citizens for Pablo

These organzations have more information.


Monday, September 19, 2005

Enlistment agreements and recruiter promises

On the the eighth day of Opt Out a recruiter said to me...
"If you don't want to go to Iraq, just let your commanding office know, and you won't have to go."

From Liz Rivera Goldstein, Teen Peace Project-
My sister called me a year ago in August, as I was preparing to say good-bye to my college-bound daughter. My sister was also about to say good-bye to her son, who had enlisted in the Army. She told me how great the recruiter was who had signed up my nephew. "The Army is going to invest so much time and money into making you a soldier- and I can see you are great military material. There's no way they are going to waste their investment and ship you off to Iraq." The recruiter guaranteed my nephew he would be stationed in Europe. My nephew has been in Germany since then, but he just got word he will be headed to Iraq in a few months.

There are no guarantees in the military enlistment agreement.
If you read the fine print- you could be kept in for longer than you thought-

From The Military Enlistment/Re-enlistment "Contract" (DD Form 4/1)
(NOTE: The sections below are on the BACK of the enlistment agreement):


9. FOR ALL ENLISTEES OR REENLISTEES: Many laws, regulations, and military customs will govern my conduct and require me to do things a civilian does not have to do. The following statements are not promises or guarantees of any kind. They explain some of the present laws affecting the Armed Forces which I cannot change but which Congress can change at any time.
c. In the event of war, my enlistment in the Armed Forces continues until six (6) months after the war ends, unless my enlistment is ended sooner by the President of the United States.

Recruiters are sales people, and they have a quota to make every month. As the war continues to go badly, and counter recruiters keep the pressure on, enlistment goals are not being met. Last May, recruiters were ordered to "stand down" for one day- no recruiting as they went over ethical recruiting. I have listened to recruiters talk to my son and his friends. They seem to tell half the truth- I always want to finish their sentences with the realities of how little the benefits really are, or how few really get benefits, or how empty those promises are.

Meet Sgt. Abe, the Honest Recruiter.

Sgt. Abe guides you through the enlistment agreement of the U.S. Armed Forces – pointing out many snares along the way, which most recruiters don't talk about.

You can also download a high-resolution print file to copy and hand out. It's an important resource for anyone interested in military service, or anyone having second thoughts about the Delayed Enlistment Program. IT COULD SAVE A LIFE!
Read it here
http://quakerhouse.org/documents/enlist.html


Deceptions in Military Recruiting: An ex-Insider Speaks Out
http://www.objector.org/insider.html

Why Wouldn't You Want to Join the Army -or the Marines, Air Force or Navy
http://www.whatifyouknew-nm.com/Whywouldyou.html

Do You Know Enough to Enlist
http://www.afsc.org/youthmil/Military-Recruitment/Do-you-know-enough-to-enlist.htm

Ten Points to Consider Before You Enlist
http://www.afsc.org/youthmil/Military-Recruitment/10-points.htm

"The Art and Science of Recruiting," According to the Army, by Jorge Mariscal
http://www.comdsd.org/article_archive/ArtScienceRecruit05.htm

"The reason to have a military is to be prepared to fight and win wars... it's not a jobs program."
-Former Secretary of Defense Cheney

Sunday, September 18, 2005

DEP- Delayed Enlistment Program

DEP- Delayed Enlistment Program
What is the Delayed Enlistment Program?
Most people who enlist are signed up into the Delayed Enlistment Program (DEP), also called the Delayed Entry Program, for up to a year before they report for active duty training.
To get details on how to get out of the DEP, go to the link at the top of this page.

On the seventh day of opt out a recruiter said to me.....
"Hey Chris, this is Sgt. Kelt with the army, man... by federal law you got an appointment with me at 2 o'clock this afternoon. You fail to appear and we'll have a warrant. Okay? So give me a call back."
-Houston Area Recruiter, caught lying on tape.



The 12 Days of Opt Out
September 12-24, 2005

Check out this blogsite as it changes each day during Sept. 12-24 to educate and highlight the various ways schools are militarized.


From Liz Rivera Goldstein, Teen Peace Project
For the past three years, I have been doing counter recruiting work. I have talked to parents, teachers and friends of young adults who have signed up for the DEP, or are considering enlisting. I am often asked, "What do you say to someone who has decided to enlist?"

If you argue or say something like, "Are you out of your mind??" in an attempt to change their minds, you may just shut down communication. For many people, deciding to enlist is the first big "adult" decision they make. Recruiters know this, and can use bullying statements, such as, "Who wears the pants around here, you - or your mother?" So respecting the young adult you are trying to reach is important.

Instead of lecturing or arguing with them, give them some questions to ask their recruiter. Put them in control of the situation. The best advice I have heard is to suggest they sit across from their recruiter, with a pad of paper and pen. Have them review the promises the recruiter has made- and write each point on the pad. Include things such as money, bonuses, education, job assignment. Then ask the recruiter if that's everything they have offered. If you have it all written down, then push the list over to the recruiter, and ask them to sign their name to the paper, as a guarantee for all they have promised. A recruiter can't do this--it's in the fine print on the enlistment agreement that whatever a recruiter promises is not binding. This can help a person see the reality of the situation- the recruiter is a sales person- trying to close the deal. They can promise all sorts of things- and unlike any other type of transaction- they don't have to deliver on their promises.

