Well, I must say I was overwhelmed by the amount of comments “The Essay Question “received. It got nearly 250 remarks on the US Army facebook page alone. http://www.facebook.com/USarmy/posts/119290871467192
There were loads of passionate discussions about this topic, which turned out to be a whole lot more controversial than I expected, especially considering the venues that posted it. I certainly respect all view points and understand the poignant remarks on both sides of the issue. I mostly kept my distance and observed the conversation. I did read each and every comment though. I appreciate the enormous amount of feedback from supporters and opposing forces alike. I was glad to see so many people cared about our young people and were willing to publicly defend them as they saw fit.
Remember though, we can only build the defense of this great country using volunteers if we take the time to educate our citizens and allow them the freedom of choice. The sad truth is that MANY teenagers, if left to their own devices for too long, will get in legal trouble, sustain injuries, or get a little rusty on testable knowledge they acquired in high school. Any one of those is factors is enough to eliminate a military option from their future – often forever. So, I stand by the idea that options must be provided to them early, before “it’s too late”, whether they ultimately exercise those options or not.
I know some of you will say that this business of keeping kids out of trouble falls to parents. Having spent more than a decade recruiting in metro areas, such as Tampa, Detroit, and Minneapolis, I can tell you, in no uncertain terms, that FAR TOO MANY parents do not take the time to mentor their children. That does not apply to everyone, but what of those other young men and women? Do we ignore them and let them find their own way with no mentorship from anyone? I say no! I have had the great pleasure of talking to many thousands of teenagers. Here’s a clue – THEY KNOW ABOUT THE WAR(S). The country has been at war for as far back as they remember. No recruiter has convinced anyone otherwise.
Recruiters depend on networks to build their reputation. If they lie to students, the students come back from training and tell everyone they know. That doesn’t do much to help them in their schools or communities. Stop thinking kids are being lied to and start realizing this - 50% of the parents of prospective military applicants- has no legitimate idea what their children’s goals are in the first place. Why? Because they never took the time to ask the questions at home. They spent 18 years telling their children what THEY want!
The truth can be painful, but it remains the truth. Just because your child has other viable options for success doesn’t mean the same is true for all. Don’t be a roadblock to the success of others. Without the brave Americans who step up to the challenge, we have no county to left defend.
For those that do right by their children, mentor their children to make good choices, and allow them the freedom to exercise those choices – Thank you! For the rest – shame on you, you don’t get to debate issues like these!
Until next time,