The branches of the U.S. armed forces are always looking for new recruits -- especially with President Bush sending 21,500 more troops to Iraq.
Military recruiters often head into high schools, where some students are faced with yet one more potentially life-altering decision to make.
This is a controversial issue in some Firelands-area schools. School officials want to protect their students, and recruiters don't want to be seen as evasive solicitors, forcing the issue. To find a medium, most schools have guidelines recruiters must follow to enter the schools. The most common rule seems to be a recruiter can only talk to students who ask for information. Some parents -- and students -- don't want to be approached
We'll leave those guidelines to the schools. But the recruiters have a right to be there. How else are they supposed to reach youngsters in a group setting?
There should be a litany of warnings to students, however.
First, there's at least a nugget of truth to recruiters targeting students with a certain background. They make sure you know you'll get money for college, and those who might not be able to afford college could be more likely to sign up. But that money can be used for anything. It doesn't have to be for college.
Second, a potential recruit could be signing their life away --literally. It should be common sense to realize if you go to war, especially Iraq, there's a chance you could be killed or injured. To think otherwise is naive.
So please don't sign without reading. We offer the comparison to credit card companies who offer free T-shirts to college students if they fill out an application. Only later, when the bill comes, do they realize the high interest rate.
It's too late to ask questions when you're on the far side of the world, so do it while the recruiter is there with you. Make sure you read the contract -- especially any fine print --before you sign. This is a decision not to be taken lightly. Otherwise, it's your own fault.