Another tool that has helped some folks change their mind, is a list of questions recruiters don't want to be asked:
http://www.objector.org/before-you-enlist/questions.html

Saturday, September 17, 2005

JROTC-What Is It Good For?

By Oskar Castro, American Friends Service Committee

The Junior Reserve Officer Training Corp has been around for almost 90 years. At the time of its inception it was designed to train young boys in a militaristic fashion in order to prepare them for eventual service into the military.

Much has changed in the United States since 1916 and JROTC has also undergone some changes. The Department of Defense no longer classifies JROTC as a readiness program. It now classifies it as a program designed to instill discipline, teach citizenship and encourage academic success. Despite these claims, JROTC is still very much a readiness program that assists the military in shaping the minds of elementary & high school aged children into thinking that the military is a sacred cow and an excellent career choice.

Past statistics from the Department of Defense indicated that JROTC cadets with two or more years of JROTC involvement had a 45%-50% rate of enlistment after graduation from high school. Now the Department of Defense claims that only 3%-4% of cadets enter the military after graduation from high school, but what this statistic actually reflects is the amount of former cadets who enter the military IMMEDIATELY after graduation. The 45%-50% rate of enlistment was an overall statistic indicating that over time those former cadets were finding their way into the military.

Regardless of the rate of enlistment, JROTC is a problem for those who value a civil society over a militarized one. With the Department of Defense getting over 400 billion dollars and the Department of Education only getting a little over 50 billion dollars it is no small wonder that the military is able to waltz into schools challenged by their academic & economics woes and offer them a program that alleged to be able to fix their problem. With civil values being replaced by militaristic ones, JROTC moves this nation and its youth ever further away from democracy. The military does not practice democracy and therefore it could never adequately teach our youth to become better citizens of this democratic republic. Making young people wear military uniforms in public schools, encouraging them to follow rank & file, and putting them in classrooms with uniformed instructors is all designed to serve the military. If a cadet graduates from high school then that is just icing on the cake for the program because you can’t enlist without a diploma or certificate anyway.

Want to know more? Visit http://www.afsc.org/youthmil/militarism-in-schools/JROTC.htm.

Friday, September 16, 2005

On the fifth day of opt out a recruiter said to me.....
"Up to $70,000 for college after you serve"

The 12 Days of Opt Out
September 12-24, 2005

Check out this blogsite as it changes each day during Sept. 12-24 to educate and highlight the various ways schools are militarized.

Reality of funds for college
Recruiters salespitches promise a lot- but do they deliver?
How much will you really get?

Military advertising makes you think that if you enlist, $70,000 you will get for your college education.

But most soldiers never get anywhere near that $70,000. In fact, 57% get nothing. The average net payout to veterans has been $2151.

There are so many hoops that you have to jump through in order to receive college funds. Most service people never see a penny of the $1,200 a newly enlisted soldier must agree to have withheld from their pay for their first year of service, in order to be eligable for college funds. The Pentagon actually makes money on the program.

To receive any money, you must:
• contribute $100 of your own money each month,
• accept a hard-to-fill military job category,
• complete your term of enlistment, and
• receive an honorable discharge.

From the San Francisco Chronicle May, 2005:
According to College Board calculations for the 2004-5 academic year, the current annual benefit of $9,036 covers about 60 percent of the average $14,640 for tuition, books, fees, and living expenses at a four-year public residential college.
The (military college) benefit covers only about 60 percent of the average cost of college, according to the College Board's estimates.

And if you are in the Reserves, your benefits are less, and only available while you are in the Reserves.

•Financing College Without Joining the Military
http://www.objector.org/before-you-enlist/financingcollege.html

•Fund for Education and Training (FEAT)
"Assisting individuals who believe it is wrong to register for the draft"
http://www.nisbco.org/FEAT.htm

•Debunking the myth- It's not gonna be $50,000-$70,000
http://www.militaryfreezone.org/debunking_the_myth

•Military Money for College- A Reality Check
http://www.afsc.org/pwork/0506/050607.htm

•GI Blues: Military recruiters promise 'money for college', but recent veterans find that tuition benefits fall short- S.F. Chronicle http://chronicle.com/free/v51/i36/36a03101.htm

•Alternatives to the Military- United for Peace and Justice
http://www.unitedforpeace.org/article.php?id=2876

http://www.scholarships.com/

http://www.findtuition.com/


Thursday, September 15, 2005

On the fourth day of opt out a recruiter said to me.....
"Hey folks, it doesn't matter if you fill out those opt out forms, the military WILL find a way to reach your children"
recruiter at school board hearing, 1/13/03 Port Townsend, WA

The 12 Days of Opt Out
September 12-24, 2005

Check out this blogsite as it changes each day during Sept. 12-24 to educate and highlight the various ways schools are militarized.

Pentagon database and student privacy protection

It's illegal for the government to compile a database on citizens- so why is the Pentagon getting away with compiling a student database?

By hiring BeNow, a private company in Wakefield, Massacheutsettes, and working with other private companies, the Pentagon can get around laws that prohibit the government from collecting citizen information.

