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Thu Nov 7, 2019, 10:59 AM

National Guard presence in high schools?

I just came home from work yesterday to find a National Guard t-shirt in my son’s laundry basket. I asked him where he got it. He said that reps from the MT National Guard came to the school and worked out with them in PE. They had a tug of war competition, my son’s team won and were given t-shirts for their victory. The t-shirts say “ National Guard” on the front and have a colorful stylized logo on the back that says “Warrior Fit”. Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not anti-military but my son is just 14 years old and just trying to find his way in the world. Now he’s got a cool new shirt from the NG that he and his friends will be wearing/advertising for the NG. I asked my son if we could put it in the donation box we always have going and he resisted that. The NG visit to school seems benign on the surface but it seems to me that this is how the military might start to hook kids. Am I overreacting? My husband says I am. This isn’t sitting well with me.

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Arrow 49 replies Author Time Post
Reply National Guard presence in high schools? (Original post)
MontanaMama Nov 2019 OP
MineralMan Nov 2019 #1
femmocrat Nov 2019 #2
exboyfil Nov 2019 #5
femmocrat Nov 2019 #6
safeinOhio Nov 2019 #3
lastlib Nov 2019 #13
lastlib Nov 2019 #14
MontanaMama Nov 2019 #20
exboyfil Nov 2019 #4
SlogginThroughIt Nov 2019 #7
lastlib Nov 2019 #16
MontanaMama Nov 2019 #19
SlogginThroughIt Nov 2019 #37
irisblue Nov 2019 #8
Baked Potato Nov 2019 #9
WhiskeyGrinder Nov 2019 #10
MontanaMama Nov 2019 #15
WhiskeyGrinder Nov 2019 #21
MontanaMama Nov 2019 #23
Wellstone ruled Nov 2019 #36
Cairycat Nov 2019 #11
Silver1 Nov 2019 #43
lapfog_1 Nov 2019 #12
MontanaMama Nov 2019 #17
lapfog_1 Nov 2019 #24
MontanaMama Nov 2019 #25
lapfog_1 Nov 2019 #31
MineralMan Nov 2019 #18
MontanaMama Nov 2019 #22
MineralMan Nov 2019 #34
SlogginThroughIt Nov 2019 #38
MontanaMama Nov 2019 #44
jalan48 Nov 2019 #26
MontanaMama Nov 2019 #29
jalan48 Nov 2019 #30
HAB911 Nov 2019 #27
Alliepoo Nov 2019 #28
ExciteBike66 Nov 2019 #32
walkingman Nov 2019 #33
UpInArms Nov 2019 #35
gratuitous Nov 2019 #41
grumpyduck Nov 2019 #39
TidalWave46 Nov 2019 #40
MontanaMama Nov 2019 #48
xmas74 Nov 2019 #42
Silver1 Nov 2019 #45
demigoddess Nov 2019 #46
JustABozoOnThisBus Nov 2019 #47
MontanaMama Nov 2019 #49

Response to MontanaMama (Original post)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 11:08 AM

1. I have no problem with it. Service in the military is an honorable

thing to do, and the National Guard is a pretty good way to do that for many. A T-shirt isn't really much of an incentive, but knowing about the National Guard doesn't hurt anyone.

Your son is 14. It's just a T-shirt. Really.

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Response to MontanaMama (Original post)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 11:09 AM

2. You're not over-reacting!

The National Guard does a lot of really great work, I have nothing against them. But it seems like they are “recruiting,” especially as those kids are too young to realize it.

When my boys were in high school, they were supposed to take the ASVAB test to determine “aptitude.” I refused to let them take it, but they were still contacted by recruiters. For those who are interested or curious, that’s fine. I just knew that my sons were not going to be in the military and I didn’t want them to be considered.

It’s good to be aware! I also kept my younger son out of an Eddie Eagle (NRA) assembly that supposedly promoted “gun safety.” Sometimes it’s necessary to be suspicious. The schools don’t always look at these “intrusions" the same way that we do.

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Response to femmocrat (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 11:15 AM

5. The NRA is different

It is not a government sanctioned body. In fact because it has made itself clearly a partisan organization, then it is highly inappropriate to be sanctioned in the public school system.

The NG is a fundamental part of our civil defense. Yes it can be abused, but it ultimately accountable to the citizens.

My Jr. ROTC Marine Corps teacher was my second best teacher in high school.

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 11:17 AM

6. Of course.

My point was to be aware of what is going on in the schools.

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Response to MontanaMama (Original post)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 11:11 AM

3. Need some tie dyed Peace sign Tees to pass out.

Counter it.

