VETERANS FOR PEACE
Veterans Working Together for Peace & Justice Through Non-violence. Wage Peace!
By Mike Belt, Journal-World reporter
Wednesday, February 26, 2003
Don't believe everything your local military recruiter tells you and then wonder about what he didn't tell you, a former U.S. Marine told students at Lawrence High School.
"I know all of the lines, the lies and the half-truths," said Chris White, a Lawrence member of Veterans for Peace, a national organization based in St. Louis. "I realize the types of hypocrisy there are in the military."
White, a former Marine recruiter who was on active duty from 1994 to 1998, held court with more than a dozen students Tuesday in a commons area near the high school lunchroom. He said he wanted students to know what they could expect when approached by military recruiters.
White said he was especially concerned because of increased talk of war with Iraq.
"Once you get in the military, you don't have any choice," White said.
When thinking about joining the military, he said students should be aware that:
White's comments struck home with some of the students he talked to, and he was invited to visit with students after school by the student group Alliance for Social Awareness.
Inviting White was part of an overall effort to educate students about the issues with Iraq, said Jennah Beilgard, an ASA member. The group also is behind a Students for Peace banner that has been signed by about 100 students.
Many of the seniors who listened to White had been contacted by military recruiters.
"They kind of throw the money at you," senior Con Welsh said. Despite being visited at home by an Army recruiter, Welsh said he had no intention of signing up.
White also spoke out against a war with Iraq.
"We have lots of allies who do worse things than Saddam," he said.
Senior Kellyn Young was among the students who spoke with White. She said she was trying to learn all the issues on both sides of a possible war with Iraq.
"I really think what he says is important," Young said. "I think everybody needs to be more educated."
White said anyone wanting information from him can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.