Help broaden the horizons of Prince George’s County youth beyond those presented by military recruiters

Our Peace & Justice Coalition, Prince George's County, invites the community to help make sure all its young people understand that today’s military is probably not their best ticket to a great future.  We have begun this campaign from a concern that military recruiters can too easily sway our youth with half-truths, put forth via manipulative, high-pressure approaches.    

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We know recruiters rank high on their target lists our many local youth from minority groups and low-income families—the ones most prone to an economic draft.  We suspect that students who aren’t top scholars or star athletes seldom hear much about other options for funding college or career training. But it lies in our power to end this form of discrimination!

Why our concern?

All over the country Uncle Sam’s recruiters are a constant presence at schools, malls and public events. Often have they been caught distortingthe truth about military life. They claim it teaches skills that enlisteescan transfer to civilian jobs when in fact most military jobs don’t.  Theyhide the frequency of sexual harassment and of racial discrimination inawarding combat vs. noncombat job assignments. Recruiters tempt youth withpost-discharge educational and health benefits for which rather few nowever actually qualify. Many veterans of the Korean and Vietnamese wars areunaware that the GI benefits they enjoyed do not exist for their children and grandchildren.   

Some have joined the Broader Horizons campaign who simply object thatrecruiters paint an incomplete and deceptive picture about the military. Others also protest that the war in Iraq, which drives such unethicalefforts to boost enlistments, is unjustified-- having been launched without international support before diplomacy failed, and allowed to go onindefinitely at ever mounting costs in lives and dollars. These campaign members fear new Prince George’s County enlistees may face illegal orders
to mistreat Iraqi civilians or prisoners, and that experience in this war may long traumatize those who survive it.  Whatever their mix of motives, all are welcome.

Our county campaign is part of a growing national  counter-recruitment movement.  But let us be clear: that doesn’t mean we aim to prevent any young persons from freely exploring military career options. We do aim to help them become fully informed about all their choices:  to protect their privacy, to correct misinformation they hear from recruiters, and to broaden their horizons.


How we are working: 

This campaign is two-pronged, with a positive as well as a counter- side. Our goals are: 
(1) to spread knowledge to local young people about non-military alternatives to work and school, and
(2) to remove military recruiters' special privileges in access to high school students.  We can
use your help to:

 -Gather and give out literature on alternative careers and scholarships, find school and community events where our viewpoint is welcome, and there present accurate accounts of military risks and a fuller picture of other opportunities.

-Introduce and promote a proposal (Click here for MS-Word Copy) to the county school board that it reform its procedures for giving military recruiters special access to students. We want to see more publicity about students’ and parents’ rights to “opt out” ­ to refuse the release of their personal contact information in the directories which schools must send recruiters, else lose certain federal funding by a provision of the No Child Left Behind Act.  We are asking for a clearer, simpler process for using the opt-out form. Most
important, we call for equal access in the schools- meaning less for recruiters and more for our activists and anyone else presenting alternative career information.
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Want to get involved?

Will you join us?  It will take many hands and voices, from all over Prince George’s County, for this campaign to succeed.

For more details call 301-577-2350  or email justpeacepg@earthlink.net.

To keep in close touch with our campaign, join its listserv. Send a blank email to:

PG_Counter_Recruiting-subscribe@yahoogroups.com or visit

 http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PG_Counter_Recruiting/

Please help spread the word about this Broader Horizons /Counter-Recruiting project among your friends and  neighbors
and any PTA, student or other  groups in your community.

To learn more about the nationwide counter-recruiting movement visit :
www.projectyano.org
LeaveMyChildAlone.org
www.afsc.org/youthmil

Download brochure in MS-Word