According to http://www.jamrs.org/
The Joint Advertising and Marketing Research and Studies (JAMRS), is an "official Department of Defense program for joint marketing communications and market research and studies. JAMRS public programs help broaden people's understanding of Military Service as a career option, while JAMRS internal government programs help bolster the effectiveness of all the Services' recruiting and retention efforts."

JAMRS updates its database every day, and then distributes the database each month to military recruiters. The database contains information such as cell-phone numbers, e-mail addresses, height, weight, ethnicity, areas of study, grade-point averages, birth dates and Social Security numbers.

Privacy experts are especially concerned about the inclusion of social security information in the database, saying the marketing job could still be done without gathering social security numbers. This past year has seen several news reports of stolen databases - and the Pentagon database, which includes social security numbers could be especially damaging if it was used for identity theft.

The Pentagon can share the database for use beyond recruiting efforts, including law enforcement, state tax authorities and Congress.

Even if you try to opt out of the database, it only removes you from the "call" list. It does not remove you from the database.

Efforts to get congress to ban this program are beginning. Contact your congressional representative to let them know you oppose this illegal gathering of citizen information. Just because someone is a student, it doesn't mean they don't have rights- especially a right to privacy!

Boston Mobilization organized leafletting and signature gathering events to protest BeNow's participation in JAMRS. The following was from a call they put out in July:

"The war in Iraq is a disaster; The Army has missed its recruiting targets every month this year and now desperate military recruiters are doing an end run around our privacy rights. The Pentagon is paying a data Services Company in Wakefield, MA called BeNow to collect the names and phone numbers of every 16-25 year old in the country.

The new database will include an array of personal information including birth dates, Social Security numbers, e-mail addresses, grade point averages, ethnicity and what subjects the students are studying! What will the Pentagon's recruiters do with those numbers? Their contract with BeNow will let them contact thousands more teenagers and according to many media reports, many of them will

* Call teenagers constantly.
* Lie to them about the job skills they'll acquire in the military, the assignments they'll get, the cash bonuses and college aid they will get.
* Coach them in lying on their applications and beating drug tests... anything to qualify!
* In extreme cases, virtually kidnap them and hold them till they sign enlistment papers

But BeNow isn't just violating people's privacy rights. They are selling young men and women to the Pentagon. Some will die in Iraq - for a war based on lies.

This is happening right here in Massachusetts
We can't let this go unchallenged!

We are putting out a call to MA activists for a meeting to plan an event, action, or demonstration expressing our outrage with BeNow and the Pentagon's policy of ruthless recruitment."


•Pentagon Creating Student Database- Washington Post Article
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/22/AR2005062202305.html

Background on the Pentagon's illegal database-
Leave My Child Alone http://leavemychildalone.org/index.cfm?event=showContent&contentid=37

Grassroots Action to Demilitarize Schools
Arlene Inouye, CAMS

LIMITING RECRUITER ACCESS ON CAMPUS
I’ve always believed that grassroots organizing is effective and the way to go, but I had never personally experienced its powerful impact and encouraging results until this past year. In our work in Los Angeles to demilitarize schools and present alternatives, we can testify to the power of grassroots organizing to limit recruiter access on the 53 high school campuses of the mammoth Los Angeles Unified School District. Just this past week, we had a major victory when district officials changed their position from military recruiter access as a local school decision to developing parameters regarding military recruitment for the entire school district. We had gone before the Board of Education with our concerns as students, parents and teachers from throughout the city, and with concrete resolutions to address the unbalanced and aggressive military recruiter tactics in Los Angeles schools. I would like to share with you my reflections on how this came about and what we have learned.

Organize a base- We started with the Human Rights Committee of the United Teachers Los Angeles Teachers Union, which was supportive of this cause. But we quickly grew and became a separate but connected organization- CAMS (Coalition Against Militarism in our Schools). We held Teach-Ins, workshops, tabled at events, and were given public radio spots which all helped to spread the word among the activist community in Los Angeles.
Collect data and personal contact info- If it works for the military, it can work for us too. A data base of supporters that includes identifiable fields or categories for each person (such as parent/student/teacher/community, and geographical area) has helped us to link people together at schools. Also, we documented personal experiences so that we can inform the school and district officials about very specific abuses and concerns occurring on our high school campuses. Our web page which has had 12,000 hits a month, is an invaluable communication tool. We have also continued to collect resource persons who support this work, and students who are willing to share their personal accounts
Find out which schools have effectively limited military recruitment and use their policies as models. I had the good fortune to be at a school in which the Assistant Principal had developed a policy restricting military recruitment access, because she felt that the military had more access than college and career recruiters. She felt that this had a negative impact on academic achievement. This proposal was passed by the leadership council and is stated below. It has dramatically changed the climate of the school. This model was submitted to the School Board as something fair and workable that is happening now. We also submitted the Seattle School Board new district wide policy restricting military recruiter access on high school campuses.
Work at every level possible, including the local school, regional geographical areas, and at the district level to restrict recruiter access. It is a lot easier (and more efficient) to have the district set parameters for the entire school district rather than develop individual school policies.
Provide leadership, and a base from which all segments of the community are embraced and model a collaborative way of sharing information and resources. I feel that we in the peace and justice community and education community need to make human relations a priority in our joint work together. We need to encourage each other to find our unique and special place in this work. We also seek to draw on the talents and resources from the community, to have stimulating, informative trainings and educational workshops. We have found that the school community will get involved when this work has personal meaning and importance to them.
Now I know that in Los Angeles we are blessed with a diversity of people and sophistication in organizing from years of experience. We have activities and events all the time, which make our connections and networking easier than many from isolated parts of the country. It may be difficult, but I believe there are more people out there who want to and will join us if they know about who we are.
I believe that limiting recruiter access is a job for everyone who is concerned about the future of our youth and the future of our planet. Policies are just pieces of paper, it’s up to all of us, to make them work for our students. With the grassroots organizing we can monitor what really happens at the local school level, and have a mechanism to feedback to the district regarding the implementation of limiting military recruiter access.
As each of us become more informed and educated about militarism in our schools, we add to a dynamic that keeps snowballing and expanding.

