Veterans Push Back Against Military Recruitment in Schools
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Yes! Magazine
Posted: July 23rd, 2023
The U.S. military is facing its worst recruitment crisis since the end of the Vietnam War. We Are Not Your Soldiers is a project of New York City-based nonprofit World Can’t Wait. The organization sends military veterans into schools to share honest stories of the harm they have caused and suffered. In doing so, they hope to prevent young people from signing up.Susan Cushman is a professor at Nassau Community College ... where military recruiters have a heavy presence. She hosts veterans from We Are Not Your Soldiers to help her students “think about alternative ways to achieve an education and get a pension and get a job and travel, without feeling the only option is to join the military.” In order to counter both the narrative and incentives that military recruiters offer young people, veterans try to share the truth about traumatic personal experiences as well as practical information. In addition to the military’s preparedness for counter-recruitment, there’s also the issue of simple math. The Pentagon has a multibillion-dollar budget for recruiting alone. By contrast, We Are Not Your Soldiers has an annual budget of $25,000. With these challenges in mind, [the nonprofit] NNOMY produced a video called “Before You Enlist!” The 16-minute video seeks to lay out a case against military service that preempts the military’s psychological recruitment tactics. With veteran stories and statistics, the video debunks perks, such as “free education” and job training, that the military uses to appeal to potential recruits.
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