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Response to safeinOhio (Reply #3)


Response to safeinOhio (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 11:26 AM

14. Or "Remember Kent State"

National Guard handiwork there.....

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Response to lastlib (Reply #14)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 11:36 AM

20. Yes.

I’m old enough to remember that. First thing that I thought of.

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Response to MontanaMama (Original post)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 11:11 AM

4. We had Jr. ROTC in my high school

It was once of best experiences when I was in high school.

It isn't the existence of the military. It is how it is used. I really don't see a problem with it.

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Response to MontanaMama (Original post)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 11:20 AM

7. I have a huge problem with this.

I served in the Navy. The military should not be targeting 14 year olds with propaganda and passing out gifts to students. And most certainly shouldn't be participating with Phy Ed with them.

If you want to target 14 year olds for military service -and let's be clear that is EXACTLY the reason for this- then extend the vote to 14 year olds. At 14 years old that person doesn't have the capacity to understand that they are being targeted to fulfill a role in which your job is to kill if necessary. Even if not directly you are part of a group whose main job is to kill to defend. I am sorry but that is not appropriate for that age level. At all. Even at 16 I wasn't able to make that decision.

If we are going to target these kids to plant a seed in their minds about joining the military then they absolutely should have the ability to vote to determine what leaders will put them in a situation where they will be needed for those roles a mere 4 years later. Or what leaders will make economic policy decisions that would keep them from going to college or other decisions.

I am tired of watching the military walk the age back further and further as to when they feel it is appropriate to target them for recruitment. It is bad enough they are all over sports and other areas that gain exposure to kids.

Enough of it!

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Response to SlogginThroughIt (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 11:29 AM

16. They are all over the Boy Scouts.

I've even seen recruiters sign up as troop leaders so they could influence the boys.

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Response to SlogginThroughIt (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 11:35 AM

19. I appreciate your perspective.

especially as a veteran. I have been vocal about not wanting my son to join the military for many years. This visit by the national guard bothered me on many levels. Primarily, because my son doesn’t seem to have any particular career interest at this point. I wouldn’t expect him to. I didn’t at that age either. But there are so many influences from teachers, administrators, friends and others about the importance of having goals and a plan and my fear is that he might be more vulnerable to the military pressures because they make it sound exciting and wonderful to kids who don’t yet have a direction.

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Response to MontanaMama (Reply #19)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 01:04 PM

37. Right.

On the one hand I feel a bit hypocritical in that I completely agree with the concept of nurturing the idea of going to college at a young age, however I am completely against nurturing the idea of going into the military. I reconcile that with the idea that going into the military essentially means that you have to be willing to kill. And at 14 I just don't know if they have the ability to rationally think about that. If they do they must be given the ability to weigh in on what their future holds as far as what our nations leaders decide.

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Response to MontanaMama (Original post)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 11:20 AM

8. Military Recruiters get kids out of class for a couple of hours

My sister & I took the aptitude test in distant past, the Navy called looking to talk to Sister, Mom had to tell them she is deaf. Been around for decades

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Response to MontanaMama (Original post)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 11:21 AM

9. Don't worry, the National Guard does Humanitarian Relief as well as help home states

Just because they have a POS in charge now doesn’t change their honor.

https://www.army.mil/humanitarian/

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Response to MontanaMama (Original post)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 11:21 AM

10. Thank Bush and No Child Left Behind, which mandated that schools give military recruiters the same

access to students that employers and colleges get.

They took over class time? Ugh. Did he get an opt-out form? You're not overreacting. It's important to know who's talking to your kids.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #10)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 11:28 AM

15. No opt out form was offered were sent home with my kiddo.

That was actually the first question I asked him. Yes, the national guard members ran this particular PE class. I am hearing others on this thread say that it was “just a T-shirt“. When the University of Montana baseball team came to school to do drills in PE class with the kids, they didn’t bring T-shirts. It feels like more than a T-shirt to me.

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Response to MontanaMama (Reply #15)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 11:36 AM

21. A t-shirt is free advertsing; wearing it gives the military free advertising.

If there wasn't an opt-out form, I'd call the school and ask them about their policies when it comes to college, employer and recruiter visits, and how the opt-out process works.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #21)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 11:42 AM

23. Yes I plan to do that today.

I know that I signed a form somewhere along the way opting out of my child participating with members of the military during school. But, I can’t put my hands on it at the moment so need to do a little more digging.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #10)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 01:03 PM

36. You hit on the real source of

the beginning of these Recruiting Sorties.

