LRC contributor Gary D. Barnett shares his family’s experience, which underscores the moral responsibility of fathers to warn their children — even, or perhaps especially, their daughters — about the wiles of the Warfare State and the cynical flesh-peddlers called “recruiters.” His daughter’s story turned out far better than many others:
I thought I would tell you about my daughter, who against my advice, joined the Air Force Reserves after 9/11. She was told that she would only have to do one weekend a month, and her two weeks once a year. She was also told (promised) that she would not be deployed at any time to an active duty assignment and would never be sent overseas. She was at that time the mother of two young children and no husband.
I told her that the military and the government were completely untrustworthy and liars. I told her they would take her away from her children without thought. She did not believe me, even though I had been drafted during Vietnam and refused to go overseas to kill innocents. Not long after she enlisted, she was sent to 4 consecutive overseas assignments. The first was to England to guard the airbase where U.S. And British bombers were flying out of in order to destroy Iraq. That of course was in 2003. She was next deployed to Turkey, and then directly to Masirah Island just south of Oman and not far off the coast of Yemen. She was literally put in a foxhole on the perimeter and not allowed to have any ammunition for her weapon. Her last assignment was Baghdad, a major warzone at the time. That was of course very dangerous, but she survived.
Not only was she sent overseas away from her young children, but she was put into an active war zone as well. The life of her children or her was never considered of course. Only monsters could send young women with children to die for their political desires.
I was able finally to persuade her to leave the military, and now she has become a business owner. She was fortunate not to have been harmed given the circumstances, but hopefully she learned a valuable lesson, and can pass that on to others.
Parents cannot force children to make sound decisions, but we are morally obliged to tell them the truth. For nearly a decade the Pentagon has identified parental resistance as one of its chief obstacles to recruitment, which is why the Pentagon has dramatically expanded its efforts to insinuate recruitment propaganda into mass entertainment (particularly professional sports) and to depict enlistment as an educational and economic opportunity.
Where enticement and peer pressure are unavailing, recruiters are quite capable of resorting to threats and extortion:
Fathers, tell your daughters to avoid military recruiters just as they would any other predatory males. They’re only interested in using their bodies for a short time, then discarding them.1:22 pm on September 3, 2014 Email William Norman Grigg