Letters in response to Seattle Times editorial attacking YAWR


From the Seattle Times, in response to this editorial:

Editor, The Times:

The Times (intentionally?) misses the point entirely regarding protests of Seattle School Board inaction on military recruiting in the Seattle Public Schools [“Level recruiting field for all,” editorial, July 15].

What the “activists” are proposing is precisely what The Times recommends: that military recruiters be restricted so they receive no special treatment, but instead are treated like any other career option or recruiting — instead of receiving virtually unrestricted access to students at any time of day or school day, as they currently do.

While there is no question that students, activists, YAWR (Youth Against War and Racism) would like the recruiters out entirely, what they have proposed is eminently reasonable: recruiting fairs two times a year, just like all the corporate recruiters.

In your haste to push your apparent agenda (“This page would like to see an end to the war. But this is a separate issue and should not be confused with allowing student access to a full array of career options, including the armed forces”), you are apparently (intentionally?) missing the whole point of the protests, and that is not to eliminate armed forces recruiting, but to put them on a level basis with everyone else instead of enjoying special access.

— Don Schlosser, Seattle

Signs of poor potential

The Times calls for “a level playing field” permitting military recruiters access to high schools. Are you serious? Well-off children go to college and graduate school. Some work for Microsoft, or hang out in South America for a while, finding themselves. How much time do recruiters spend at Mercer Island High School?

No, they recruit the poor kids. Is that a level playing field?

— Richard Rapport, Seattle

Your mother wears Army down

“The Mommy Factor,” it is called by the army recruiters who are not making their quotas. They are blaming the parents of recent high-school grads for talking them out of enlisting. Good for the parents. And even better for the high-school grads.

Remember that poster from the ’60s? “Suppose they gave a war and nobody came.”

— Eric Kowalczyk, Seattle

Gold star for effort

Congratulations for editorially supporting the moral and legal right of military recruiters to have access to high-school students equal to other recruiters.

The military services perform a vital function for this nation. They are on all oceans, continents and more than 60 countries besides Iraq. They will still be required when the war in Iraq has faded into history.

As a somewhat aimless but patriotic high-school graduate, I enlisted in the U.S. Army to begin a 22-year career, including two wars in the infantry that I challenge any protester to match for service to humanity and this country.

Now comfortably retired, I consider my military career the most rewarding and fulfilling in my 78 years. The odds of achieving the same education, great responsibility while still young and a chance to directly influence history in any other career was incredibly unlikely.

Activists opposing military recruiting in high school as a way of protesting the war in Iraq are beneath contempt. It is a disservice to the country, the school and most of all to the student with the necessary qualifications and interest in military service.

— Ed Davis, Issaquah


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