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Response to MontanaMama (Original post)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 11:23 AM

11. This is common in high school

It's PE, so they have to do the activity, but they don't need to accept the shirt or give their contact information. Your son sounds like he is attracted to it, so maybe sitting down and having a talk about it would be good. I totally agree, 14 is too young for this, and you might want to let the school administration know your feelings.

You can prevent the onslaught of mail and other recruiting materials by opting out. Otherwise the default, written into No Child Left Behind, is that they can be recruited. Here is a link with info: https://nnomy.org/en/resources/counter-recruitment/opt-out-student-lists.html

My husband and I are religious pacifists, hence my familiarity with this issue. To our chagrin, our youngest, after searching for work in his degree area unsuccessfully, and with the pay not nearly in accordance with the time and effort to get his degree, decided to join the Army. He's halfway through basic training now. His father and I are still very much pacifists, but respect what soldiers go through. It seems like the National Guard are more likely to end up in combat than active duty, but I could be wrong.

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Response to Cairycat (Reply #11)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 03:08 PM

43. Similar story ...

We have friends who are pacifists who's son did exactly the same thing. They were really surprised by his decision as you can imagine. He served two tours in Iraq, and came home safe. He then ran for office as a Dem in a Repug district and won!

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Response to MontanaMama (Original post)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 11:25 AM

12. standard recruiting

my brother was in ROTC... all the way through college... joined the military... and I'll never ever forget the car coming up the driveway with the two officers in their dress uniforms ( I was the only one home at the time )

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Response to lapfog_1 (Reply #12)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 11:30 AM

17. I thought of this terrifies me.

There’s no way I would let uniformed officers talk to my child in my home.

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Response to MontanaMama (Reply #17)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 11:44 AM

24. we were a military family

my father served on a destroyer in WWII and then later as a pilot. I was already accepted at Annapolis. Needlesss to say, my mother put an end to my joining the Navy... otherwise I would likely be a retired submarine captain right now.

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Response to lapfog_1 (Reply #24)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 11:47 AM

25. Your mom put an end to you joining the Navy?

Did you want to join? I’m curious about how that all went down if you don’t mind sharing.

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Response to MontanaMama (Reply #25)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 12:01 PM

31. It was my dream to be a submariner

Grew up on Jules Verne and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea...

Ironically Senator Bob Dole chose me to be one of his two academy picks for that year, although because my father was retired Navy and my brother was serving as a Lt JG, I might have been chosen anyway.

But then that happened and a few weeks after the funeral my mother screamed at my father that "the g-damn Navy was only going to get one of her two sons" and that was that. The Academy was never brought up again.

That's OK... I got to spend 1 year in the Caribbean teaching Scuba Diving and right after that I joined my other dream... NASA (but not as an astronaut, but as a scientist).

So I got to visit the ocean anyway... and my father was very proud that I "served" as a civilian with NASA... and at a Navy base to boot.

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Response to MontanaMama (Original post)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 11:30 AM

18. Here's the thing: This country has a military. Every country does.

Serving in the military is not a dishonorable thing. In fact, the military needs people to join it who have strong values and who will stand up for those values. Most members of the military aren't fighters. Most do other things.

The National Guard, for the most part, is a state organization. While it can be called up for duty by the federal government, mostly it is a training organization that keeps a trained military force available if it is ever needed. In the meantime, Governors call out the National Guard for floods, weather emergencies, fires, and other threats.

Unless people of goodwill and high moral fiber become part of our military, the military will become made up only of people looking for a fight. That is not a good thing. Truly it is not.

So, the National Guard showing up at our high schools and recruiting isn't necessarily a bad thing. A 14 year old freshman is just a few short years away from being eligible to serve in the Guard. For that service, there is pay, credit toward college education, and an opportunity to gain valuable skills. For some young people, it also represents a stage of life when important lessons are learned.

I was never in the National Guard. Instead, when I found myself floundering as an Electronics Engineering major in college, I dropped out, since there was no support from my parents for changing majors. Not long after that, I got my draft notice, so I enlisted in the USAF immediately. Four years later, I completed my enlistment, having learned a lot more about what my next steps should be. I went back to college, on the GI Bill, got my degree, this time in English, and began a career that suited me very well.

If your son or daughter encounters the National Guard at one of those recruiting visits, it doesn't mean he or she will join. It merely introduces another alternative to think about. For many, it represents a good, viable alternative.

We need honorable, thoughtful people in our military, whether it is the National Guard or one of the regular branches. We need people like Lt. Colonel Vindman, who has the character to stand up and tell the truth, regardless of who the President is. We need people like that in our military. Who knows? Maybe your son will be such a person.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #18)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 11:40 AM

22. I appreciate your thoughts.

However, I see a big difference between college recruiters and members of the military coming to talk to our kids in school.

