News Release

Recruitment “Stand-Down”

OSCAR CASTRO
Castro is coordinator of the National Youth and Militarism Program for the American Friends Service Committee, which is organizing teach-ins and demonstrations around the country about recruitment today. He said: “The Army plans to suspend all recruiting on May 20. This follows reports of serious recruiter improprieties — including fraud and coercion — having surfaced, prompting the need, recruiters say, for retraining. We know from our work that there are systematic unethical and illegal tactics used by recruiters, particularly in poor communities and communities of color. And we know [the problem] is growing. There’s a lack of parent and student awareness about the No Child Left Behind Act (Military Recruiter Provision – Sec. 9528) that gives recruiters unfettered access to private, confidential information. Many people join the military without ever really understanding the fundamentals of what they are doing — that they are giving up constitutional rights; that it’s a one-way contract.”
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NANCY LESSIN
Currently in the Washington, D.C., area, Lessin is co-founder of Military Families Speak Out. She said today: “This recruitment ‘stand-down’ will not focus on the real problem, which is a military that is recruiting men and women to serve in a war based on lies. Instead, Friday’s activity will bring attention to a ‘few bad apple’ recruiters and a need for ‘more training.’ When given a job to sell a bad product, and placed under enormous pressure to make more and more sales, bad recruiting practices are inevitable. Instead of playing PR games, what the military needs to do is call a stand-down on the war itself.”
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CINDY SHEEHAN
Sheehan is co-founder of Gold Star Families for Peace, which is affiliated with MFSO. Her son, Casey, born on Memorial Day, 1979, was killed in Iraq on Palm Sunday, April 4, 2004. She said today: “Recruiters lie to our young people — they lied to my son. They said — in writing — that he could be a chaplain’s assistant, but once he joined they said he had to choose between being a Humvee mechanic or a cook. They promised he would get a $20,000 bonus, but he only got $4,000; they told him the rest would go towards his future education but he isn’t going to have any future education. They said he would be able to take classes, but after he joined they always came up with excuses why he couldn’t. They told him he would get a laptop computer and he never did. And, most insidiously, they told my son that he would never see combat since he scored so high on the ASVAB (military competency test). He was in Iraq for only two weeks before he was killed in combat.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167