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A Disturbing Meeting at the Gym

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By Dave Lindorff

At the local YMCA today, I ran into a boy who was a childhood friend of my son. As my son goes to a public arts high school in Philadelphia outside of our local school district, I don't see much of his old grade-school friends any more. This boy, who used to be over at our house years ago at least once a week, recognized me right away, and said, "Hey Mr. Lindorff, I haven't seen you in years. How's Jed!"

I was impressed by how he'd grown up, tall and strong looking. He was headed for the basketball court. I asked him, since both he and my son are seniors this year, where he was applying for college, and he stunned me by saying he had signed up for the Marines. "I'm going to be going in after graduation," he said proudly. "The recruiter came to school, and he convinced me it's a good move."

I asked him what he planned to do, and he said, "Helicopter gunner! I'm really excited and proud!"

This was really shocking. This kid doesn't own a gun. I doubt if he's ever shot at anything except maybe a target with a .22 rifle at Boy Scout Camp, and now he's all excited about manning a machine gun in a helicopter, where he'll be shooting down at Afghan fighters in a matter of months.

I really didn't know what to say. I told him "congratulations," and added, "You know of course that I'm not really in favor of what the Marines are doing?"

He smiled and said, "Yeah, I know."

"Well, good luck and stay safe," I said, not knowing what else to say. How could I, standing in the hall there, tell him that he was simply signing on to be another expendable tool in the American Empire's effort to subdue an impoverished people on the far side of the world who pose absolutely no threat to America?

He ran off to play his game, just another kid on a basketball court...

For the rest of this article by DAVE LINDORFF in ThisCantBeHappening!, please go to: www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/381


 

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper www.thiscantbehappening.net. He is a columnist for Counterpunch, is author of several recent books ("This Can't Be Happening! Resisting the (more...)
 

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...until he finds out, the hard way. No wonder th... by Jill Herendeen on Saturday, Jan 8, 2011 at 9:40:03 PM
To hear from people who've really been there, and ... by Dave Lindorff on Sunday, Jan 9, 2011 at 7:37:26 AM
Dave I know how it feels. My Son joined the Army ... by Timothy Bickford on Sunday, Jan 9, 2011 at 4:00:35 PM