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Response to MontanaMama (Reply #22)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 12:21 PM

34. Yes, I understand that you see a difference.

And there is one. However, not all teens in high school are going to go to college. Not all should go to college. For those who do not, the military, even the National Guard, is a viable alternative to other non-college choices. I understand that you do not want your son to join the military. However, in a few years, that will be his decision to make, not yours.

I understand that you think the military is a bad choice, and I'm sure it probably would be for you. However, making that choice available and presenting it as an option to high school students is not a bad thing, in general. College recruiters will show up to sell their particular institution to students. Schools also have job fairs to let students see other employment options. The military is just another option that is available. It's the right one for some students, and the wrong one for others.

In the end, when you are 14 years old, you do not know what decisions you will make in the next four years. I certainly did not at that age. My parents pushed me to become an engineer. I was perfectly capable of doing that, and was accepted at Cal Tech and other schools. After a year, though, of studying engineering, it became clear to me that it was the wrong choice for me. My parents wouldn't hear of a change, though, so I bypassed them and opted to spend four years in the military so I could gain some additional experience and maturity before making my decision. My parents were wrong in their choice for me. In fact, they declared that they wouldn't support me in college if I changed majors. So, I ended up using the GI Bill to pay for my own education. Their demands were not something I could accept.

When your child is 14 or 15, or even 16, you might think you know what is best for that child to do as an adult. You might think you know what would be a bad choice, too. It's a crap-shoot, though. As an adult, even a young adult, your child may well decide that what you think is not the best thing. Once your child becomes an adult, your opinion of what he or she should do with his or her life becomes irrelevant, really.

That's why presenting many possibilities to adolescents is so important. They will end up making their own decisions, which might well not be the ones you would make for them. In the end, if you have raised your child to think and reason, the child, as an adult, will make the decisions that are best for him or her, not you.

Military service is an honorable thing for someone to do, either for a short time, or even as a career. It is also a good temporary option when such a major life decision is difficult to reach. Not everyone knows what will be the best fit at 18 years of age. I certainly didn't. It took me a few more years to figure that out. I'd have been a good electronics engineer, but it wasn't the right choice for me. It seemed right to my parents, though, and I went along with them until I discovered that it wasn't right for me.

Teenagers need to see as many options as possible, so they can better weigh them when deciding what they will do with their lives. That's why the National Guard or other military recruiters, are not bad things during those years. They are simply presenting additional options that are available. For some, what they offer is the best option. For others, what they offer will be tossed aside.

In the end, it will be your child, as a young adult, who will decide for him or herself. I assure you that what you think is not going to be the basis for that choice if your child is independent and has learned to think for him or herself.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #34)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 01:11 PM

38. The kid is 14.

The kid is 14. Say what you will about Nat guard, they are getting called more often than what used to be. I have had cousins that have had to go overseas to less than "safe" areas.

The kid is 14. When you boil it down the job of any military position in the end whether state or federal is to kill.

In my mind there is no rationalizing subjecting 14 year olds to this propaganda. We already have a massive defense. If we need more national guard members start cutting the ranks of The big 4. It is absurd to think that we should be recruiting kids who have barely entered puberty for this.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #34)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 03:13 PM

44. This simplest and most profound difference

between military representatives and college recruiters talking to our kids in school is the fact that the military reps gloss over the fact that the children to whom they speak WILL be in harms way at some point...quite possibly at the behest of a madman. That most certainly is not the case in college. My 14 year old might have more of an inkling about this because I've talked with him about it over the years which many kiddos do not have. Parents deserve, at the very least, a heads up when recruiters plan to speak to our children.

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Response to MontanaMama (Original post)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 11:50 AM

26. Our high school civics/social studies teacher used handouts from the Department of Defense

to educate us about the Vietnam War back in the day.

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Response to jalan48 (Reply #26)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 11:53 AM

29. Holy crap.

I will be pitching a fit if that had occurred in my kid’s class. Yikes.

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Response to MontanaMama (Reply #29)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 11:55 AM

30. I agree about military presence in schools. Given our perpetual state of war I think we should give

the kids a break from the military.

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Response to MontanaMama (Original post)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 11:52 AM

27. As an Army Sergeant

in 1972, six of us drove from Ft. Benning GA to a small high school in Florida to "recruit". I don't think your situation is anything to worry about.

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Response to MontanaMama (Original post)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 11:53 AM

28. Bookmarking this to show my daughter

And for what it’s worth, I don’t think you’re overreacting one little bit, M Mama!

