The US Army is Getting Desperate

When the government insists on waging unwinnable wars around the world, the Army can never seem to maintain the manpower for these missions. To recruit more young Americans to fight in the war on terror, the US Army is getting creative by offering high school dropouts free GED’s if they enlist. Here is the story of one young beneficiary:

After dropping out of high school, William Kamicka, now 28, wanted to join the military, but his family talked him out of it. So the Columbiaville, Mich., native got a job. He eventually found work at a gift shop where he met his wife. They got married, and now they have four kids. Kamicka says having a family made it hard for him to get his GED.

“I’d eat up any overtime I could get my hands on, just to get that extra dollar, so that interfered with my GED classes,” Kamicka says. “I never really got to finish.”

Then a few months ago, as Michigan’s economy tanked, Kamicka and his wife lost their jobs. He went on unemployment and searched for a new job, but without a diploma, he couldn’t even find work at a fast-food restaurant. So he tried to join the military — but officials there, too, were looking for a high school diploma.

“The Navy, Air Force and Marines wouldn’t accept me,” Kamicka recalls. “The Army had said, ‘We’ll pay for your GED — you get it and then you can come join.’”

Since last August, the new prep school at Fort Jackson has helped over 1,000 enlistees earn their GED’s. In many cases, the GED’s are earned in less than 6 weeks. How does the Army manage this? Captain Brian Gaddis offers an answer. He believes the high success rate is “due to discipline and the removal of distractions”, including the terribly distracting influence of a man’s wife and kids, namely, the family.

“Many of them weren’t able to complete it because they weren’t able to devote time to it — due to needing to pay bills or family issues,” he says. “So what we do here, we take all the distracters away.”

Not everyone thinks the Army is being humane in its new offer:

Arlene Inouye, who runs the Los Angeles-based Coalition Against Militarism in Our Schools, says the Army is luring vulnerable, often low-income people into dangerous combat situations with the promise of a free education.

“They look like the savior and white knight coming to rescue them,” Inouye says, “but in reality, they’re using these young people to get their bodies.”

One thing is sure— the Army is desperate for more recruits. Anyone who knows about desparation can tell you that the desparate man or group will stop at nothing to satisfy its needs. So you can expect more glitter, fanfare, and gold-laced promises from the Army in the days to come.

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