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April 1st, 2014

Parent Teacher Conference Night, March 27, 2014 – Volunteer Action Report

Military recruiters are ever ready to engage high school students.  They visit schools, participate in high school career fairs, hang out in playgrounds and parks getting to know the neighborhood and the students.   Dressed in camouflage fatigues or full military uniform, recruiters form a relationship, discuss enlistment and glorify their mission.  It’s enticing to youth and full of promises for the future.

To counter the military story, on March 27th, volunteers were at 10 high schools distributing non-military informational handouts to parents who were attending parent teacher conferences. With only a brief minute or two to speak with a parent and offer an alternative message, the conversation is positive and pro-education.  (Click on photos for larger images.)

Photo: Eva-Lee Baird

Photo: Eva-Lee Baird

Every student deserves the opportunity to reach his/her goals without military interference. Our Questions to Ask flyer clarifies some of the misunderstanding parents and students may have about military service. The non-military Options for Life after High School flyer provides information to help families get started on finding job skill training courses, college programs, financial aid, and scholarship opportunities, or to consider a community service option. Parents gladly take the handouts and sincerely appreciate this information.

Few parents are pro-military, and they do not want their child to be recruited. But at one school, two mothers felt the military would be good for their sons.  That’s why the information we provide is so important.  It answers questions parents may have about military service and offers alternatives for students to reach their goals.

One team put up a sign on the wall near the entrance of the school – Options After High School.  At 2 schools JROTC students, in full uniform, hosted the event and greeted parents.  A volunteer, a veteran himself, noted that he had a good conversation with a JROTC leader, who took the handouts as well.  Volunteers unanimously declared this educational outreach action a success.
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We hope to see you in the fall when school reopens, students return, and recruiters are not far behind.  We’ll be out there just telling it like it is. And everyone can continue to tell it like it is. For downloadable copies of the flyers, tips on leafleting, and websites to visit, go to: www.grannypeacebrigade.org, Counter Recruitment Recruitment page.

Many thanks to all the volunteers – in Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island.
Students not Soldiers

-Barbara Harris
for the Granny Peace Brigade

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