Anti-war group is needed for balance

Letter to the editor

Posted: Monday, December 18, 2006

Andy Swanston's letter in Thursday's Juneau Empire, "Anti-war group's methods shameful," takes a superficial look at the group Veterans for Peace. Although he makes several claims about the group's tactics, he gives no examples or facts to back up these false accusations.

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From my personal experience as a former Juneau-Douglas High School student, it's impossible to graduate from JDHS without having an encounter with a recruiter. I attended three career fairs in my four years and during that day the halls of JDHS were filled with Frisbees, pencils and other goodies plastered with military insignia. It was impossible to walk past the military section of the fair without being talked to by a recruiter.

On my 18th birthday, as my family sat down to a celebratory dinner, I got a phone call from a military recruiter. After clearly stating that I had no interest in serving in the military nor had I ever expressed interest, I still had to listen to five minutes of convincing and false promises. Because of the No Child Left Behind Act, schools are forced to hand over student's personal records. In the past year, the Government Accountability Office documented 6,600 complaints of recruiter wrong-doing. It is important for groups like Veterans for Peace to be present to help students see both sides of military service before they sign a legally binding contract with a recruiter.

Laura Flynn


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