Future Killer

Thanks to the No Child Left Behind Act, passed by some of the very Republicans who are now calling for its repeal, “each local educational agency receiving assistance under this Act shall provide, on a request made by military recruiters or an institution of higher education, access to secondary school students names, addresses, and telephone listings.” But students at some high schools don’t need to be conned by military recruiters into enlisting in the military – their parents will do it for them. In Fairfax County, Virginia, some parents say that spring graduation ceremonies should recognize students who have chosen to enlist in the military instead of go to college. They are pressing the county school board “to acknowledge that volunteering for the armed forces is a commitment worthy of a public display of respect, with red, white, and blue u2018honor cords’ that graduates would wear around their necks as they receive diplomas.” Honor cords are generally reserved for members of academic honor societies. If schools are going to give out honor cords to students for non-academic reasons, then they ought to be giving them out to recognize those students who have decided to pursue taxi driving, plumbing, and other practical occupations instead of joining the military. Some parents, however, don’t wait until high school to influence their children to join the military. One of the benefits I enjoy as a writer for is the information I receive from perceptive readers, and especially veterans. Some of these veterans are so radically anti-war and anti-military that they make me look like a lightweight. A veteran and friend in Pennsylvania who is always on the lookout for military propaganda was browsing in the gift section of a Cracker Barrel restaurant and came across a T-shirt that he thought I would be interested in. He has since gone back and purchased it and mailed it to me. Here is a picture of it: There is a sticker on the shirt that says “official licensed product of the U.S. Army.” If the shirt looks small it’s because it is designed for a toddler. But you don’t need to go to Cracker Barrel to get one. You can purchase the shirt online at in size 3T or 4T. “How cute will they look in their Army Future Soldier T-Shirt,” says the ad copy. But if the Army told the truth (the Army didn’t tell the truth to the family of Pat Tillman), it would change the wording on the T-shirt from Future Soldier to Future Killer.

It’s not just that toddlers who wear these shirts might end up accused of murdering Afghan civilians like Army sergeant Robert Bales, it’s that they have a good chance of being sent to kill in some foreign war in the first place. None of the killings in Iraq and Afghanistan were justified since U.S. troops had no business traveling thousands of miles away to invade, bomb, and occupy countries that were not a threat to the United States. These wars were criminal from the very beginning. As others and I have said again and again, U.S. troops aren’t defending our freedoms, guaranteeing our First Amendment rights, keeping us safe from our enemies, protecting us from terrorists, avenging 9/11, safeguarding the American way of life, fighting “over there” so we don’t have to fight “over here,” defending this great nation, or any of the other phony-baloney slogans used as excuses for fighting unjust and immoral wars. But as bad as it is to be a Future Killer is, it’s not just a Future Killer that these kids might become. There is a good change that they might also become a:

  • Future suicide
  • Future victim of sexual assault
  • Future substance abuser
  • Future basket case
  • Future traumatic brain injury case
  • Future disabled veteran
  • Future paraplegic
  • Future quadriplegic
  • Future death in vain
  • Future cannon fodder

Parents, do your children a favor: encourage them to be all they can be without being in the Army.