From Carrie Hathorn, Seattle WA

The Sept 7th school board action was a victory for the
anti-war and counter-recruitment movement.
Counter-recruiters, peace groups, and anti-war
activists won equal access to students and the right
to go onto public school campus!! Last week we took a
radical stand to kick recruiters out of our schools,
applying intense pressure on the school board and they
felt it. The school board passed a resolution
imposing a number of regulations and restrictions on
what military recruiters are allowed to do in Seattle
schools and if recruiters do not follow these rules,
they can be kicked off campus.

More than 50 community activists showed up to the
school board action wearing anti-war buttons and
shirts, holding signs and banners. We were visible,
on target with our message and dominated the school
board meeting. Over 20 counter-recruitment activists
passionately testified even though the school board
tried to throw a wrench in our speakers line up.
Unlike the previous school board meeting they enforced
a strict policy requiring the person scheduled testify
to be there in person to concede their time to some
one else. So even though we organized community
members to reserve speaking slots and knew who would
and wouldn’t be there to testify and who wanted to
speak in their place the school board did not alloy
anyone to testify in the place of someone who wasn’t
there to concede their time in person. But we didn’t
let them stop us, we reacted and re-organized. So for
next time if you reserved a spot to speak you must
show up, weither or not you plan to speak.

Our action and press releases were so successful that
the Seattle P-I, National Public Radio, Portland
Public Radio, and KIRO TV all covered the story.
Kiro 7 reported that "we packed the school board
meeting demanding to kick recruiters out of our
schools". In fact Jorge Torres, Ramy Khalil and Dianne
King all got air time testifying on KIRO TV which
aired September 8th and 9th. Jeff Rice was also
quoted in a voice over as the camera scanned the room
of activists. The next day our story was the front
page of the local section of the PI which Gus Seixas
and Jeff were quoted. We are now in the process of
trying to get more national media coverage of this
victory. Let’s keep the Seattle Counter-recruitment
movement in the spotlight!!


Now that counter-recruiters have equal access on
school campuses it’s up to us to go into the schools
and make direct contact with students through
teach-inn’s, tabling during lunch and flyering before,
during and after school. We need to help students
organize student groups to plan for the walkout. We
must also organize parents, teachers and community
members to keep the pressure on the school board until
recruiters are out of our schools!!
***
By Josh Mally, Seattle

Thursday, September 8th, 2005
The Seattle School Board meeting was on the front
lines of the struggle against the war in Iraq
Wednesday night as the Board heard citizen comments
and voted on a district-wide policy on military
recruitment.
As the occupation drags on, peace activists nationwide
are increasingly turning their attention to the high
schools and colleges in which the military recruits.
More than 50 community activists attended the School
Board meeting to support greater restrictions on the
activities of military recruiters in Seattle high
schools.

Several of the speakers were members of organizations
working together as the Opt-Out, Walk-Out Coalition,
which calls for a comprehensive ban on military
recruitment in Seattle schools, and demands that the
school board make it as easy as possible for students
to “opt out” of having their contact information
provided to the military.

The 2001 No Child Left Behind Act makes federal
education funding contingent on schools providing
equal access to military recruiters and also requires
schools to automatically provide contact information
to the military unless parents or students complete
and submit an “opt-out” form. Washington State also
gives the military access to students’ WASL test
scores, family income, race and Social Security number
and state law also requires schools to grant access to
military recruiters.

Several speakers alleged that the military targets
economically disadvantaged youth and minorities, and
that that recruiters exaggerate the educational and
vocational opportunities available through the
military and de-emphasize the hard facts of military
life: soldiers are much more likely to be killed or
injured and to kill others than their civilian
counterparts, and having once enlisted, a soldier
cannot freely quit the service.

“We disagree with military recruitment in schools,”
said Jeff Rice, a student speaking on behalf of a
Philippine student organization, “because it tends to
affect poor people of color.”

Jorges Torres, another student, said “when the
military is allowed to lie to my family and friends in
places of education, we lose. But when they are no
longer allowed on school grounds, we’ll win; and it
will be a real victory for our communities.”

