Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Recruiting Kids to Hell

It occurred to me, after reading the article, "Waldorf Mother Is Furious at Soldier Daughter's Death", in the Washington Post, what a tragedy this girl's death, and so many others her age who have suffered and will suffer the same fate, really is/was and will be.

Recent studies conclude the brain continues to change into the early 20's with the frontal lobes, or the area responsible for "executive function" developing last. "that govern impulsivity, judgment, planning for the future, foresight of consequences...", which are all necessary characteristics to make major decisions about one's future.

In addition to the profound changes taking place in the brain, adolescents are also going through overwhelming hormonal and emotional changes which make them easy targets for overeager recruiters who have a vested interest in making joining the military sound better than a Club Med vacation.

Parents are less likely to encourage their children toward the military today, forcing recruiters to paint an even rosier picture of war. Unfortunately, the recruiters know the most vulnerable of all, the kids least likely to have involved parents, are the discouraged, disempowered, and disconnected poor kids with little or no hope for the future. These young people, especially the males, are almost guaranteed to swallow the recruiter's propaganda hook, line and sinker. After all, what else sounds more empowering to teenage boys than traveling the world to kick ass?

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