Friday, June 03, 2005

NYT: Parents v. recuriters (Damien Cave), recognizing soldiers who've committed suicide (Scott Shane)

Rachel Rogers, a single mother of four in upstate New York, did not worry about the presence of National Guard recruiters at her son's high school until she learned that they taught students how to throw hand grenades, using baseballs as stand-ins. For the last month she has been insisting that administrators limit recruiters' access to children.
Orlando Terrazas, a former truck driver in Southern California, said he was struck when his son told him that recruiters were promising students jobs as musicians. Mr. Terrazas has been trying since September to hang posters at his son's public school to counter the military's message.
Meanwhile, Amy Hagopian, co-chairwoman of the Parent-Teacher-Student Association at Garfield High School in Seattle, has been fighting against a four-year-old federal law that requires public schools to give military recruiters the same access to students as college recruiters get, or lose federal funding. She also recently took a few hours off work to stand beside recruiters at Garfield High and display pictures of injured American soldiers from Iraq.
"We want to show the military that they are not welcome by the P.T.S.A. in this building," she said. "We hope other P.T.S.A.'s will follow."
Two years into the war in Iraq, as the Army and Marines struggle to refill their ranks, parents have become boulders of opposition that recruiters cannot move.

The above is from Damien Cave's "Growing Problem for Military Recruiters: Parents" in this morning's New York Times.

Krista e-mails to note Scott Shane's "Wreath for Those Killed, Even at Their Own Hands:"

Then Liz Sweet got her turn.
Accompanied by a military honor guard, she helped lay a wreath honoring soldiers killed in Iraq, including her 23-year-old son, T. J. His photograph hung below the wreath on a ribbon Mrs. Sweet had fashioned in red, white and blue, a rare public tribute to a soldier who took his own life.
Although military officials were not asked for approval, Mrs. Sweet and a veterans' advocate wanted to recognize the sacrifice of soldiers who committed suicide.
For their families, the loss can be especially excruciating. "Not only did your child go off to a combat zone," Mrs. Sweet said. "Not only did your child lose his life. But something happened that you will never, ever understand."

Those are two important stories so we'll close this entry there.

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