Maj. Forrest Poole, a military recruiter, urged the
Board to maintain a “controlled, open and fair
environment,” where “students and recruiters do not
feel bullied or harassed,” a probable reference to the
incident last year at Seattle Central Community
College in which anti-war students engaged in a
walk-out destroyed recruiting materials and physically
forced the recruiters out of the building.

Poole noted that students are already required to have
parental permission to miss class for recruiting
appointments and argued that students who might be
interested in a military career “won’t have the
opportunity to serve their country in the way they
would like to” under a more stringent recruitment
policy, adding that such a policy might “jeopardize
our ability to provide defense for the United States.”
Opinions were divided as to what attitude the Board
should take toward its obligations under the No Child
Left Behind Act. The proposal before the Board (which
was unanimously adopted) consolidated four existing
policies on visitors to schools and provided model
language on visitors in order to provide a more
uniform policy (and uniform level of access) across
the district.

The policy is implicitly understood as an attempt to
constrain the activity of military recruiters while
appearing even handed and complying with state and
federal law. But whether it actually constrains or
empowers them remains to be seen.

In West Seattle High School, where 10 percent of the
2003-2004 graduating class joined the armed forces, an
internal school district survey, distributed at the
meeting, revealed that each branch of the armed forces
are allowed one visit per month (their actual
recruiting activity “varies”).

At Franklin High School where military recruiters are
reported to visit twice per month, 5 percent of the
2003-2004 graduating class enlisted. At Nathan Hale
and Ingraham high schools, where military recruiters
are allowed to visit monthly and actually visit
“occasionally,” 2 percent of their graduating classes
joined the service.

Whereas, at Roosevelt High School, where recruiters of
all kinds visit only once per year in the fall, none
of the 2003-2004 graduating class joined the armed
forces. And at the Nova Project where all types of
recruiters only once per year for one hour, no one
enlisted in 2003-2004. Frequency of exposure appears
to be a factor among others.

Several citizen speakers challenged the Directors to
take a stronger stance. Citizen Gus Seixas seemed to
express the sense of the Opt-Out, Walk-Out Coalition
when he exhorted the Board, “You have the power.
Stand up to the federal government!” He claimed that
the Chicago and New York City school districts have
banned recruiters and have so far not been subject to
any federal retaliation. Later, Director Bass
actually directed the District’s attorney, Holly
Ferguson, to start tracking those cases, presumably to
assess the level of risk associated with an outright
ban.
Another citizen Chris Jackins argued that “the simple
and direct solution is to ban all recruiters,”
including educational recruiters.

The Board seemed generally supportive of the
community’s demands, within the perceived limits of
their institutional obligations.

Director Flynn called military recruitment of minority
and economically disadvantaged youth “a social justice
issue,” saying that “it is wrong that some people’s
only road to [higher] education is through the
military... And it is wrong for the military to take
advantage of that situation,” but added that it was a
larger problem than the School Board could reasonably
be expected to solve.

Director Soriano had previously asked Ferguson to
research whether the District’s policy against
discrimination based on sexual orientation could
provide a loophole to keep the “don’t ask, don’t tell”
military out the schools. (Several university law
departments have made a similar legal challenge.)
Ferguson said the universities’ case has been upheld
by the 3rd District Court of Appeals, which doesn’t
apply to us here in the 9th District, but that the
case will almost certainly be heard in the Supreme
Court next year. She promised to watch it closely.

Meanwhile, the Opt-Out Walk-Out Coalition members
vowed to continue working for a total ban on military
recruitment.

[Percentages of 2003-2004 graduating class to join the
military can be found in the Seattle Times School
Guide (http://schoolguide.seattletimes.nwsource.com)
For a copy of the chart showing the level of recruiter
access to schools, contact the Seattle School
District.]

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

On the third day of opt out a recruiter said to me.....
"The goal is school ownership that can only lead
to a greater number of Army enlistments."
-School Recruiting Program Handbook, United States Army Recruiting Command


The 12 Days of Opt Out
September 12-24, 2005

Check out this blogsite as it changes each day during Sept. 12-24 to educate and highlight the various ways schools are militarized.

Since the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act, schools have been coerced into allowing military recruiters on campus- under threat of having federal funds withheld. Until Section 9528 of NCLB can be repealed, here is some information on what you can do now to limit military recruiters who prey on students in schools.

Section 9528 demands schools "
shall provide military recruiters the same access to secondary school students as is provided generally to post secondary educational institutions or to prospective employers of those students."

How often do college recruiters visit your campus? How many times did a potential employer visit your school last year- once during the annual job fair?

How often are military recruiters on campus? In the months leading up to the Iraq War, we had recruiters on campus 4-5 days a week. Army on Monday, National Guard on Tuesday, Navy on Wednesday....each came in and set up a table in the cafeteria and talked to students at lunch time. Pushing military service and pencils, pens, mousepads and stickers on students.

Then, one day the students organized and set up an anti-war table next to the recruiter. This created a very tense situation- pro-war kids tore up peace flyers and threatened the students at the peace table. One of the "peace" students got in a very heated exchange with the recruiter. The photo of the two of them- debating over the table, almost nose-to-nose, got published in the local newspaper. School officials rang the bell and ended lunch 10 minutes early- they were afraid a fight or riot was about to break out.

