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imperialism & war

Talking someone out of joining the army

A teen on my street is dead set on joining the army. He's such a nice kid, he's been through a lot, and I really want better for him.
He helps me out with chores for extra money and I've already tried everything I could think of to try to keep him from joining up.. I've offered him this site but he says its too much reading. Any short, simple websites I can forward him to help him understand what army life is really like? He seems to want to help his country, its kinda sad.

IVAW, Veterans for Peace, Quakers 18.Dec.2007 06:10

Shus li

Check out websites of Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace (Local Chapter is 72), and Quakers, among others.

Here on indymedia Jim Lockhart contributed a recording of a candid speech by a very young Iraq war (this installation) veteran named Darrell Anderson. His reasons for joining, and what he discovered, and what he did about it, are very compelling anti-recruiting information. Plus, your young friend would only have to listen, not read:) It's found at  http://www.philosopherseed.org/mp3/dandersn.mp3

Here's hoping it helps.........

The Ground Truth video 18.Dec.2007 06:39

Granny M

This documentary with Iraqi vets is stunning. I thought I 'knew' what it would show, but the stories, faces, ruined lives presented by the vets themselves will haunt me always. Folks at Code Pink or American Friends Service committee may have a copy.

contact info:
 web@codepinkportland.org  kcammmpbell@afsc.org

Offer alternatives - 18.Dec.2007 06:50


If he wants to help our country, tell him about AmeriCorps. Or co-ops. Or daycare centers. Or nursing homes. Or recycling businesses. Or building hiking trails. All kinds of ways to help.

Take him on a tour of the VA. Let him see what it's really all about.

Find some YouTube films for him to watch.

Find some young widows and orphans for him to talk to - I'm not being mean here - but who else woud speak with a strong enough voice?

Lost kids are searching for so much - family, community, work, a place to put their hopes and dreams. The military knows this and manipulates these kids skillfully. And don't underestimate the hormones and male-warrior archetype.

I asked one kid why he joined. The kid said, 'Well, I don't know. They had all those shiny buttons and medals and they told me all this great stuff.' This kid lost ten years to beer after his service.

My nephew's best friend joined last year. After 2 months of training, the kid was on a hike and told his officer he was going to shoot himself in the head unless they let him go. A smart, educated kid who got sucked in and found a desparate way to get out.

Talk to the kid. Find out what he wants. Give it to him. Anything is better than a uniform.

The Best Solution 18.Dec.2007 09:34


He will listen if his own friends tell him. Student grapevines work incredibly well. I regularly enlist students that are antiwar to reach the JROTC kids. My best argument is a simple explanation of Depleted Uranium with pictures that I draw on the board, of the radioactive dust, and proof that without radiological baseline testing, Veterans' benefits will not apply to deformed kids, and cancers later in life. I don't tell them not to join up, just get tested. They draw the conclusions from there. It works. Peace Out.

tell him... 20.Dec.2007 01:13


Tell him that once you join Uncle Sam's army, you are a de facto slave WITHOUT RIGHTS. Tell him about the kids who get injured in bootcamp before even starting their tour of duty and end up in permanent limbo, a hellhole of bootcamp that never ends, getting treated like malingerers by sadistic drill sergeants through no fault of their own. Being ordered to march or stand at attention on injured legs. Pure, deliberate torture that permanently prevents their successful healing, leading to permanent impairment and sometimes even death. Google these stories and you will find them. Some of these kids have no advocates in the world to help them out. A few of them have gotten their stories out only due to the dogged determination of worried and desperate mothers and fathers.

Share with him the stories of Walter Reed's ghetto of rat infested warrens that they call "hospital facilities," stories that have now gotten the attention of the national media. Share with him stories of injured soldiers getting browbeaten into resuming tours of duty that they are manifestly not medically able to sustain.

The litany goes on and on. With a little effort to dig this stuff up you'll soon have enough to terrify the most hardened SOF fan. And all true.