One Less Recruit

One less recruit


This morning the Counter-recruitment demonstration for buses arriving at the Military Entrance Processing Station, 3870 Rosin Ct, #105, in Sacramento, California celebrated when a mother and her daughter changed their mind and left before the young girl was administered the oath or signed the eight-year contract for military service.


Obviously nervous and a bit embarrassed, the recruit and her mother did not take questions or converse with the cheering protestors, but they were smiling as they waved and shared the two-finger 'V' salute for peace as they sped away.


My reaction when I first saw the recruits getting off the bus in the pre-dawn darkness in front of the well-hidden Processing Station was that none of them seemed old enough to be signing up for military service.  These recruits looked like a group of kids going to an amusement park or the State fair.  It seemed like there were a lot of girls, maybe even half, or maybe it was just that the boys had not even finished puberty and still had child's faces.  One clearly disillusioned youngster gleefully exclaimed, "We're going off to war!" as if he was going to a football game or something.  Probably following instructions given to them on the bus, most hung their heads as they hurried to get their bag from the bowels of the bus and enter the building without looking any of us in the eye.


I have decided that Congress must pass a law that requires every recruit's mother to accompany him or her on this crucial day when they hand over their lives to the government for eight years.  There should also be a 72-hour 'cooling off' period when recruits can change their mind, without fear of reprisal, just like car buyers have. 


Meanwhile, I have adjusted my sleeping schedule so that I wake up in time to ride my bike over to join the demonstration by 4:30 A.M. from Monday through Thursday.  Crazy, you say?  It turns out this is a swell deal for me, since during my ride the road is mostly clear of the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) that make bike riding so hazardous, which are safely put away in their garages and driveways, and the cool morning air is as clean as it is likely to get each day, until the WMD wake up and join the mad commute.

So for me, I get a nice 6-mile ride each way, plus I get to start my day doing something positive to resist the illegal ongoing war.  I get to share my message of conservation as the pathway to peace and explain to others how we fuel the military industrial complex with jet air travel and the 201 million motor vehicles that are ruining our water, air, land and lives.  Part of my demonstration is my bike, and I use the flashing red light to draw attention to whatever sign I am holding while standing near it.  Sometimes I ring the handlebar bell to attract attention too.


One child went home with her mother today and this lifted the spirits of the several passionate demonstrators.  I hope it does the same for you.  There is one less recruit for the wars today; wish us luck tomorrow!