Thursday, February 12, 2009

Avoiding Military Service

Young Americans declare themselves conscientious objectors after enlisting because they either have a religious conversion or find that they had unrealistic expectations of military service.

That observation was expressed by Chuck Fager, director of Quaker House, on News Talk Online on Paltalk.com today.

Fager says many who enlist have what he calls "a certain sense of unreality" until after their first dose of military training, after which, "a certain number of them come to an awareness."

Add to the mix, he says, misinformation that is provided recruits. He cites documented examples of recruiters telling potential enlistees that the war in Iraq was winding down, that the military was no longer sending people there but were, instead, returning troops home.

Clearly recruiters should not be misleading candidates for enlistment. But a young man or woman of the age of majority are old enough to know that joining the armed forces means they'll be expected to be prepared to use weapons against fellow human beings in a combat situation. Either they are OK with that or they are not. And if they are not, they shouldn't sign up, go through basic training, and then suddenly declare themselves conscientious objectors.




2 comments:

Chuck Fager said...

Hey, Gary-- Thanks for the chance to talk with you and your listeners. Let me just add that Quaker House is a founder of the GI Rights Hotline, which offers free, private phone counseling to GIs and family members on discharge-related issues -- not just Conscientious Objection, but AWOL, medical, psychological and hardship discharges, "Don't Ask-Don't Tell" etc. Our Hotline has two numbers: toll-free at 877-447-4487, and 919-663-7122. In 2007 the Quaker House Hotline received over 9000 calls. More information at: www.quakerhouse.org . Thanks again! Chuck Fager

THE LonesomeDove said...

Add to the mix, he says, misinformation that is provided recruits. He cites documented examples of recruiters telling potential enlistees that the war in Iraq was winding down, that the military was no longer sending people there but were, instead, returning troops home.

Sorry, but that dog won't hunt for a couple of reasons.

1. There is a school of thought (generally to the left) that believes the majority of our military are uneducated, under achieving, ne'er-do-wells who simply aren't college material and can't make it in private industry. They're wrong and so is Chuck Fager if he believes these recruits are that dumb - or gullible and continues to perpetuate this wrong thinking.

2. Trying to blame the recruiters for one's own regrettable decisions is not only unfair, but failure to take personal responsibility for one's own actions. Are we to believe that recruiters are the ONLY source of news and information available to enlistees? Recruits make decisions based solely on what comes out of the recruiter's mouth? Truly? Are they also denied access to the opinions and advice of family (espcially their parents) and friends or access to newspapers, televisions, radios and the internet?

I applaud any organization that benefits the military; however, GIs that are AWOL are, in my opinion, not in the same category with those who need hardship or medical discharges. Further, they know full well what their rights are under the Uniform Code of Military Justice - afterall, they swore an oath to obey the orders of the officers appointed over them in accordance to the regulations of that code, did they not?