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Response to MontanaMama (Original post)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 12:02 PM

32. My wife recalls all the time about how all the different services set up shop in her high school...

whereas there was zero military presence at my different high school.

She claims it was because she was raised in a more blue-collar town, whereas my town was totally white-collar.

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Response to MontanaMama (Original post)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 12:18 PM

33. When I was in HS (64-68) we didn't have recruiters coming to the school, however

we were all sweating the draft. So I think the option of "choosing" is by far much better. I'm personally against these endless wars but I do think the military is an honorable career. My Dad was a Colonel in the NG so I might be prejudiced. I always say if someone want to support the troops then stop electing politicians who start these meaningless wars.

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Response to UpInArms (Reply #35)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 01:21 PM

41. School districts are in variable compliance with the "opt out" notices

Some school districts are very conscientious about providing notice to parents when military recruiters are going to be on campus, others not so much. If Montana Mom's son's school didn't provide her with notice, ask them why, and remind them of their duty to provide those notices.

To the matter at hand: Now is a good time to find out what the boy thinks about the military, where he formed his opinions, and what his sources of information about the military are. One resource for information about conscientious objectors that Montana Mom might review is at: http://www.brethren.org/CO/

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Response to MontanaMama (Original post)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 01:11 PM

39. I have two thoughts about this.

First, I served in the Guard for six years and it helped pay my expenses all through college and part of grad school. It also trained me in two areas related to civil engineering that would have helped me get a job in that field if I'd chosen to go in that direction. I chose not to re-enlist, but, if I had it all to do over again, I would have stayed in. I also made friends and had a lot of fun.

Second, as mentioned above, showing kids at that age some options can't hurt. If nothing else, it might show some kids that they're not interested in that specific field. We had cops and seminarians come talk to us, and right there I realized I wasn't interested in either one. If the school allows reps from other career fields to come talk to the students, then I think they should allow the military too. The military is just as valid a career field as any other.

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Response to MontanaMama (Original post)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 01:13 PM

40. The military is heavily integrated into the public school system.

 

Nothing new.

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Response to TidalWave46 (Reply #40)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 06:38 PM

48. It's new for me since I have only one kiddo.

We should have been presented with the option to opt out so I could have talked about it with my son before the experience.

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Response to MontanaMama (Original post)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 02:49 PM

42. Is this new everywhere?

We always had military on grounds back in the 80s and 90s. You could get out of class and homework if you had a note from the recruiter of the branch of the day. All juniors were required to take the ASVAB during school hours and each had to attend a session after the scores came back with each branch. If you had a score of interest you might find your appointment time was a one-on-one instead of a group visit.

The National Guard would give away tokens for free popcorn,drinks,etc at football games. They sponsored all the inflatables at my daughter's Project Grad two years back.

I just thought it was like that everywhere.

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Response to MontanaMama (Original post)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 03:14 PM

45. I agre with you

They should not be approaching young, impressionable teens through the schools! And choosing to engage them in a "fun" activity is very manipulative and meant to leave a positive first impression about something which quite serious. It's no accident they didn't merely set up a table with flyers.

I think your son is attached to the t-shirt because of positive associations about that day. He did have a lot of fun! But you can have a talk with him and make sure he really gets the other side of the story. After all, the conversation was started with him by outsiders, so it seems it needs to be finished.

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Response to MontanaMama (Original post)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 03:37 PM

46. when my daughter turned 18 she got all kinds of letters and 1 call

from military recruiters. Only one problem, she is SEVERELY RETARDED. One army recruiter called and wanted to talk to her, I said she could not speak (non verbal) and he got mad at me for not putting her on the phone. She got letters from the Navy wanting to put her on a submarine. In those days, women were not allowed on a submarine. Apparently they did not even look at the first name. Same happened to another mother with a handicapped son. She told me she wanted to take him to a recruiters station, along with a pack of his diapers and say "Here, you want him so much, how is this?" He also was nonverbal.

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Response to MontanaMama (Original post)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 04:06 PM

47. You're not overreacting, if this is his only t-shirt.

But if he has a zillion t-shirts with all sorts of logos and slogans, and never passes an opportunity for a free t-shirt, then yeah, you might be overreacting.

BTW, I think if he donates blood (if he's old enough) later this month, he can get a free long-sleeved Red Cross t-shirt. Not that I'm advocating poking holes in the kid, but ...

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Response to JustABozoOnThisBus (Reply #47)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 06:40 PM

49. Thanks. Donating blood is a great idea!

I just don't want him donating blood on the battlefield. Honestly, I'm going to put the shirt away for a while and see if he misses it. He's got a bazillion other shirts.

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