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I am not happy to hear that my birthday, October 6th is the national day of resistance against military recruiters. If you are not familiar with “counter-recruiting,” it is a movement to stop military recruiters from talking to high school students and to just eliminate military recruiting period. According to these organizations any option is better than the military and nobody should be serving our country. They urge us all to save our friends from military recruiters and how in turn this would end all wars present and future.
As I mention many times throughout various blog posts, youth is having less and less exposure to the military as they are not growing up with parents serving or are not growing up in big military communities. It is a fair statement to say that the military is not for everyone; however, having the opportunity to learn about the military is something that youth should be exposed to. Movements like this are making it increasingly harder for youth to think about the military in a positive light. The pressure for acceptance is great, especially at a younger age, and counter-recruitment relies on stopping even the smallest inclination of interest towards the military.
The various organizations that promote the counter-recruitment effort have partnered with veterans that have had very negative experience and they urge youth not to make the same mistake that they did. While there may be a portion of unhappy veterans, there are twice as many veterans and active duty personnel that are incredibly proud of their service who credit the military with the opportunities they have been given.
Every story has two sides, and the counter –recruitment movement will take anything that can be misconstrued as offensive and negative and make it into messaging to stop youth from thinking about the military. Youth that are dedicating their talents and skills to serve our country should be recognized and praised. Creating a movement of acceptance and appreciation towards those that are serving is one of the best ways to defy the counter-recruitment movement. A movement that relies on negativity and instilling fear can be overcome through positive messaging that focuses on the opportunities and urging youth to make their own educated decision that are not guided by fear, negativity, or glorifying being a part of the anti-establishment.