Many laws require full disclosure of real risks -- before we take out a loan, or transfer a credit-card balance, or swallow a pharmaceutical drug.
But every year, millions of young people get no such protection -- when they’re deciding whether to join the U.S. military.
Army recruiters tell teenagers and adults that "Seven Core Army Values" include Respect. ("Treat people as they should be treated.") And Integrity. ("Do what’s right, legally and morally.")
Along with touting financial benefits, the Army also promises "a variety of valuable experiences to help you prepare for success in any career path you choose."
Let’s insist that potential recruits be told the whole story before they sign on the dotted line and put their lives at risk.
What the slick ads, glossy folders and paperwork leave out are the downsides of military life ... and death.
More forthright disclosure would let potential recruits know that military service often brings moral regret, trauma, post traumatic stress, sexual assault, injuries to the brain and body, ruined personal relationships, a heightened risk of suicide, or death in combat.
Potential recruits would also be informed that a small section of the enlistment contract they sign gives the government the power to change their "status, pay, allowances, benefits, and responsibilities as a member of the Armed Forces regardless of the provisions of this enlistment/reenlistment document." It's not a contract so much as a surrendering of rights.
Take a minute to be one of thousands of RootsAction.org supporters now raising this issue with their senators and representative in Congress.
We all know people who believed the rosy recruitment images and joined the Army, Air Force, Navy or Marines -- only to discover, too late, that grim realities had gone undisclosed in all the sales pitches.
Lives are at stake. And you can help bring this issue to prominence in the nation's capital and around the country. To add your voice to this RootsAction effort, click here.
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-- The RootsAction.org team
P.S. Our small staff is supported by contributions from people like you; your donations are greatly appreciated.
P.P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Coleen Rowley, and many others.
Veterans For Peace