As successful as this action was- I don't suggest this tactic. It's better to have a counter recruiting table- speak to facts on military service. This is different than an anti-war table (although there is a time and place for that, too!) Set up on a different day or place than the recruiters- if someone has been talking to recruiters, they may not feel comfortable picking up our literature in front the the recruiter. Invite an adult to help out- a local member of Veterans for Peace, a supportive teacher, or someone from a community peace movement or counter recruiting organization (their presence could help keep things civil).

Today, recruiters are no longer allowed in the cafeteria at the high school. Instead, they can meet with students in a small office on campus. Recruiter visits are announced over the school loud speaker system. Teen Peace has been meeting with students in the community at coffee shops, the public library and local business establishments owned by folks who support our work. The students in Teen Peace do the counter recruiting work, one-on-one in the high school, in our community at weekly meetings, and now travel across Washington State to speak to students, parents and community members about opting out, counter recruiting, and conscientious objection.

In the past three years, we have organized parents to come to school board meetings to get them to enforce the opt out policies required by the No Child Left Behind act, helped gather 900 signatures on a petition to convince the school board to let parents decide who contacts the students at home, walked out of school to protest the war, and organized student actions at the high school to remind students to opt out.

Last Spring, I met with the school guidance counselor. Recruiters now visit the school a few times a year- it just isn't very effective for them anymore. When recruiters are on campus, few people visit them in the small office- students know they have other options, don't believe recruiters' hype, and enlistment of students has been reduced 75% since we first began educating, organizing and taking action in 2002.

Liz Rivera Goldstein
Teen Peace Project, Port Townsend, WA
www.teenpeace.org

•Gaining equal access to schools
http://www.afsc.org/youthmil/militarism-in-schools/equal-access.htm

•Military Out of Our Schools -
Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors

http://www.objector.org/recruiting.html

• Publications to help you educate, agitate and organize!
Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft (COMD)
http://comdsd.org/publications.htm#do

•Adopt a School Program-Coalition Against Militarism in our Schools (CAMS)
http://www.militaryfreeschools.org/

•Not Your Soldier- Student Activist Training Camps for counter recruiting
http://www.notyoursoldier.org/




Tuesday, September 13, 2005

On the second day of opt out a recruiter said to me.....
this free test will help you decide what job would be good for you

The 12 Days of Opt Out
September 12-24, 2005

Check out this blogsite as it changes each day during Sept. 12-24 to educate and highlight the various ways schools are militarized.

The ASVAB test is given to students in schools across the country. The name sounds like other required educational tests - but there is a big difference. ASVAB stands for the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery- the admissions and placement test used by the military. The ASVAB is required for all persons enlisting in the military- but it is not required for students. So why are schools giving this test to their students?

Students and parents are not always told that ASVAB is a military test, or that military recruiters may recieve the results and use the information to pressure students to enlist. Students and parents are also not always informed that the ASVAB is not a required or mandatory test. Students do not have to take this test- but they may have to push their school officials to be allowed to opt out of this test.

What Students and Educators Should Know about Military Testing in our High Schools http://www.afsc.org/youthmil/militarism-in-schools/ASVAB.htm

"Two Important Items for Families with High School Students" (Opt-out and ASVAB) in English and Spanish
http://www.projectyano.org/yano_resources.html

•10 Ways to Protect Your Child From the ASVAB
http://www.antiwar.com/whitehurst/?articleid=5049

•LEPOCO Peace Center, Bethlehem, PA
http://www.sustainlv.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=cms.viewpage&organization_id=11§ion_id=267&page_id=1875


Twelve Days of Opt Out

1. Opting Out -
Protect student privacy-
get off miltary recruiter telemarketer lists
See 9/12/2005

2. ASVAB tests-
If you aren't signing up, why take this?
A test to decide what assignment the military should give you
disguised as an academic test.

3. Limiting recruiter access on campus-

Until we can get them out of our schools, we can at least limit where and when recruiters prey on students.

4. Pentagon database-student privacy protection
It's illegal for the government to compile a database on citizens- so why is the Pentagon getting away with compiling a student database?

5. Reality of funds for college
Recruiters salespitches promise a lot- but do they deliver?
Includes information on other ways to get money for college
and job training resources.

6. JROTC & ROTC
What are the effects of these programs on schools and college campuses? How to block new programs or end existing
JROTC and ROTC programs.

7. DEP- Delayed Entry Program
If you already signed up for the DEP- you can get out - here's how.

8. No guarantees in the military enlistment agreement
Read the fine print- you could be kept in for longer than you thought- ...Is this legal? Signing bonuses, other promises in military enlistment agreement- Information from the Department of Defense and Veteran's Administration on the realities of enlistment

9. Conscientious Objection- If you don't think you can kill someone or participate in war- you may be a conscientious objector or "CO". Find out how to begin your documentation now in case there is a draft in the future

10.Poverty Draft-Who signs up?
Poor people with no other options! Find out about career alternatives to military enlistment and how military jobs don't always translate to civilian jobs.

