Of particular interest are the "challenges to recruitment myths" (see below) and a comment that mentions a "conference
call [for anti-draft groups nationwide] this evening in order to begin to ‘draft’ our own game plan for an
anti-conscription strategy." Any reports on what came out of that conference call?
– Despite the stated length of enlistment (usually four years), recruits can be kept in the military indefinitely, or called back from the reserves many years later as is being seen with the current back door draft.
– Recruiters promise training that will lead to better jobs in civilian life. But several careful studies show that veterans typically earn 12% to 15% less than those workers who do not go into the military.
– College benefits are a great exaggeration; because of all the small print requirements to receive college benefits only 15 percent ever receive a college degree — only 35% receive GI bill funds for college. Indeed, the average participant actually receives less money than a student who simply receives a Pell Grant and a Stafford Loan.
On top of those false statements, some truths are often not discussed:
– Women in the military face a high incidence of harassment and rape.
– Military life is very hard on families with the incidence of family abuse and violence three to five times higher than in the civilian population.
– The hazards of military service include more than just getting killed or wounded. For instance, less than 300 US soldiers were killed in the first Gulf War of 1991. But tens of thousands of Gulf War vets have reported chronic, debilitating physical and psychological disorders since serving in the Gulf.
Finally, the fine print on the back of the enlistment contract makes it clear that no promise by the government made has to be kept. The Military Enlistment/Reenlistment contract states: "The following statements [in the contract] are not promises or guarantees of any kind. They explain some of the present laws affecting the Armed Forces which I cannot change but which Congress can change at any time." Indeed, as veterans well know — benefits promised have been repeatedly cut, with more reductions on the way.