The parents have a daughter in the 7th grade and kids at the school in grades 7-8 will next month be subjected to two days of a program called "Maine Counter Drug Task Force" that is now in its third year of operation. In 2006 the MANG visited 47 schools and had contact with 4,700 kids.
It's a two-stage program. First MANG comes to the school in uniform for a two-day "anti-drug and alcohol" program where they "facilitate" goal setting and talk about why it is bad to hit one another. They ask the kids "Who is out there to support you?" Is it possible that they are planting the seed in the kids minds that the Army will support them when they can't find a job or need to provide for their families?
The second-step is an overnight camp out in rural Maine at a MANG training facility. As the MANG Sergeant showed photos and described the "experience," all I could see was a mini-boot camp where they teach the kids "teamwork" on ropes courses and repelling walls.
I kept thinking about the Pentagon's growing need for access to young minds as they plan endless war and a future of "security export" for our nation. The military knows that because we won't be having industrial jobs anymore in the U.S. working class kids at schools like Woolwich Central School will have no real job future. So the MANG becomes the rich uncle and offers to take the kids away for the weekend for some fun and frolic in the woods. It's all harmless they tell us.
The pump is being primed. Anyone who has any doubts that our culture is being militarized just needs to take one fast look at our schools. And what makes it really sad is that the school administrators and the classroom teachers are also being recruited to serve as agents to funnel working class kids into the war machine.