11. Veterans Issues-
The military may take care of their own- but they forget about the veterans... veteran hospital closures, medical care reductions, PTSD

12. Joining the Military can be hazardous to .....
Mental and Physical Health Risks from exposure to depleted uranuim weapons, toxic materials, dangerous vaccines

And on the 12th day of Opt Out... I joined with others across the world to demand an end to war

Join UFPJ in Washington, DC or
Get out in the streets of your town on Sept. 24
and make your voice heard-
End the war in Iraq,
Take care of folks in our communities,
Get recruiters out of our schools, and
Bring the troops home NOW!






Monday, September 12, 2005

Day One: Opt-Out

by: josh sonnenfeld

She was expectant any day now. Most would think that she would be relaxing at home, pampered by all her loved ones who were waiting for the latest member of their family. Yet she was hardly relaxing, and she sure as hell wasn’t being pampered. Pam Sexton, a local teacher, and a new mother to-be in a matter of days, was frantically making phone calls, confirming speakers, talking with the press, and doing everything else that needed to be done for the upcoming school board meeting. Pam was organizing the first ever opt-out campaign in Watsonville, CA – a city at the center of Central California’s farming industry that trucks Strawberries, Lettuce, Artichokes, and other fresh produce around the nation. The region is predominately Latino, with a large number of hardworking migrant families. After hearing from concerned parents and community leaders, the region was also the latest to take a stand to protect student and family privacy in the face of aggressive military recruitment.

As the school year begins, Pam’s efforts are already being seen – and in a big way. Her campaign was focused on placing the opt-out notification – the information that tells parents and students that they can ‘opt-out’ of having their information sent out to military recruiters – prominently placed on the required student emergency card. In previous years, this notification, as with most school districts nation-wide, was never put in a place where parents and students would actually see it. Many parents never realize their kids’ information is being given out until a recruiter shows up at their door or calls during dinner-time asking to speak to their children. After calling their school district, they find out that the opt-out notification was tucked inside a 100+ page student handbook that no one ever reads, or was sent home in a huge packet of registration papers, entitled “release of directory information,” maybe never even mentioning the word ‘military.’ The one form that parents have learned to always look for is the student emergency card, which is required to be filled out for the beginning of the school year. By placing the opt-out check-box on the student emergency card, Pam’s efforts have drastically increased the likelihood that parents will see, and use, their ability to opt-out. In fact, a recent article in Watsonville’s local paper has shown huge increases in the local rates of opting out. At one high school, 63% of families have opted out so far, compared with 16% last year, while at another, results are “way up,” and at a third, in a nearby school district that also placed the opt-out on the emergency card due to community concern, an assistant in the front office noted that it’s “almost to the point where [she is] just automatically check[ing] the opt-out box” in the electronic database. At two of these three high schools, former students have died fighting in Iraq.

And Pam isn’t the only one. Hundreds of parents, especially moms, and others nation-wide have been calling up their school districts, filling school board meetings, and setting up tables outside of their schools to ensure that parents and students are aware of their right to opt-out. Many of these parents have found that their school districts not only have poor notification procedures (if they have any at all), but that the districts penalize students and parents for their choice to opt-out. Under many of these ‘blanket opt-out’ policies, parents and students are unable to opt-out of having their information released to military recruiters without the district refusing to give the students’ information to colleges, allow the child’s name to be put on the honor roll, or sometimes to even be in the high school yearbook. Far too many parents have sent in opt-out forms that they downloaded from websites such as LeaveMyChildAlone.org only to find out that their districts have ‘blanket opt-out’ policies and their child would be penalized for their choice. Some of these parents are forced to reverse their opt-out decision, but a good many others choose to call up the district and complain or grab a few others parents and speak out at a school board meeting. Because they chose to take an extra step, these parents have been surprisingly successful – in fact, Leave My Child Alone (the national opt-out campaign founded by Working Assets, Mainstreet Moms, and ACORN) has received dozens of testimonials from parents, especially moms, who, due to a couple phone calls, have gotten their school districts to dump their ‘blanket opt-out’ policies and/or send out opt-out forms for the first time ever.

Many of these moms have never done any sort of political organizing before - they’re just concerned about their kids and want to help other parents in their towns to have the freedom to make important decisions affecting their children’s future. For these parents it doesn’t matter whether they’re in a red state or a blue state, but whether their school districts will meet their responsibility to inform parents and students of their right to privacy. The question isn’t so much about whether parents or students should opt-out of having their information released to military recruiters, but whether or not school districts will properly notify them of their right to make that choice. And as Pam shows us, “given the choice, people will choose not to have their information sent to the military.”


Resources:

The 12 Days of Opt Out
September 12-24, 2005

Check out this blogsite as it changes each day during Sept. 12-24 to educate and highlight the various ways schools are militarized.

On the first day of opt out a recruiter said to me.....

Stop military recruiter calls in your home before they begin!

1. Opting Out - Protect student privacy-
get off miltary recruiter telemarketer lists

Section 9528 of The No Child Left Behind Act is a little known provision that requires schools to give student information to military recruiters -
BUT FIRST-
schools must inform students and parents that this may happen, and give them an "opt out" form that will protect student privacy and keep them from getting on the recruiter call list.

