- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 17, 2009



In lauding the public-service role that the Army Experience Center (AEC) plays in the community, Jackson Parr fails to address several aspects of the AEC that are of concern to protesters and parents alike (“Army center boosts recruits,” Base News, Thursday).

Specifically, the AEC targets 13-year-olds. It collects information (such as private e-mail addresses and cell phone numbers) and uses it to circumvent parental involvement in the decision-making process. Most important, it uses “war is a game” as its implicit recruitment strategy. It tries to recruit teenagers by leading them to think that playing video games is somehow comparable to actual combat.

Enlisting in the military is a long-term commitment. It requires serious deliberation and the involvement of family members. Contrary to what the AEC would have you believe, there is no reset button on the battlefield.

The military has long prided itself on being an honorable institution that has understood the importance of protecting underage youth, respecting parental authority and treating armed conflict with the seriousness and deliberateness it warrants. The AEC is using a recruitment strategy that defies this important and time-honored tradition.



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