The New York Times editorial board today published “Honor the Truth, John Kelly.” After Trump told Myeshia Johnson that her husband Sgt. La David Johnson, who was killed in Niger, knew what he was signing up for when he joined the military. Chief of staff Kelly then made several remarks that incited huge fury.
But missing in the discussions are the fact that people do join the military, unaware of the chance they may die…or get PTSD, traumatic brain injuries, or be unable to get a job when out of the military. We have a national preoccupation to ignore the effects of the war and of military service on young people.
I wrote a short comment to the NY Times:
There is widespread denial of what military recruiters (who are MANDATED to be in the schools and to have access to students’ home information by NCLB/ESSA) tell the high school students about war. And that is nothing. You can search online and find the recommendations given to recruiters with which to answer questions such as “Will I be sent to battle?” That question is punted always. Add that to the widespread denial of the USA militarism and wars- see the very recent NY Times editorial- and you have recruits and families who believe they will sign up to the military to have a job and to travel the world, or to do good, not knowing that they will be used for other purposes.