Some schools have an "all or nothing" policy- if you wish to opt out of the military recruiting call list, you will also not be included in scholarship or college recruiting contact lists. Schools have gone so far as to also block student names from being given to the newspaper if they make a winning touchdown in a school football game- or they won't include a student's name on a play handbill. Communities across the country have worked with their school administrations or school boards to stop penalizing students who do not want to be contacted by the military.

http://www.teenpeace.org/
access information on the No Child Left Behind Act:
Read the full text of Section 9528, and learn about one town's struggle to get fair opt out policies implemented

http://www.rcnv.org/rcnv/archives/2003/optin.htm
Resource Center for NonViolence
great archives and background articles, including information on communities that tried "opting in"

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/D?d109:1:./temp/~bdcTtd::
Read about HR 551- a bill to require stronger student privacy protection. Join UFPJ in lobbying to support this bill on Monday, Sept. 26 in Washington,DC or lobby in your state representative's home office.

http://www.youthandthemilitary.org/
Join NNOMY, find other counter recruiting organizations near you, and get the Twelve Days of Opt Out tool kit (pdf file)


Twelve Days of Opt Out

1. Opting Out -
Protect student privacy-
get off miltary recruiter telemarketer lists

2. ASVAB tests-
If you aren't signing up, why take this?
A test to decide what assignment the military should give you
disguised as an academic test.

3. Limiting recruiter access on campus-

Until we can get them out of our schools, we can at least limit where and when recruiters prey on students.

4. Pentagon database-student privacy protection
It's illegal for the government to compile a database on citizens- so why is the Pentagon getting away with compiling a student database?

5. Reality of funds for college
Recruiters salespitches promise a lot- but do they deliver?
Includes information on other ways to get money for college
and job training resources.

6. JROTC & ROTC
What are the effects of these programs on schools and college campuses? How to block new programs or end existing
JROTC and ROTC programs.

7. DEP- Delayed Entry Program
If you already signed up for the DEP- you can get out - here's how.

8. No guarantees in the military enlistment agreement
Read the fine print- you could be kept in for longer than you thought- ...Is this legal? Signing bonuses, other promises in military enlistment agreement- Information from the Department of Defense and Veteran's Administration on the realities of enlistment

9. Conscientious Objection- If you don't think you can kill someone or participate in war- you may be a conscientious objector or "CO". Find out how to begin your documentation now in case there is a draft in the future

10.Poverty Draft-Who signs up?
Poor people with no other options! Find out about career alternatives to military enlistment and how military jobs don't always translate to civilian jobs.

11. Veterans Issues-
The military may take care of their own- but they forget about the veterans... veteran hospital closures, medical care reductions, PTSD

12. Joining the Military can be hazardous to .....
Mental and Physical Health Risks from exposure to depleted uranuim weapons, toxic materials, dangerous vaccines

And on the 12th day of Opt Out... I joined with others across the world to demand an end to war

Join UFPJ in Washington, DC or
Get out in the streets of your town on Sept. 24
and make your voice heard-
End the war in Iraq,
Take care of folks in our communities,
Get recruiters out of our schools, and
Bring the troops home NOW!







Thursday, September 08, 2005

12 Days of Opt Out
September 12-24, 2005

Check out this blogsite as it changes each day during Sept. 12-24 to educate and highlight the various ways schools are militarized.

On the first day of opt out a recruiter said to me.....

1. Opting Out -
Protect student privacy-
get off miltary recruiter telemarketer lists

2. ASVAB tests-
If you aren't signing up, why take this?
A test to decide what assignment the military should give you
disguised as an academic test.

3. Limiting recruiter access on campus-

Until we can get them out of our schools, we can at least limit where and when recruiters prey on students.

4. Pentagon database-student privacy protection
It's illegal for the government to compile a database on citizens- so why is the Pentagon getting away with compiling a student database?

5. Reality of funds for college
Recruiters salespitches promise a lot- but do they deliver?
Includes information on other ways to get money for college
and job training resources.

6. JROTC & ROTC
What are the effects of these programs on schools and college campuses? How to block new programs or end existing
JROTC and ROTC programs.

7. DEP- Delayed Entry Program
If you already signed up for the DEP- you can get out - here's how.

8. No guarantees in the military enlistment agreement
Read the fine print- you could be kept in for longer than you thought- ...Is this legal? Signing bonuses, other promises in military enlistment agreement- Information from the Department of Defense and Veteran's Administration on the realities of enlistment

9. Conscientious Objection- If you don't think you can kill someone or participate in war- you may be a conscientious objector or "CO". Find out how to begin your documentation now in case there is a draft in the future

10.Poverty Draft-Who signs up?
Poor people with no other options! Find out about career alternatives to military enlistment and how military jobs don't always translate to civilian jobs.

11. Veterans Issues-
The military may take care of their own- but they forget about the veterans... veteran hospital closures, medical care reductions, PTSD

12. Joining the Military can be hazardous to .....
Mental and Physical Health Risks from exposure to depleted uranuim weapons, toxic materials, dangerous vaccines

And on the 12th day of Opt Out... I joined with others across the world to demand an end to war

Join UFPJ in Washington, DC or
Get out in the streets of your town on Sept. 24
and make your voice heard-
End the war in Iraq,
Take care of folks in our communities,
Get recruiters out of our schools, and
Bring the troops home NOW!