Local Organizations Sponsor Discussions About Military Recruiting

Charleston, WV – In the wake of the nationwide controversy surrounding Army recruiting practices, West Virginia Patriots for Peace and other local organizations sponsor public discussions and training programs on the “rights and risks” of military service.

On Friday, June 3rd at 7pm, Bill Galvin, Counseling Coordinator for the DC-based Center for Conscience and War, gives a presentation on military recruiting, the Delayed Enlistment Program and the possibility of a re-instituted Draft. The program takes place at St. John’s Episcopal Church, on Quarrier St. and Leon Sullivan Way, in Charleston. The public is welcome.

The next day, Galvin provides in-depth training on military law and recruiting practices, for area youth workers, counselors, social workers and lawyers. Local attorney Lew Tyree, a retired Army Reserve Colonel, assists in the presentation, which also takes place at St. Johnís Episcopal Church.

“In order to make good decisions about military service, young people need to have good information,” says Robin Godfrey, President of Patriots for Peace, and the father of an Army soldier who recently returned from Iraq. “The people whom teenagers turn to for information should know the facts.”

Numerous reports of military recruiter abuses have surfaced recently. In one report, a Texas-based recruiter allegedly threatened a reluctant prospect with arrest, and then later defended his conduct as a “sales tactic.” In another report, Colorado recruiters offered to help recruits fake credentials and circumvent drug tests.

Two weeks ago, in response to the controversy generated by reports of unethical recruiting tactics, the Army declared a one-day suspension of all its recruiting activity. Most of the Armyís 7500 recruiters were ordered to “stand down” and undergo retraining by their commanders.

Co-sponsors of this weekendís events include the American Friends Service Committee, Military Families Speak Out, National Lawyers Guild, the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, Pax Christi, Veterans for Peace, West Virginia Citizen Action Group, and WV Interfaith Council for Public Policy.